During the first months after you, as a mompreneur, have a child, it can be difficult to keep up with the demands of your business. However, as your child ages, you can start to focus on business growth once again.
That's what happened with founder and CEO of Fashion Works Tenin Terrell. When her children were babies, she almost never took in-person meetings with potential clients.
Once her children were able to feed and occupy themselves for extended periods of time, she says she “felt confident leaving them with a sitter while I ran out to meet up with new customers. Now that I have a kindergartener and preschooler, I find myself being a stickler for my work hours. When my day is done at 4:30 p.m., I disconnect so that I can be present and engaged for them. This means I am very intentional about completing business-generating tasks throughout my workday."
The Life of a Mompreneur
Like other mompreneurs, Terrell is constantly adapting to the demands of motherhood while still figuring out how to handle business growth. Katie Kimball, who runs online cooking classes for kids at KidsCookRealFood.com, is also coping with competing demands.
“There's definitely an ebb and flow, as family life is hopelessly interconnected with an at-home business," she says. “School time versus summer, when kids are sick or just need their mom. ... Sometimes my business goals have to be subsidiary to the needs of my children."
Just as children go through different stages of life, businesses experience different stages of growth. At times mompreneurs need to put their businesses on the back burner, and other times they'll be thriving both personally and professionally.
If you're a mompreneur trying to make it work at every stage of your child's life, here are some tips from other moms who have found solutions.
Keep Family and Work Separate
Resist checking your work email while you're at your son's football game or texting clients when your daughter needs help with her homework. Instead, keep work and family life separate to help your family and your business thrive.
“I work when my son is at school or my husband can be with him," says Heather Vreeland, publisher and editorial director of Occasions Media Group. “I used to try to be 'plugged in' all the time and that made me miserable. I was doing everything halfway and that was terrible for work and our family life. I removed my email from my phone and that has helped immensely to batch my tasks. I email when I'm sitting at my desk in work mode, not when I'm at the park to be with my kid."
Terrell used to try to do it all: She was wife, mother, CEO, chef and cleaner all at once. Starting to feel burned out, she realized she needed to take on less. Now, in a given quarter, she focuses on only six goals — three for her business and three for her family. When new business growth opportunities come along, she puts them aside until the next quarter.
“I am also sure to communicate clearly with clients and staff about the timeline so that we're all in sync," she says. “It's brought a lot of balance to my life. I stress less and feel more available for my family."
Rely on Your Support System
As your child grows up and you experience business growth, you'll face times when you need more help from your loved ones. Soo-Jin Behrstock, CEO of SOOJIN, has learned how to handle business growth with the assistance of her partner.
“The key is having a good support system and knowing your priorities," she says. “My first priority is family but, because I have the support of my husband, I can keep up with the demands of work as well."
Take Time Off
Everybody needs a break from work, including busy mompreneurs. Behrstock says it's critical to have downtime every week and to resist working on holidays.
“Leisure time is a fantastic opportunity to recharge your batteries and should always be taken advantage of," she says. "If you make the most of your time off, you'll return to work reinvigorated and newly inspired."