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A Snapshot of Mom in Business Today!
10 Tips to Put Yourself First!
Being Mom today has evolved to embrace so much more. Would you agree that as Mom, you never put yourself first before your kids or business? As they say, a picture tells a thousand words; however, I don’t think this applies to Mom. A picture of what Mom is today has evolved to include a whole lot more as each decade passes.
Have you watched reruns of TV shows like Leave it to Beaver, where Mom stayed home and catered to Dad and kids? I remember watching reruns after school around the age of 10, thinking how perfect Mrs. Cleaver looked with her pearls, perfect hairdo and ideal house. To top it off, Mrs. Cleaver kept house, washed and had a three-course dinner made each night while being perfectly dressed wearing lipstick.
Fast forward to Mom now at home and in business
Fast forward to 2020, and the role of Mom has changed drastically. Women have taken on more than June Cleaver could have possibly imagined. The title of mom has expanded to becoming:
- Taxi/shuttle service
- Business owner/entrepreneur
- Business professional
All of this entails a balancing act of keeping kids, home, significant other and business running smoothly. Eventually, something always gives, and it’s usually Mom who burns out. If I were to line up 50 Moms and ask them to tell me their version of burn out, I would have 50 different stories always with the same ending, BURN OUT.
Avoid burn out and put yourself first Mom
More women have taken the entrepreneurial route wanting to stay closer to home, to avoid the heavy demands of working corporate. Some women like the freedom of life-work balance or the challenge of creating a business from the bottom up. Of course, forgetting to put yourself as Mom and Business owner means that there is little fuel in the tank to keep you moving. Life happens quickly in this century and given that we are doing more with and for our kids adds to burn out. For this reason, it’s essential to put yourself first.
Would you agree that there are only so many hours in the day? Being a business owner requires your attention. No matter whether you are a blogger, online sales, translator, narrator, network marketing, etc., you are your business. Do you agree that success in business depends on how much time and energy you are willing to invest?
1) Prioritize what’s important
Depending on how much sleep you get, there are only so many hours in a day. Making a priority of what is important goes a long way. As Mom and a business owner, it’s not uncommon to have constant:
- text messages
- video conferencing
Not to mention, most of us have our cell readily accessible to receive messages even after work hours. Again with the continuous flow of information and notices, highlighting what is most important is essential. Prioritizing, by seeing the big picture in your mind, will lessen stress.
2) Make yourself a checklist
Once you have selected what’s essential, take action and create a list. Ideally, home and business will be separate. With this in mind feeling overloaded with all that must be done at home and in business might overwhelming.
So, where do you start first? And how do you get past the mounting list? Firstly in your mind, the list can be the elephant in the room or a large bookcase with files neatly stacked and easily accessible. Its kind of like the metaphor “is your glass half empty or half full.”
Creating a list does not have to become a large project or be overly complicated. Remember, your list is fluid because priorities change, and new things come up. As a Coach, I tell my clients to either chunk up or chunk down. What does this mean? Chucking up the list will help to prioritize what is most important (big picture). Chunking down the list adds to all the steps involved in each item (details).
Get creative as you design your list and, why not use a:
- stickie notes
- bristol board
- colour coded theme
Remember to have fun and celebrate how much you accomplish each day.
3) Meditate even with the chaos
Life as Mom is action-packed like making sandwiches at the kitchen counter while speaking to a client, carpooling, answering messages, throwing in a load of laundry etc. In other words, a whole lot is going on during the day with little time for yourself. Because of the daily chaos, meditation is ideal for calming the Conscious Mind.
A common misconception regarding mediation is that you must sit in the lotus position for a long time. Or that it is necessary to sit quietly for an extended period. However, you decide to sit is up to you! Most importantly, take a few minutes each day to sit quietly despite the chaos around.
Here’s an idea set the timer on your cell for five minutes each morning. Initially, this might be challenging if you have never meditated before. Quieting your mind each day with meditation improves focus and calms the mental traffic.
