Having a ministry and young kids is no small feat. There is a system that enables every entrepreneurial mom with young children to juggle a business and the responsibilities in a home.
The enactment of the system is very delicate and requires flexibility and attention to detail, but if you have a desire to perform in your community and in your home as a businesswoman, this article is for you.
In my opinion, some of the most productive, organized, and resilient people in the world are woman juggling business and young kids. They have to always be “on” because regardless of day or not, they may need to answer a call or a cry.
Their duties range from delegating tasks and creative product/service development to changing diapers and being a magnet for throw-up. Moms are heroes (especially the ones that juggle a call in the community with a call in the home).
If you don’t believe the juggle is real, listen to Kristina Kuzmic. She does humor parenting videos where she talks about topics like breastfeeding, dealing with attitudes, setting boundaries, and so much more. This interview would be so encouraging if you are wondering how to balance business and parenting as a busy mom:
However, let me tell you from my experience, the tips I’ve learned about being a businesswoman and juggling a business and young kids.
Study Your Children
With my firstborn, I was a single mom for four years. If you’re a single mom wanting to start or run a business, I can’t stress this advice enough…
“Study your children”
By observing them, you will learn their high activity times versus their low activity times, and this analysis will be a tool you will keep in your rolodex. You also want to learn their incentives, things that distract them, things that make them lose focus and potential interruptions to a controlled environment because key#1 is to create a controlled environment beginning with a schedule.
Create a Schedule
When my son was 10 years old, I gave birth to a baby girl. I forgot all of the tools that needed to be in place to secure normalcy because my son and I had a system. When my baby girl was born, the system was disrupted. I had forgotten what having a little baby was like.
I found myself constantly in reaction mode: going from changing a diaper to nursing, and running errands but constantly interrupted. She wanted to nurse in public, and I wanted to be conservative. I had to give up on being so conservative with time. When I wanted to be creative, I always felt interrupted. I didn’t create a schedule until I was nearing my breaking point. I was overwhelmed and feeling dissatisfied because I had ambitions, but no time to execute them.
When I created my schedule, it was a God sent! I observed my daughter, as I told you to do previously. I noticed her most busiest times were from 7-11 am, then she slowed down. I marked 7-11 am into my schedule, and I made sure I was not attempting to do anything that required my undivided attention during that time because otherwise, I would be frustrated. With time, I added in other things like extra-curriculars, times for a walk, and planned activities.
Tap into the Community for Your Business and Young Kids
With a few things noted on my schedule, things started to normalize. I started selling my digital marketing and business consulting services to businesses who needed them. I started getting clients and it got to the point where I had more clients than I could service by simply working during my daughter’s “down times”.
I may have been experiencing post-pardum because I was so avid about not want to separate from “my baby”. She was 6 months and I had started my business two months prior. My time was swamped to the point that simple juggling was impossible. I had more than 20 hours worth of work and 2-3 hours of “down time” (where my daughter was distracted). I needed to get help.
I was walking down my street with my daughter in the stroller and my son on his bike when my neighbor yelled out, “Make sure you have water for those babies!”. I noticed a frequent visitor to her house was a friend of a friend and (to make a long story short), she reconnected me to my son’s daycare provider from 7 years prior. It was a miracle!
You may be like me where you are VERY careful about where you send your kids. I can count on one hand all of the people who have watched my kids, so when my business started to pick up, I thought maybe I would just have to quit, BUT GOD…He had a plan for me to maximize my potential by answering my call in the community and still fulfilling my call in my home.
For some women, they have a friend or family member who lives with them. Some hire a nanny. Then, there are women like me who are blessed with an AMAZING daycare provider who knows what their doing, and knows their answering a call from God.
Every woman I know who runs a business and raises young children taps into the community in many ways. In addition to the support I receive from my husband, I’ve used the YMCA, homeschool groups, church members, church programs, extracurricular activities, sports, my parents and my sister have all been instrumental at helping me sustain my business aspirations. Sometimes, it’s not about “dropping them off”, it’s about entertaining them in a helpful way so I can perform a task that I need done. If you want to run a business and raise young children, you must tap into your community.
Use That Energy Up
Kids can be so much fun! They have so much energy. I don’t know any other time in life where you don’t second guess and you’re not naturally self-conscious aside from childhood. There are so many good aspects of being a child. As a mom who is a businesswoman with young kids, I don’t want to quench the excitement of my children’s childhood because I have a call in my community. Instead, I want my call to support the excitement of their childhood. I want to be able to cherish the best parts of their youthfulness, and still be productive in my business, so I use their energy up.
I think of it like a gas tank. When I am creating my schedule and I know I am going to be the primary caretaker of the kids, I plan to use their energy. I add activities that enable them to exert their energy, then when they are ‘woe out’, I plan to do my work. Some good activities I use to use my children’s energies are riding bikes, exploring at the park, walking, running, competition, and learning activities that require a lot of brain exertion. Once they are finished with a block of high exertion activities, they just want rest. When they are resting, I am fulfilling my call.
Plan, plan, and plan
Plan nap times and use the children’s down time as your work time. Plan times where your older children are occupying the younger children. Find events in the community where you need to be present, but maybe they have wifi, great networking opportunities, or services that can be helpful for you to execute your work.
Check out this amazing working mom who obviously exercises the power of planning:
Sometimes, we have babies on our laps while handling business on our computers. We juggle emotional separations when we do daycare drop-offs to answer our God-given calls. Sometimes, we have to stop working our their peak productive times to tend to our kids. We clean up poop, throw up, soiled and stained clothes, then within minutes, we are shooting videos and having sophisticated conversations in the marketplace.
Our endeavors don’t always go smoothly. Sometimes, we have embarrassing situations like getting pee’d on before a business meeting or going in public with our shirts inside out, but for the most part, we use our systems to minimize embarrassing occurrences.
We are resilient. The plight of the businesswoman with a business and young children is not easy, but it is being done, and it is so rewarding!
Automate Your Reminders
I don’t know where I would be without my Google Calendar. I have notifications for everything. Things like “personal time”. “nap time”, client appointments, and pending blog posts are on my calendar. I don’t know a businesswoman who juggles a business and young kids that doesn’t have a system where they organize their time and place accountability measures (like Google calendar) for reminders.
Having a business and young kids is a lot of responsibility. I commend every businesswoman or businessman that does it. If you want to start or run a business and you have young kids, I am a living testament that it can be done. You don’t have to be the most organized, the most outspoken, or the mom of perfection. You simply need systems.
If you’re a mom with young kids and you know something that helped you juggle you’re business and young kids, please leave your advice in the comments. What did I leave out? What advice can you leave that would augment what I’m currently doing? Pour it all out below and share this article with your friends who may be wondering, “How do moms balance having a business and young kids?”.
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