I am a mum.
Recently I had my second baby and although I have sold my 9 to 5 face to face business, I have transitioned into the world of full time entrepreneur working from home. With a baby and a threenager.
Sometimes it’s great – mostly when the threenager is at kinder or with her grandparents – but for the most part, I have had to significantly modify how I work.
So, here are my top 5 tips for being a kick ass entrepreneur mum
1. Wear your baby – Most of the time little ones just want to be held. However, this is not so conducive to work as you would need an extra 3 pairs of hands to get anything done. My saving grace has been my hug-a-bub baby carrier. Strapping your little one to your chest (frog legged) is not only great for them (calmer, happier, more settled, great brain stimulus, oxytocin bonding hormones released yadda yadda…) but for you -you can type, take phone calls or write an article on mothering, like I am doing right now.
2. Well planned sprints – Short super productive blocks of work is what you should aim for. Make a list of everything that needs doing (I use trello for this) and when you get to your computer, work. Really work. No faffing about on social media or watching carpool karaoke on youtube – really get down to it. Work like you’re against the clock in a crazy Asian game show. Because in reality, you are. At any moment you could be disrupted and you don’t know when you might get the chance to work again, so make every session count.
3. Ask for help – It’s a tough one, something I (and most mums I know) struggle with, but asking for help is key if you want to keep everything together, including your sanity. Whether it’s asking your Mum to pop past for a cuppa and a cuddle while you record a podcast, or sending your husband out of the house with kids in tow while you schedule a few blog posts and return emails, or even putting your child into childcare for a few hours a week, asking the ones around you for help takes strength and courage and is never a sign of weakness.
4. Don’t be so hard on yourself – It can get easy to get in the zone while bubs is sleeping and before you know it, they are up and you are back on Mum duty without having had as much as a drink or food or a pee. Make sure that in those times when bubs is content, you take some time to take care of yourself. You will be happier and more productive for it. You are not a pack horse, so set yourself easy achievable goals (even things like “getting dressed” help you have a little win) celebrate when they get done but don’t chastise yourself if they don’t. I find talking myself up helps too and I use daily affirmations to keep myself in a positive frame of mind. You can get my affirmation cards here.
5. Give Up – And then there are days where nothing works. No amount of jigging or cuddles will help them get off to sleep and when they do, they wake the moment you blink. These days happen. And my advice is don’t fight it. Let your little one sleep on you. Wear your PJ’s all day, have too many cups of tea, watch endless episodes of Frasier on Netflix, nap and only move from the couch to get up and pee. Let your emails pile up and the phone go unanswered. The world will still turn without you. But sometimes our babies need us more. So take a day for the both of you and just give up the work for a bit.
There is no doubt that your life will change when you have a baby. And no matter how different and challenging it may be, you will love your babies more than breathing. And if there is one thing I have learnt from having 2 babies while being an entrepreneur, it’s that the days may be long, but the years are short. Your journey with your kids and your business is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no finish line you are racing to, so take each day as it comes and enjoy the journey because believe me, it passes all too quickly.