4) Have an outlet
Firstly, having a mental outlet like running, yoga, circuit, or weight training helps keep your mental and emotional state quiet. Secondly, the release of endorphins after exercise builds a positive mind, keeping you in an overall happy condition. Lastly, getting out a few times a week gives some self-care time and space needed for Mom to invest in herself. So having a mental outlet goes a long way.
5) Delegate what you can
It’s important to realize that home and business run separately and at the same time. With this in mind, the to-do list can be extensive. As you review your checklist of priorities, determine if you can delegate any of it. You might feel resistance at the beginning to pass on the task because:
- do not trust the job will get done
- no one works as efficiently as you do
- you are Supermom and can do it all
Asking for help or passing on tasks is part of running a home and business. That’s not to say you have to pass everything on, start small. Even if you can do it all, ask yourself how much time is left for you?
6) Designate a Mom zone
A Mom zone can be a she-shed, office, prayer space anywhere you can claim as your own. I’ll take a bet that most Moms running a home business have their office at the kitchen table. As I’m writing this blog, I find myself at the hub of my home in the kitchen. Having a designated space will allow you to set yourself apart from where you work versus where you live. If you can manage it, create your Mom zone.
7) Get enough sleep
There is nothing like sleep deprivation to cloud your focus and add to aggravation. A minimal rest each night of seven hours is ideal to function daily. Wearing the Mom and Business hat can require long hours. So think of how your day will flow and pencil in 7 hours of sleep as a minimum. In order to function decently, rest is a must.
8) Get out with friends
A social life consisting of home and business does not equal getting out with friends. Socializing only in the stream of family and business limits your conversations and learning. Take some time to:
- work out with a friend,
- have a girls lunch or dinner out,
- go for a hike,
- join a book club,
- paint night,
Discover what excites you! Find a tribe outside of home and business to exchange ideas and have fun. Mom is allowed the occasional play date too.
9) Fuel yourself with nutrition
Taking care of yourself first might feel uncomfortable, given we spend a lot of time care giving. However, you cannot function if your body is not working correctly. Taking time to eat whole meals and nutritious snacks instead of eating on the run gives you time to:
- take a break
- allow your body to reset
Giving yourself time to eat a variety of whole foods results in a positive mind and a well-run body.
10) Connect with nature
Get out there and connect with nature. Those of us who live in the city or large subdivisions may be limited to nature. Check out your community for bike trails, parks the lake etc. Connecting to nature is peaceful, calming and serene. Nothing can compare to the feeling of sitting on a rock surrounded by trees, flowers listening to the sounds of nature. Connecting this way, everyone once in a while brings out creativity, problem-solving and new ideas.
Drop the limitations
Consider yourself a vital investment! Nothing can replace who you are to your family or business. Therefore, being first only means a well-functioning Mom. The little voice in the back of your mind might be questioning if you can put yourself first. You also may be running thoughts like:
- My kids always come first
- Running a business is blood sweat and tears
- There’s never enough time for me
- Not enough hours in a day
- Too busy to meet for lunch
- Working out is a luxury
These thoughts are true, and if you want, they can be used to the max. Limiting thoughts persist and grow, stopping you from even exploring what is possible. Seriously take some baby steps. Move past the feeling of guilt and create some healthy boundaries. Limitations only exist within the mind.
I decided to explore this topic because I am a Mom of two awesome teens and a business owner. For years I struggled with feelings of guilt, leaving my kids to do anything outside my family life or business. Looking back, I created my limitations because I felt no one could do a better job than me in any capacity.
Believing I was the glue holding my family and business together lead me down the path of health issues and resentment. Only there was no one to point the finger to other than myself. No ever held me back from taking a walk, going out for a run or having coffee out with a friend other than my limiting thoughts.
Healing physically and getting over my guilt has been a journey. Occasionally a limiting thought will pop up, and I remind myself that I can be a successful Mom who runs a business. And being successful includes doing what makes me happy too.
For all, you Moms out there spend time with your partner, love your kids fiercely, be a power-house in business and put yourself first. Any other ideas on how to put yourself first while being Mom and running a business? I’d love to hear your feedback.