Today's post is one where I feel like I can really get real! I going to be honest with you like I never have before! I started this business as a mom, but Sydney was two years old and I felt like it was actually pretty easy to do both! Even during this last pregnancy I was like “ I'll just take a week or so off after I come home from the hospital. My baby will sleep all the time right? I've got this! “...
OH HECK NO!
Let me just tell you that our little Emma Bear rocked our world when she was born,and almost every single day since. I definitely took a couple of weeks off after she was born but beyond that, it has been a HUGE learning curve. I'm seriously still trying to figure out how to juggle it all, and she is 7 months old. But today I thought I would share some tips/advice with any of you out there who are new to mompreneurship, or are running a business and considering starting a family that will hopefully help.
1. Find your system!
Oh gosh! I can't explain to you how important it is to have a system in place. Something that I recently heard and am trying to use now is to have a daily todo list of three to five things. Look at those three to five things and work on those and those alone at first. When you get that baby down for a nap and you go to sit on that computer and your a little tired, but really need to get some work done, you are going to be overwhelmed if you sit down and see your mega to-do list that has everything you could possibly need to get done for every project listed. Trust me! So I would suggest you seriously do the five top tasks rule. If you have a list with just that on there, you aren't so overwhelmed the moment you sit down and you can focus easier, which can lead to being more productive all around. If this system doesn't seem like it would work for you, that is totally fine! We are all different people with different personalities. The important thing is finding a system that does help you be more productive with limited time. Because let's face it, you're working in little time frames dictated by your little one.
2. Streamline Your Process
This one is just a huge struggle for me, and a MAJOR goal this year for me. I have seriously got to streamline my process! To do this you really need to sit down and list out every single step of your process. I mean EVERY. SINGLE. STEP! From beginning to end, write that shit down in bullet points! Then sit back and look at your list. What in that list is something that you could maybe alter, make ahead of time, or even remove to save time? The possibilities are endless in ways you could streamline. For me, just off the top of my head, I need to create templates that I can use over and over for design process for images like client previews, inspiration boards, and brand identity boards. I want to create canned emails for certain instances that happen very often so that I am not always having to write it out every single time. Just figure out any possible way that you can save time in your process and do it! If you can do all of this BEFORE you have your baby, do it!!! Oh gosh I wish I had sometimes!
3. Decide when you will hustle!
Mama, I know you're tired. Trust me I get it! I remember everyone always telling me to nap when the baby naps, and for those first few weeks I totally agree! So then the question is when should you work?
Honestly that is up to you! Not everyone's answer is the same, and if I'm totally honest mine seems to be changing as time goes. When Emma was a little younger I could get so much work done while she napped and between feedings at night when she was in her crib. I felt like I was doing so good. Then that damn 4 month sleep regression hit and we started co-sleeping. Truthfully, that has made it more difficult. Emma wants her Mommy right by her when she is napping. So I can't be sitting at my desk when she naps. Not to mention I have two kids, and summer is coming soon. When will I work when Sydney is home from school and I have Emma at home. Right now I am thinking I may have to start working more at night once the girls are in bed. This way I get to enjoy my day with them, and they don't feel neglected because I'm at the computer. If I'm able to get on sometimes during the day then that's great! But I know it won't be the standard, so I can't always count on it. Your work time may be totally different. The important part is to really just figure out what works best for you and roll with it!
4. Get over the guilt!
I have a little secret for you…There is always going to be some level of guilt! There is the mom guilt you have when you're working and you want to be playing with your babies. There is the wife guilt that you get when the kids are finally in bed, and instead of cuddling together on the couch and watching tv you have to get on the computer. Or there is the business guilt you get when you decide that tonight is the night that I am just playing with my kids and cuddling with my husband gosh darn it! Because you do have that choice! So how do you get rid of the guilt?
You don't get rid of it. You just take it day by day and try to decide which guilt you can deal with right then. Also think of the end goal! Always think of the end goal, because that's why you're in the mompreneur game after all. Why do you do this, and will whatever is causing the guilt for the moment help you reach that goal? It's a balancing act for sure, but it's one you can totally do.
5. Batch Days!
As a mom who can't always be at the computer, batch days are going to be your very best friend! What is a batch day? It's when you sit there and you do any work you can in bulk. Batch days can be applied to blog posts, images you create for social media, and any kind of content creation. You create it all and save it to a location that is easily accessible like Google Drive or Trello, and then you have them ready when you need to put them out there into the world. When I do this I tend to get in a flow and work pretty quickly, and who doesn't love that!
In my opinion, there isn't really a right or wrong, as long as you find what works for you! I mean becoming a parent is a huge learning curve as you and your baby get to know each other, and you get into a new way of life. Of course that is going to flow into your business life as well. You just have to find the best way for you of combining the two. But let's be honest, no matter what the juggle is real and we are all doing it day by day,