Starting a new business while you are raising small kids is quite a task. Both the responsibilities are equally demanding. While as a mompreneur you need to be consistent with your business operations, catering to your children’s needs are also important. All of this could be quite overwhelming and can adversely hamper not only your work but also affect your health.
Whether you are earning from home or have separate office premises – the initial years of your business will be full of challenges. On top of it, if you are a doting mom, it’s going to be a rollercoaster journey.
Being an entrepreneur and a mom is not easy, but it definitely is not impossible. You can successfully run a business and also raise kids with a little bit of discipline and planning. Here are a few tips that will help you have the best of both the worlds.
1. Prepare yourself and your family
Yes, your kids are a priority, but so is your business. And therefore, it’s important that your family has realistic expectations from you. Speak to your family about your work and dreams. The better clarity they have about your business, the more support you are likely to get. Also, you might feel that your child is too small to understand your work, but surprisingly kids are not only smart to understand it but will also lend a helping hand when needed. Not sure? Go try it.
Set your goals – personal and professional
Goal setting is an important exercise and saves you from a lot of hassle and anxiety. A study by psychologist Gail Matthews showed that people who write down their goals were 33% more successful.
Setting realistic goals will give you the peace of mind that is crucial for a mompreneur. Be it finalising your website or planning your child’s birthday party – when you have a directional clarity, life becomes easy. Set goals that take into consideration your aspirations and challenges.
Shilpa D’Souza, Co founder www.yogitoday.com and Vice President, Duff & Phelps
I always wished I had the foresight to start a new venture when I was younger with lesser responsibilities! With a baby being a home
Boss is hard, adding another level of responsibility is taking the madness to the next level! So how do you handle it? You not only become an entrepreneur but also a “hustle”. Your day goes like clock work and then you learn to prioritise. You appreciate your own time and what you do with it! There is no place for negativity or self pity! You get down and dirty! The best part of it was you are welcomed by this huge community of mompreneurs that are collaborative and share their journey with you. You know you are not alone!
Get help without guilt- Mompreneur Suffer a Lot from This
Be it hiring a full-time domestic help, or asking your in-laws to pitch in; if you need help, ask for it without any guilt. Raising kids and building a business is no joke and the more support you get, better is the possibility of your success. Just because what others think and say, you can’t let go of your dreams. Reach out to the mom next to you, or ask your husband to babysit for some time. You can even look for a good day care facility so that you can work without any distractions for a couple of hours.
Pradnya Sonawane is
I am a mom to a single son, which means I have to play the multiple roles as his friend, his sibling and his caretaker. As a freelancer my work allowed me to take out time for my personal fitness regime also. One day I realized I am only living for my son and husband and not living my dreams. And then the journey started.
Sometimes it used to be multi tasking, once I remember taking care of him when he was hospitalized, that day I worked from the hospital room .
I have always believed in balancing work and home and this multitasking , made me a strong and I loved the process of learning. Today, I can manage to see my clients at my clinic, manage my role as a corporate wellness expert, run my own youtube channel and also be a faculty in Mithibai College as a health and fitness expert .
Set your timetable right
We all falter here once in a while, but that’s OK. However, setting a timetable could be of great help. A good timetable will help you divide your time well for all the priorities.
Yes, sometimes you can’t meet all the expectations – but you can always improvise upon those things. It’s recommended that you analyse your performance once a week against the timetable. This will give a better clarity on stuff that needs change.
Get an office space but don’t underestimate yourself if you work from home
Shouldn’t this be the first point? We all understand how crucial it is and yet conveniently ignore it. There is a reason that employers insist on working from office premises. As much as it seems feasible and easy to work from home, working amidst all domestic chaos severely hampers productivity.
Sure, you might not have a separate office as an entrepreneur, especially if you are just starting your business. But that shouldn’t stop you from moving out of the house. Go to the nearest coffee shop, or a library to work for a couple of hours without any distractions.
If at all, you can’t go out and have to work from home, then set up a dedicated space as home office. Don’t worry, this need not be an elaborate arrangement. You can just pick a corner or a room and make it look professional and neat. And yes, instruct all other members in the house to not disturb you while you are at work. That’s important.
Assign dedicated time for your children
This will save you a lot of confusion. When you know that those two hours in the evening are purely between you and your child, both of you will look forward to it. You will give your best to finish tasks at hand so that you won’t compromise on your time with your little one.
Even children take it very positively. Since they are assured that mommy is going to give them undivided attention after work, they will feel more secure – and will cling on to you less during your work hours.
Sulaksha Shetty is the founder director of Lead Earth Foundation and founder and mentor for Tiffins and Thots.
Journey from Corp mom to social entrepreneur was equally tough for my family especially kids. You can imagine budgets coming down, from 1 long vacation to a short holidays to no vacation!
However perhaps the things most difficult for kids to digest is weekends are usually dedicated to my social enterprise and NGO! Fortunate that I have taken this plunge at the right time since kids (son 16 and daughter 13) now value act of kindness and service to money and luxuries. The biggest benefit I see as mother and entrepreneur is the fact that kids have learnt value of risk taking, managing resources and now helping me in my venture… be it designing collateral, brainstorming on business plans, giving tips on social media
It’s fine to sometimes go slow
As a mother and a businessperson, it is very likely that some days would be real hard. When such times arrive, go slow, take it easy and stay away from self-doubts. Just remember that you are doing the best you can. As said by Bill Murray, the famous American actor, “The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”
Give yourself all the love and care you need
You need this right? Unless you love yourself, you won’t be able to do justice with your kids or your role as a mompreneur. To deliver your best, you should be happy and confident. Ditch that guilt and embrace yourself. After all, you have made it this far and you’ll do better.
Motherhood is empowering and should not be an excuse for not reaching out to your dreams. As an empowered woman, you should nurture your business aspirations as much as you embrace motherhood. It will be tough and sometimes chaotic – but you’ll sail through. Because you are capable, much more than you think of.
Here are a few tips for budding momepreneurs.