Running a business and raising kids at the same time is not an easy task, but it's a challenge I embraced as an entrepreneur and mother of three. I can't say I have all the answers, but I am proud of the progress I've made so far.
When I started my startup, Libréa, I knew I wanted a job with a positive impact and the flexibility to pick up my kids from school. But what I didn't anticipate was how much I would love my work and how difficult it would be to stop thinking about it.
The challenge of finding a balance between work and family life.
When you are an entrepreneur, YES you are flexible. The downside is that when you're not working, nothing happens. Few startups start with other employees than the founders, because of the lack of cash flow! The other side of the coin is that you love what you do, you carry your mission so much, that it becomes a heartbreak to stop. In short, you work continuously, evenings and weekends included, no real holidays when you can close your phone and forget your passwords.
At times, it's been a juggling act between managing my frustrations of not scaling my business fast enough and being present with my kids when they need me. But through trial and error, over time, I've discovered tools and strategies that have helped me manage my time and delegate tasks. And I've learned that taking care of myself, both mentally and physically, is essential for being the best mom and entrepreneur I can be.
Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Busy Mompreneurs
Here are some strategies that have helped me stay sane and successful:
- Prioritize your time: Being an entrepreneur and a mom means there are always a million things to do, but not all tasks are created equal. Prioritize your time by focusing on the most important and urgent tasks first. My tips: I delegate where possible: I don’t iron everything 😂 My kids can skip a bath when I'm too far off schedule. I have someone to help me fold laundry. I do my grocery shopping online once a week via the Bringo app.
- Schedule time for self-care: Running a business and taking care of kids can be exhausting, so it's essential to make time for yourself to keep the long run. Schedule regular breaks, exercise, or hobbies that you enjoy to help you recharge and stay motivated. I booked since September a weekly tennis hour, I rush there and then but finally for 1 hour I take a mental break 😀. I make myself a big carafe of tea in the morning, which sits next to my computer, to make sure I stay hydrated!
- Set boundaries: It is tempting to work all the time, but it's important to set boundaries between work and family time. Establish clear work hours and communicate them to your peers. My partners know I will most probably not answer between 4 and 8pm. I also set a dedicated space at home to work, which helped me and my kids a lot to understand when I do work and when I am free.
- Get organized: Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and apps to help you stay on top of everything and avoid getting overwhelmed. I am a big fan of NOTION application! We also take at least 1 day every 3 months with my co-founder to go in a cool co-working space area and review our business plans, brainstorm and re-align priorities.
- Don't be too hard on yourself: You are wonderful! Being a mom and an entrepreneur is tough, and there will be times when you feel like you're failing at both. Consider meditation and yoga to self-reconnect. Hug yourself ❤️
- Last but not least, my secret ingredient to an energized startup: Kindness. Being kind and understanding towards my business partner has been essential. We've always been transparent about our constraints and priorities, which has helped us to navigate challenges and keep our goals aligned. My partner had her whole family sick for a full week and we're re-prioritizing, I know her spirits are down and I care. That's life! One day at a time.
Running a startup is never easy, and the fact that mine is still thriving is something I am incredibly proud of. Yes, there are moments when I feel overwhelmed and wonder if I'm doing enough for my family and business. But I remind myself that I'm doing the best I can, and that's all that matters.
Share in comments your tips and where you still struggle!
Being a boss mom is not for the faint of heart, but it's a journey that's worth taking.