Sharing a title of Entrepreneur and Mother is difficult to say the very least, and there definitely isn’t a secret ingredient to make it work. I was reading an article stating that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 50% of all new businesses survive 5 years or more. So throw being a good mother in that mix. If only half businesses make it through, that means half of them fail. Starting a start-up company is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Motherhood is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. So what happens when you choose not one, but two careers doing the toughest jobs there are?
My friend juggles the careers of being an entrepreneur and a mother of 2, soon-to-be 3, young children. She is a very talented photographer just starting her business in small town Montrose, Colorado. She is also young, which makes life a little more challenging also. She reached out to me the other day and asked how I juggled the roles of being a good mother and succeeding at Entrepreneurship. You see, we are both stay-at-home mothers and we work out of our home office. On top of that, I volunteered the role of Teacher when I threw in homeschooling my 6 year old into the mix. So… how can one do it? That, is the million dollar question right there.
I think the first thing we can agree on is when we take on the Mompreneur career, we have officially accepted we won’t juggle everything perfectly. So my answer to how do I do it is simply, “I don’t,”. I feel that is the most productive way to accomplish a day’s work. To be a good mother, it means you sometimes have to be a bad business owner. And vise versa. To be a good business owner, you sometimes have to be a bad mother. This being said, I feel you need to make up your mind of what you will prioritize. For me, it’s my kids over my job. This is tough, because I am a driven woman. I have to peel myself away from a project to do my job as a mother. This is very hard for me, but I can be very disciplined.
I am very blessed, and I work alongside my husband. We always schedule around each other’s calendars. So when I need to focus on work, my husband helps out with the kids. This can be very difficult at times, though, because we have gotten to the point where we are both so busy, it’s tough working around each other’s schedules. The more you work through it, the better you get. It’s not always stressful, and it’s not always easy.
I know us mom’s are always full of guilt. When we’re working, we feel we should be with our kids. When we’re with our kids, we feel we should be working.
Which brings me to my next suggestion. Don’t Stress Out. Your kids won’t be young forever, and it gets easier the older they get. My kids are currently 6 and almost 4, and they get along pretty well most days. They love to play in the yard and they can do so for hours in the summertime. Obviously, my husband and I check on them throughout the time they are out there, but for the most part, it’s convenient having them old enough to entertain themselves and play in the dirt, play with our dog, and ride their bikes. It’s healthy for them to do so, also! My husband and I have learned that taking on the role of raising our children and working for ourselves is a great learning curve for our boys. It teaches them to be considerate when someone is on the phone, so they know to be quiet until we hang up. When we are in a discussion, they are learning not to be rude and interrupt.
My husband will watch the boys while I shoot Home Video Tours and Real Estate Photoshoots, and I’ll watch the boys when my husband meets or consults with clients. Sometimes clients want us both there when they are discussing a new website or social media management, so we will drop the boys off at a friend’s house for a play date. It works out really well!
My husband and I have never been the type of people who were comfortable dropping our kids off at daycare all day or with a babysitter. We would do it when we both worked and we didn’t have any other options, but we weren’t happy about it. We wanted to build our lives so we can raise our kids rather than have someone else raise them. It was a struggle for years.
So my word of advice for all you mothers out there who want to raise your kids, be there for them, and want to be a successful entrepreneur running your own business at the same time, sometimes not doing it is the most productive way of doing it. You’re going to make mistakes, but you’re going to learn day to day what works for your routine and what is really bad for your schedule. Of course something in your life is going to throw a wrench in your spoke, and you’re going to have to play around with what works again. And while you look like you may have it all together on the outside, it’s okay if you’re a wreck on the inside. I have been told I am a person who lands on her feet, and I believe that is you, too! Keep remembering what your priorities are, and your kids won’t be small forever. Your business will always be there, but if you are READY to fight the good fight and be a good mother and build up your business at the same time, then give her hell! And don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t or it’s impossible. Because the truth of it is, you can and it is possible—it’s just going to be tough. So fight through your tears and through the triumphs… and remember your dreams, build your goals, and don’t ever give up.