Sometimes we just need to know that we aren’t alone in our struggles as a mompreneur. I recently had the opportunity to ask 10 moms to share their struggles in running a business while being home with their kids.
Whether you are just starting your work from home career or you’ve been a WAHM for a long time, I hope these moms’ stories encourage you that you aren’t the only one who finds some days hard!
1. Finding a Routine
Since I didn’t have children when I first started my blog, things were pretty easy and I got into a routine quickly. Once we brought our first child home in 2012, I already had an established routine and had to figure out how to work it around my baby’s schedule. Once we brought more children into our home, the challenge only multiplied.
– Merissa Alink, Little House Living, blogger and missionary and mom of 3 kids – ages 6, 4, and 1
2. Managing Time
My biggest challenge was time. Before I had kids I was able to get my work done in the office and then clean, cook and socialize after hours. Once I had kids and decided to work from home things got a bit more complicated. While I was able to flex my time during the day to spend time with the kids, my days got longer and my nights shorter. I had to get organized quickly and I used time blocking to accomplish it.
My phones are forward to voicemail where I have a message indicating a two hour window that I return calls. This allowed my clients to know I would call them back at a certain time range and didn’t make me scramble to get the kids quiet/fed/play/sleep so I could take a call. I allow myself one day a week to not work at all and just spend time with my kids – this allows me the mental break I need to get through the rest of the week. I also use online scheduling that is synced to my work and personal calendar so I can stay on track of my schedule.
– Katie Charleston, Katie Charleston Law, A Professional Corporation, lawyer and mom of 3 kids – ages 4, 2 and 3 months
3. Prioritizing Business
Time. I want to put my kids/family first while also prioritizing my ministry/business. That is hard with three little ones needing you 24/7. I’ve learned to do better with having routines with our day.
During this season of life, waking up extra early to work is just not possible, so I try my best to carve out time in the afternoon. They have quiet time for around 2 hours and then most days watch a show afterward. I used to feel bad about taking that time for me, but I have since ditched the guilt.
– Liz Millay, Steadfast Family, author and blogger and mom to 3 kids – ages 6, 3, and 11 months
4. Balancing Family & Business
My biggest challenge is (and probably always will be) balancing time spent on my business with time spent with my children. I believe that I came to a unique solution in really integrating the two aspects of my life. It took some time, but I have acclimated my kids to allowing me to have an “open door” work environment. I keep the door open, and they are allowed to come in/out of the office most of the day. I only close the door when I absolutely need silence.
I have found age-appropriate ways to involve my kids in my business – everything from helping me take the trash out, to organizing paperwork, and recording segments for my podcast. That being said, every day is a new challenge, and it’s never going to be in perfect “balance,” so I have also benefitted from some mindset shifts surrounding how I measure success as a mom and as a business owner. I credit my friends, colleagues, mentors, and podcast guests for helping me with these mindset shifts. I truly believe in the importance of having a strong support network!
– Meg Brunson, EIEIO Marketing & the FamilyPreneur Podcast, Marketing Mama Raising KidPreneurs! and mom of 4 daughters – ages 10, 7, 4 and 3
5. Finding Enough Hours in the Day
My biggest challenge when starting my business was trying to find enough hours in the day to streamline and strategize. I subcontracted for other virtual bookkeeping businesses to see how they operated. I took bits and pieces from all over and integrated them into my virtual bookkeeping business, and I took full advantage of nap time, working after bedtime till 1-2 am, & having the helpful support of my husband who would take her off my hands for a little so I could work
– Amanda Altman, Magnolia Virtual Solutions, virtual bookkeeper and mom of 1 daughter – age 3
6. Adapting to Different Life Seasons
Prior to becoming a mom, I had ample uninterrupted time to get my work done. That certainly changed once I gave birth and got back into the swing of things. I found it a lot easier to get my tasks done when he was younger. I had some challenges with nursing in the beginning, so most of my time was focused on getting that under control. As a result, my business suffered tremendously because all my attention was directed to being a mom.
As he got older, and I had him on a nap/sleep schedule, I was able to work around that. However, now that we are in the busy toddler phase, it is becoming a challenge again but since my mind frame is different. I am able to maximize on my time and enlist the help of my husband as much as possible to get my work done.
– Shaw Bernard, STRUT Model & Talent Agency, modeling agency owner and mom of 1 child – age 21 months
7. Fighting Mom Guilt
GUILT – When you have children, no matter what you do you feel guilty if you aren’t spending time with them. I think all parents feel this way to a degree. For me, it was being around them, having to do some work and not giving them my full attention. Businesses take a lot of work and I see it as my 3rd child, so now I schedule time for each of them and make sure that I limit the amount of time I have to work around my kids. It helps that my son is now in school and my daughter is so little. She’s easily pleased and sometimes sits on my lap and helps me type.
– Charlotte Ratcliffe, Silhouette Creatives, copywriter and mom of 2 kids – ages 6 and 11 months
8. Finding Time to Sleep
Finding time to sleep! Between having a newborn, working and making sure everything was kept in order and running smoothly, it was tough at first. But I figured it out. I made a task list for every day and a goal list for the week. I prioritized what absolutely must get done and then goals I’d like to achieve. I think being extremely organized helped. I did sleep when baby slept sometimes, but then also utilized those times as well to get work done.
– Julie Farrell, Odd Lot Paperie, online stationery shop owner and mom of 2 – ages 9 and 7
9. Staying Consistent
When I went full-time in my business, I still had my kids at home with me – one was still a baby and the other was 1 year old. I struggled with consistency, as anyone with a baby knows it is hard to have a strict routine with a baby. The way I overcame it was not to put too much pressure on myself, as I knew they would get older and things would inevitably get easier when I could have set routines and work times set out.
– Tiffany Charters, Tiffany Charters – The Ambitious Mum’s Coach, business coach to ambitious mums and mom of 2 kids – ages 4 and 3
10. Don’t Give Up
-Susan Whitehead, Susan Whitehead Coaching, Christian life coach and mom to 6 kids – ages 19, 17, 15, 12, 9, & 4