Running your business from home can be a tough gig at times. Add in husband, kids, pets, family, study, friendships, housework, and self-care, and it all but feels impossible most days.
Many boss mumma’s will tell of the same thing – when they are with their family all they are thinking about their huge business to-do list, and when they are working on their business they are feeling guilty about not playing with their kids or cleaning the house.
It’s an endless cycle of balancing the scales of life, while madly trying to keep your shit together and avoid the burnout.
1. Be kind
Be kind to yourself. It’s ok to feel like you don’t have everything under control. You’re not the only business owner who has let the housework go because of a looming work deadline. You’re also not the only mum who has missed that work deadline because their kid got sick.
Even non-working mumma’s have parts of their life that aren’t running smoothly – it’s called real life so go easy on yourself ok!
2. Ask for help
Help is out there but you have to know where and how to ask for it.
Family help doesn’t have to be limited to babysitting.
- See if anyone in your family is capable of covering some admin work for you such as data entry, bookkeeping or scheduling social media content.
- Ask your partner to take the kids outside or to the park for a few hours.
- Out-of-work family members might be keen for a few extra dollars a week by helping with your cleaning, laundry, or running errands.
- Is your sister a brilliant cook? Great! Pay her for some ready-to-eat meals to fill your freezer for those hectic days.
External help can be found for just about everything.
- Team up with another boss mumma and work out a swap where you watch her kids for a few hours so she can work, and then vice versa. Alternatively, co-hire a babysitter that can watch all the kids while you both work at the same time.
- Visit sites such as fiverr or Air Tasker for anything from admin to running errands.
- Hire a cleaner, Dog Walker or gardener.
- Purchase ready-to-eat meals from a local cafe.
3. Accept the help!
Asking for help is the first step in the right direction, but actually accepting help is the next hurdle.
How many of us are guilty of declining help even though we really need it? I’d almost gotten to the stage where it’s almost automatic to decline help. Someone would say “Hey do you need a hand with x,y,z” and before their question even registered the words “No thanks” would have fallen out of my mouth.
Accept the help, you don’t have to go it alone!
4. Plan it out
Being a boss mumma means that your brain is probably filled to the brim with all the tasks, appointments, training session, webinars, school pickups, etc, etc, etc. It’s enough to make anyone feel flustered and exhausted.
Creating plans and schedules allows you to prioritise and focus on the big things, while also helping to eliminate procrastination and distraction.
You’ll find that organised folk around the world will be planning at least one aspect of their lives. Nowadays there are planning apps and printables for just about everything you can think off. Why? Because it creates order in a world of chaos!
Even the notoriously unorganised (me) will admit that creating a to-do list, pre-planning a week’s worth of meals, using a calendar/diary, or scheduling social media posts creates a sense of calm.
5. Be flexible
Kids are unpredictable little humans and sometimes it will feel like everything is out of control. Be flexible in your planning and allow for unexpected delays and detours.
If you have a business that runs on deadlines then it can be hard to be flexible, but not impossible as maybe the days before deadline is when you ease up on the housework commitments.
6. Schedule your housework
Mondays are for laundry, Tuesdays are for floors, Wednesdays are for bathrooms…etc. Rather than look at your house like one big impossible to complete project, break down the major tasks and set a schedule. Keep it to only one large job per day to avoid overwhelm while still feeling accomplished.
7. Prioritise your self-care
Nothing will work well if you are all out of whack yourself, so make the time for you! Schedule things into your diary and treat them with as much importance as you would a business appointment. Don’t feel like you have the time? A 10 minute meditation before bed is a great place to start.
8. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Ask yourself “Will it matter in 2 days/6 weeks/2 years/10 years?”
The answer to this question is usually a big fat ‘NO’ for a lot of scenarios.
9. Set honest expectations
Often we are tempted to say ‘yes’ to everything that crosses our desk because we don’t want to fail anything or let anyone down.
Agreeing to bake 50 cupcakes for the school fundraising committee during an already busy week is only going to leave you feeling even more frazzled than ever before – so just SAY NO.
Be honest with yourself and understand that you are not superwoman and you cannot do it all, no matter how much you’d like to. Set yourself realistic expectations of what you can achieve, and find alternatives and compromises for the other things you cannot.
Then, be honest and upfront with others about your capacity to help them. Even if you are unable to help them at all.