Our guest post today is from Irish Coach Mairéad Kelly, tackling ‘head-on’ the current challenges felt by many working mothers who are trying to juggle work, home and motherhood. Mairéad offers an alternative approach to grow your business with the right mindset and systems in place, as a working mother. Guys, this is an important one for you too…
There are currently more mums setting up in business than ten years ago. I deal with quite a number of them every year and one thing they all have in common is that feeling that they are ‘not quite good enough‘.
A working mum either feels a failure as a mother, a home-runner, or a business owner. When I drill down with her, there is always an issue with how she feels about her role in each of these positions, and usually a lack of systems that she hadn’t considered implementing. To grow your business, you need the right systems in place, and the right mindset to back that up.
In this post I’ll be dealing with each of these issues.
Home Running Systems
A well run home leads to happier home life. Managing a well-run home can often seem impossible when there are small children on the scene, a business to run, and the feeling that you have to do it all yourself.
Most of the mum business owners I know fall into the trap of thinking that they have to do all the housework themselves, and that it also has to be done to perfection every time. Needless to say this leads to a feeling of failure.
To counteract this:
- Do up a cleaning planner, assign days for essential tasks
- Delegating easy tasks to able bodied children and partner and don’t go back to correct it
- Create a meal planner at least a week in advance, if possible for the month
- Bulk cook meals in a single day for a week, fortnight or month and freeze them.
- Have an ongoing shopping list where you can see it so that shopping is done only when necessary
Trying to get a business to grow on a limited time frame while harbouring high expectations is not only unrealistic, it is a recipe for disaster. All too often mum business owners live this type of scenario.
Know exactly what time you have to dedicate to your business by keeping track of your time usage from the time you get up to the time you go to bed. It will take a couple of weeks to get a real idea of where your free time is.
Here are the steps for your business:
- Record everything you do throughout the day
- Break it down into three sections; work, family and home
- Make a list of the essential things you need to do for the following week on your business
- Limit that list to no more than five things per day
- Develop a reward system for completed task and follow through with it
A regular complaint I hear from mum business owners is that they feel guilty about not spending enough time with their children.
In today’s society women have a lot more freedom than our mothers did. Yet with that freedom comes a lot more responsibility.
Today’s mother often feels a guilty failure because she is not there for her children at times. This is often a self-inflicted guilt, buying into the myth that a mother has to be all things to everyone. The only thing that will help with this is a change of mindset.
Think back to when you were small and your mother was looking after the home and raising you and your brothers and sisters. There were times when you would have demanded her undivided attention and she was too busy to give it to you.
Guilt is a luxury that you can’t afford to have if you want to grow a business, run a happy home and be able to give your children the attention they deserve when you are not working.
To get this balance right you need to:
- Get the home running systems up and running
- Get the business systems up and running
- This will allow you to concentrate on work when working
- Switch off work when not working
- Spend quality time with your children without worrying about work
Once you get the home running systems and the business systems organised and working, you will find that you can manage your time better. This allows you to switch off when you finish work so that the time you spend with your children is devoted to them and is quality time.
What systems have you implemented to make your business and home life easier?