Tips for Mom Entrepreneurs

English: Starbucks at West Coast Plaza, Singapore

You are busy at both work and at home. Some days it may seem impossible to find time for YOU. You may wonder how other busy Mom Entrepreneurs make time for themselves, but you don’t have time to stop and ask. Here are four quick tips:

If it’s too late and you are already stressed…

1. Take a break.
Have you ever been overwhelmed and feel you can’t stop for fear you will fall further behind? When you’re in a high-stress situation, your thinking is often cluttered making you less productive. Michele Dortch, The Integrated Mother, suggests that you take a break when you become stressed. Whether you choose a 15-minute nature walk or a full day doing activities you love, stopping can actually provide amazing clarity and help you complete your tasks on time. This may seem counterproductive, but it really works!

To prevent going on overload, try the following tips on a regular basis…

2. Take time out to socialize each week.
Alice Seba of Mom Masterminds advises taking time out is invaluable to the Mom Entrepreneur. Alice makes a point to have a few opportunities to socialize each week—with girlfriends, her partner, or to just have some time alone. It revives her and makes her more focused when she comes back to being a mom or a businessperson. Alice says, “All work and no play not only makes you a dull mama, but it makes you a stressed out and ineffective one, too!”

3. Take a few “Mommy Minutes” as often as possible.
Ponn Sabra, author of Empowering Women to Power Network, puts herself on “time out” and takes “Mommy Minutes” as often as possible. Ponn sits in a self-made sauna in the bathroom with the hot shower running or enjoys a favorite goodie (she sometimes hides special ice cream sandwiches in back corner of her freezer where no one, even her husband, can find them.)

Ponn also insists that “adults need naps, too!” Whether for ten minutes or forty-five, it is important just to take a nap. The revitalization you receive from a catnap is very powerful. If you are unable to nap in the middle of a chaotic day, it is important to take yourself out of the situation to regain focus. You will have more energy if you meditate and clear your head.

4. Go “off duty” regularly.
In Linda Goodman Pillsbury’s Survival Tips for Working Moms, she recommends choosing a regular time when you are “off duty.” For example, you might say that after 8:30 every night, the kids cannot bother you with “Where are my blue jeans?” “I need cookies for a school party tomorrow,” etc. (Of course, you are there for emergencies.) Children will soon learn to ask for what they need before you go off duty or wait until the morning. This works on very young children up to teenagers–but you should make exceptions for talking to the kids when they come in from a date!

3 Essential Boundaries for Mom Entrepreneurs and Their Husbands

In the beginning, I thought it was going to be a breeze when my husband, Terry, joined me working full-time in my business. If anyone could do it, we could! We already had a healthy relationship built on trust and respect. We communicated well. We both strongly believed in what we were doing. We understood the need to help each other with the children, keeping the house, and with the business. We planned to allow for fluctuations in income to keep stresses over money to a minimum. Yet I still wasn’t prepared.

For anyone considering working with your spouse, here are 3 Essential Boundaries for Entrepreneurial Couples to help to ease your transition:

1. Clarify expectations for work/home.
Nothing can prepare you for the blurring of boundaries and turf that occur as you transition into working together. When you join together with your spouse, most likely, both of you have experienced success throughout your careers, and have developed your own working style. Suddenly you have a whole new dynamic in your relationship with your spouse you must learn to work through. I always knew that we had different gifts and talents: Terry is very techie and he loves to write, and I am a people person who is an administrative whiz. Even though I should have probably seen it coming, I was still surprised at the difference in our work styles. I multi-task all day long, and he prefers to work on one project at a time. Just like being newlyweds all over again, we had to put some effort into getting to know each other on a whole new level to be able to work well together.

Beth Butler, creator of the Boca Beth Program has some helpful tips for clarifying expectations with your spouse. “I make us lunch each day and we try to talk about BOCA BETH items that are pressing. It’s our time to reconnect – he works from home for the wine company he represents and I work from home sharing my passion for second language learning with young children. A funny mix, but it works! We talk about what each of us has planned the next day so there are no surprises – and I use that time to ask for his help. I can’t expect him to guess what I need so I have learned to be very specific.”

2. Schedule time for love.
Most entrepreneurial couples complain they have less time together than before. It is possible to work beside your spouse in the same office all day long and barely speak on a personal level. How difficult is it to turn off your cell phone and talk a walk with your love? It is imperative to make it a point to schedule time for your relationship so that the business does not overtake it. Terry and I plan ahead to sneak away for lunch or to take a break at Starbucks. We have found if we don’t take the time to schedule in these lunch or coffee dates, then they are less likely to happen as we work to meet deadlines or get a project done. We haven’t yet been able to master scheduling “regular dates”, but its next on our list of priorities in order to help keep our close relationship.

3. Schedule time for yourself.
It can be a shock when you suddenly have so much time with your spouse. In your previous life, they left at 7 AM and came home at 6 PM, and then you discussed your day during dinner. Now you spend most (if not all) of the day with them, and during dinner, there is nothing new to discuss. Where is the time for you? Karyn Fagan, Founder of Team Women, tells “We both have hobbies that we love outside of the house so we have that important away time.”

Terry and I certainly have a long way to go as an Entrepreneurial Couple, but we have made it through our entrepreneurial “honeymoon” period. Each day, we work together to reach our goals and dreams. We understand when we help each other we will reach our dreams sooner, so we help each wherever its needed!


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