Working from home can be a real challenge. It takes particular finesse to balance your online business and motherhood. I understand, I genuinely do. The past six months of blogging and running an online store have been a challenge. Add in the fact that I am a type A overachiever and you have a recipe for a mess.
Why I am here and who I am:
Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society, a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!
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Have you been watching Tidying up? Confession: I have succumbed to peer pressure and watched our friend Maria Kondo as well. If you are interested in tidying up than let's begin by tidying up your time. Girl, kneel, close your eyes, and acknowledge the fact that your family is a gift. Greet your home (which is also your business) and let's get intentional. Okay, we're ready! The real fact of the matter is that my family is my priority, whether I am working outside the home, inside the house, or busy doing God knows what. This blog is supposed to be complementing my family and not taking away from them. I am COMMITTED to changing this up and making it right. If you are interested in mastering the art of balancing your online business and mom life with me, then check out what I have learned lately.
Time management is the place to start
Without a precise schedule, you will spin your wheels and find yourself disappointed in every aspect of your life. That's no good! Not at all! It's all about our time and how we spend it. You can't split yourself between the online business and your family. It doesn't work that way. You need to manage your time effectively so that you can be completely present during “work hours” and equally so during family time. Girl, this is gonna sting. Brace yourself. You have to put down the cell phone during family time. ‘No phone zone‘ is my favorite term this year. Your family needs a hundred percent of your attention to feel important. This is a golden rule for all parents, not just mompreneurs. Listen, sister, I am preaching to the choir. I have sucked at this since we launched our blog. Add in the fact that our blog has taken off so quickly, and we have ourselves a recipe for disaster. You know it's pathetic when your toddler says, mommy are you going to be delivering babies or blogging on the laptop all day.
Because you know I'm all about that planning, ‘Bout that planning, no trouble ??
Begin by taking a planning day. Ask your spouse to watch the kids and hide for a few hours. Better yet, head to a coffee shop and spread out. (Do not sit and people stare, this is getting down to business time!) Layout a year at a glance calendar and quickly sketch out your vision for this year. Next, narrow that down to the monthly view and schedule your months. You guessed it, now plan your week. This is super important in planning out your day to day goals. You need to see the week as a whole. Within the week is your daily schedule and this is where the magic happens. (I've included a free daily schedule sheet that you can print out and be intentional with your time) Your weekly and daily schedule should both include work plans, family plans, and personal time. We just launched our planners this week! We are super excited about the versatility of each set. We have a core planner, a blogger planner, and pregnancy planner! Now let's talk about what should be included in balancing your business and mom life.
Lean in and listen up, blogger, business owner, Maker, DIy'er, Etsy Shop owner or whatever you are doing online. You need quality time in your life. Do not get sucked into believing that you can not stop working. You must walk away. Close the laptop, lay down the phone and disconnect for purposeful time with your family and friends.
Quality time with Your Family/Friends
You must schedule time with your loved ones. Purpose to be present with your spouse when he comes home from work. I know that it is easy to stay focused on your business, especially if you are in the middle of a project, but stop and greet your spouse. Your kids need your attention. All of it! You need to schedule this time, just like you plan a dentist appointment. What good is a successful blog if we burn the ties that bind us to our children? They are only little once. When it comes to time with your children, be completely present. Get down on the floor and play with them. Give her/him your complete attention. Be intentional not to waste the time God has given you to feed their little souls positively. Nurture them and love on them. The blog/business will wait.
Personal Time Sparks Joy
Personal time sparks joy, and a joyful mom sparks positive change. No one has time for an unhappy mom. It's life draining. You have permission to take time for Y O U! Do you spend time alone, doing your own thing or are you continually caring for others? I am fortunate that I have built in babysitters, so I get the struggle when your kids are all little. However, you need to allocate funds for a babysitter. At the very least, do this once a month.
Plan out Household Chores
Alright, if you have a house cleaner or a chef in your kitchen, then skip this section. For the rest of the moms out there, listen up. Meal planning is a must. Not only does it save you time but boss mom, it protects your wallet and your freaking sanity if you have never meal planned for the month than I challenge you to start this month.
