As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on across the United States, many people are still considering working from home, or starting their own business, to social distance and keep themselves and their families safe.
While I started my own career in vending years before we even knew there would be such an epidemic, I’m grateful that I did because while working a standard job has improved in their safety procedures during this crisis, it’s still nice to be able to work from home where you know you’re safe.
That being said, as a mom and entrepreneur (momtrepreneur for short), it can be a lot to juggle! Managing my vending operation while raising my baby daughter, Lake, can have its ups and downs, but I am always eager to tackle the challenge and ensure that I’m providing for her by running my business as smoothly as possible.
If you’re a mom and you’re thinking about leaving the corporate world to pursue your own business, I want to encourage you that you can absolutely do it! No matter the time or place – if you want to start a business, don’t let being a mom hold you back. I promise there are ways to give your business and your child the attention they deserve so you can start your career and flourish as a momtrepreneur!
Step 1: Plan, plan, plan.
Being the wonderful mom that you are, you know that it takes incredible patience and organization skills to raise and provide for your children and household, let alone yourself. We have to get creative in our efforts to accomplish our goals because we must consider how we divvy up that time between us and our family.
I’ve always been a scheduler and I’ve learned to become even more flexible because Lake’s schedule changes quickly. As she continues to grow and need different things from month to month, even week to week, I make the time to plan around her needs. This could look different from mama to mama because there are two variables: 1) the type of business you want to start and 2) the age of your child(ren).
Since I run a vending machine operation, my business is split between spending time in my home office and organizing trips to each vending location to fill the machines, repair or collect funds. Lake is still a baby so I can enjoy bringing her along when I can as I run errands for the business and the household. This allows me to spend time with her and get work done (it really is the best of both worlds!).
For you this could look different. Make some time in the beginning of each week (preferably a Sunday or Monday morning) to plan your weekly tasks and assignments. This way you can fit in what activities can include your child and or not. Working from home allows you full control over your schedule, which means you can spend as much time with your family as your business allows.
Step 2: Divide and conquer.
Once you have a schedule that works for you (and trust, this will change as your business and your little one grows), put into practice by implementing what tasks can be done with your child(ren). If you’re on a sales call or working from your laptop, your kids can be with you if your clients know you’re a full-time mom just as you are their business consultant!
For me, some things get easier as Lake gets older, while other things become more difficult. When she was younger, she was less mobile and slept a lot, so it was easier to keep her home and get work done, but harder to take her out and about. For example, she needed to eat a lot or I didn’t want to disturb her nap time. Now that she’s a little older, it’s harder to work from home while she’s here because she doesn’t nap as long, and she is more mobile and curious so I have to pay more attention. On the flip side, it is easy to bring her along while running errands because I don’t have to worry about disturbing her nap or breastfeeding while out of the house.
I’ve had to find ways to work while spending time with Lake. I would play business Youtube videos in the background while feeding her. I’d teach on my live streams while she’s nursing. I would find toys to keep her interest while I do a consultation with a client, or spend time answering questions in my Facebook group.
Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to achieve everything you have on your list, but I promise if you continue to strategize your time, you can conquer your goals!
Step 3: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
The biggest roadblock hindering moms from starting their own business is the fear of the unknown. A corporate job is standard and familiar. We know what we’re getting into when we wake up to face the day, and we know how much to expect on our paychecks. But running a business can be unpredictable. It can throw you through loops and test your strength and patience. But if you want it badly enough, I say just do it, mama!
There’s never a perfect or easier or better time to start. One of my favorite quotes to motivate me is by Judge Lynn Toler: “If I waited until I had all my ducks in a row, I’d never get across the street. Sometimes you just have to gather up what you’ve got and make a run for it.”
If you want to make your career and earn income your way, just start and I promise you’ll find the time to get things done. Maybe that means starting your day early before the kids wake up, or staying up late once they’ve gone to bed.
If you have someone who is willing to watch the baby, or if you can/want to take your child daycare, do it! Everyday, a few times a week, a few hours a day, whatever! You need to make the time for yourself and your business to be happy.
While the curve is never ending, you’ve adapted to the changes of becoming a mom so you can do this, too! It’s true that when running a business, as soon as you get used to things being a certain way, they can change and you have to quickly learn to adjust. It will take time because nothing happens overnight. Just keep going even if you aren’t seeing the results you want yet.
Your kids will be proud of you no matter what. You should be proud of yourself for even trying!