Last week I did the awesomely annoying “ask me a question” feature on Instagram. I got tons of fun questions like am I pregnant (no), will we get another dog (no) and how did Rishi and I meet (at work).
I also had numerous people ask me this questions:
“As a mompreneur, how do I do it all?:
I’m a mom of 2 very young kids (2 years old and 8 months old…just 16 months apart), a wife to a husband with a very demanding work schedule and also an entrepreneur.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t do it all and when I try to do it all it all backfires immensely. That’s a big reason why I shut the shop down! (If you’re new to my neck of the woods, I used to own an online shop in addition to all the things and had to let something go for the sake of my sanity, my marriage and my kids).
Despite not doing it all, I will, however, say that I’ve learned a lot in the past 2 years about managing the things that are currently on my plate.
(Side note, I hate the term “mompreneur”. I get why people say it but can’t a mom be an entrepreneur without the “mom” preface? People don’t say “dadpreneur”, do they?)
I digress. 🙂
First of all, let me also just say, being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom with no other side hustle. Or working a regular 40 hour a week corporate job. Do what you love and what makes you happy! Being a mom is hard enough so adding a business to the mix can push people over the edge. Don’t feel pressure to grow a business while keeping children alive. Keeping them alive is hard enough much less actually teaching them survival skills like how to feed themselves and actually pee in the toilet. There will always be more time when they’re in school (I hope).
Ok, back to things I do that help me manage entrepreneur/mom life aka mompreneur.
There’s are things that have helped me. I try to do these on the regular but I’m also human and it doesn’t always work out that way! Have grace with yourself and do the best you can. Also, we’re all different people so these things may not work well for you. Try them out and then adjust them to fit your needs. Life is not a one size fits all!
1. Get up earlier.
Our kids go to bed at 8pm so Rishi can spend time with them. They typically get up between 7:00 – 8:00am (usually closer to 8). In order for me to get a short workout in, do some reading and praying AND get work done, my alarm goes off at 5:30am most mornings.
There are definitely some mornings where I’m completely spent or not working out so I’ll sleep in until 6am but the norm is 5:30. That gives me typically 1-2 hours of work time before the kids get up.
I used to be a morning person but the older I got the less I love mornings. However, consistency pays off because now getting up before 6 isn’t too bad!
How to apply this: Start getting up 15 minutes earlier than you already do until you feel like you have enough time before your kids are up (similar to my number 1 in this post!) If your kids get up really early and you just can’t swing getting up at 3am, figure out 1-2 things that you can knock off in 20-30 minutes before your kids are awake!
2. Plan out your week.
Planning out your day is way too hard. You never know when a kid is going to skip their nap, your baby is going to be teething and cranky or any other sort of thing. When I try to plan out my day I often times end up frustrated with my kids when I can’t check the boxes of my to do list when all they just want is some attention. That never ends well for any of us!
Each Sunday (or Monday morning), I put pen to paper and make a list of all the things that need to get done that week. I typically make 2 lists. One is the necessary to dos (getting photos done for a partnership, writing a blog post, or finalizing a project with a client). The second list is all of the things that need to get done eventually or ideas I have.
Having specific things to do helps me from feeling completely overwhelmed the second I sit down to work. As a mom you never know exactly how much time you’re going to have so having a prompt to get you started is key.
How to apply this: Get a pen and paper out RIGHT NOW and make a list of the things you must get done this week and a brain dump of all of the other things. Then tomorrow when you sit down to work, just take a look at your list and get to work!
3. Get help.
We have an amazing nanny that comes 2 days a week from shortly after they wake up until nap time. (Yes, we are the kind of parents who’s kids are on a schedule.) This way I can have dedicated time to think, write, and plan without feeling distracted.
Side note. She’s a server at a restaurant in our neighborhood that we frequent. She’s always been amazing with Roy and finally I asked her to be our nanny and she agreed. Be nice to your servers, people. You never know what other magic they have. 😉
Ok so I know that everyone can’t afford a nanny. Maybe you can find another mom in your neighborhood who wouldn’t mind swapping babysitting! You can take her kids every other Monday and she can take yours the opposite. Or maybe you have another “mompreneur” in your life. You could get together once a week and swap working (she works for 2 hours while you play with the kid and then you swap).
How to apply this: Make a list of all the people who could either watch your kid for you or you could swap kids with. Then start asking around!
4. Don’t watch tv.
I’m a giant fan of Hart of Dixie and pretty much any other mindless girly tv show out there. I also get sucked in and can never watch just one episode of something. When Rishi’s traveling or working late I used to always flip on my TV to spend time with my girl Zoe Hart (#teamWade), but now I use that time to get work done.
Rishi and I will still watch shows together now and then (more in the winter and not the summer) but definitely not every night. It’s also nice to just sit outside together or play ping pong for 30 minutes and actually talk rather than sit in front of a screen!
How to apply this: TURN OFF THE TV. 🙂
5. Let it go.
Cue the Frozen song every time you need a reminder to let things go. Maybe a blog post you wanted published on a Wednesday gets posted Thursday (like this one) or you only got 1 of the 10 things on your to do list finished.
Your kids are only kids once. You don’t want to look back and think of all the times you were short and frustrated with your kids because you were trying to work while they just wanted to play with you. Trust me. I’ve been there. When your little one wakes up early from a nap don’t get frustrated…just let it go.
How to apply this: I know this one is incredibly difficult for many of us. Something that helps me is to literally put on the “Let it go” song when things aren’t going as I planned as a reminder to just let it go and have a dance party with my kids.
6. Remember that family comes first.
When I find myself on my phone or tempted to reply to every email that comes through in a day while my kids are up, I get out of the house. I go to the park or library or some place that will keep me away from the temptation to work and allow me to just have fun with my kids! I’ve learned it’s best for me to have 1-2 days with fun activities planned to keep things fresh and exciting.
And don’t forget about your spouse! I try to make sure I’m not working every single night after the kids go to bed and am spending time with Rishi. Whether that’s a date night, a game of ping pong or a glass of wine in the backyard, be sure to make time for your spouse. They’ll probably be more willing to support you when they’re not fighting for your attention. 😉
Having dedicated time with my family without the distraction of work really helps me feel more focused when I am working since I’m not feeling guilty for not being with my family.
How to apply this: Plan a fun outing with your kids and a date night with your spouse. Right now. Do it! 😉
7. Block your time.
To keep me most productive I batch things together. For instance, I fill my Tailwind for my Pinterest boards on Sunday and Monday (I try to have it finished on Sunday but that doesn’t always work). I schedule all of my Facebook posts and plan out my Instagram on Monday. My Instagram is more fluid than my Facebook but I try to have 3-5 posts ready for the week so I’m not scrambling with photos or content. I write blog posts on the first day our nanny is here (typically Tuesday).
When I’m not trying to do 15 different things at a time, I’m able to be more productive and accomplish more things!
How to apply this: Make a list of reoccurring tasks are and pick a day to accomplish each one.
These are some of the key things that have helped me to be productive and continue to love being a mom and wife! What are some of the things that have helped you? Which one of these will you apply to your day today?
Thanks so much for reading and sharing – you all are the best!