You have Pinterest! No excuses! Seriously, when I practice meal planning, it frees my mind up, and I don't have that 3 pm panic and a quick trip to Publix. Remember when we talked about planning out your month. Ok, jump back to that mindset and plan out your meals. After you have a rough sketch of your monthly meals, then make your grocery list. If possible, buy all the items at one time, and only go to the store for weekly perishables. Another smart idea to save time and your sanity is to make several freezer meals. I spent a season after my husband's accident planning out a month of meals, most of which were freezer meals.
Cleaning the house should also be scheduled.
I want you to plan out a month of housecleaning needs. Next break them down into weekly goals. From there you will make a daily plan. For instance, every Tuesday, you dust. Period. You dust on Tuesday, and that's that. The day before the garbage service comes, you empty and clean all the trash cans. The list goes on, but you guessed it, you control the agenda. It's simple, plan it out so that cleaning or cooking never overwhelms you and steals from the most important goal on your quest to balance online business and mom life. Do you remember what that is? Yes, it's quality time with your people. Our goal here is that you are never chasing your tail. Never!
Pro Mom of 7 Tip: 15 min clean up. This is the time period at the end of the day before dinner. Everyone gets a small bag or basket, set the timer, and everyone runs through the house cleaning up. Small children love this. They feel so accomplished, add in a healthy dose of praises and high fives, and we have a small Marie Kondo moment on our hands.
Forget Multitasking Think ‘Single Tasking'
For an online entrepreneur, multitasking kills quality. You should make a list of your tasks, then number them in order of importance. Start with number one, finish it, move to number two and so on. More often than not, when I don't practice this method, I find myself off on rabbit trails. All of a sudden, I am working on an entirely different project and never finished the first project. Listen, if you come up with a purposeful plan, stick to it. Do not attempt more than one project at a time. No matter what next great idea comes to mind, jot it down in your planner, and go back to complete your current project. Completing a project leads to satisfaction, several unfinished projects lead to frustration, so finish one project at a time. Multitasking will not assist you in finding a balance between your online business and motherhood; it will bring you muti-unfinished business in both areas.
Open For Business
If you haven't set office hours, do so now. You are in charge of your little empire, and you need to treat it like a business and not a hobby. This is so vital to finding ways to balance online business and motherhood successfully.
You (did I say me?)should establish a routine and schedule which includes your office hours. Anna and I had to buckle down on this one recently. We found out it isn't good for business to stop and run to Target or Homegoods during a deadline crunch. I wake up at 5 am and work until 8 am when Greyson wakes up. I make him breakfast and spend some focused time with him. I then work again from 10-1130 while he plays in his playroom or on the floor of my office. We have lunch and spend time together, then I read to him, and he takes a nap from 130-330. I try my best to finish working for the day while he naps. If I don't complete my goals for the day, then I work again after dinner, while my husband spends time with the kids.
Do you have set business hours for your online business? Our First (Unbelievable) Blog Traffic and Income Report
Create a Work Space
I have to admit that I adore my little office. It's my little sanctuary slice of heaven. I'm so fortunate to have a space to dedicate as my office, and I understand that many of you do not. Whether you have a room or a corner or even a basket, you need to have some set up. What about a corner office in your master bedroom? Ikea has several significant items that can be used to organize your small space. You are a boss lady working on balancing your online business and motherhood so treat yourself to a home workspace. The end!
If you can delegate or outsource some of your load than do it! Outsourcing is another critical factor in balancing online business and motherhood. Outsourcing some of the smaller but time-consuming items on your lists can tremendously bless you. Finding business tasks that can be outsourced, which saves you an extraordinary amount of time, is downright ingenious. If you do not understand something or are not gifted in a particular area, it may take you several hours to complete. However, you can find another person who could finish the task in 1/3 of the time; this is a cost-effective choice. There are several sites that you can hire a freelancer. However, my favorite is Fivver. Your time could be spent creating content or products or furthering your business education which will bring in revenue and not be a waste of your efforts. If you choose to outsource and focus your efforts in alignment with your skills, then you will have more time with your family. Let's build our empire both in our online businesses and in the hearts of our families!
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