2-year-old down for a nap, 5 year old settled in for quiet time in his room. Time for mompreneur to work.
5-year-old: “Mom, I need a snack.”
Snack delivered, back to work. Open draft of next blog post.
5-year-old: “Mom, can I wake up yet??”
Bribed 5 year old with m&ms to stay in bed. Turn on Facebook. Post from fellow entrepreneur, “Hey Y’all! Just launched my new course! Check it out!”
Think: “hurmph…I haven’t launched my new course yet…”
5-year-old: “Mom, where are my new transformers??”
Transformer located. Sit back down. Check email. First email: Read subject line “How I hit 6 figures in my first 10 months of business.” Double hurmph. Second email: “Preschool needs more donations for spring auction..can you do it?”
10 emails sent to local business soliciting donations. Reopen draft of blog post.
5-year-old: “Mom, can we do a puzzle??”
sigh and smile at the same time, shut computer: “sure”
Pirate puzzle complete. Cartoon on. Computer reopened. Daughter wakes up from nap…
This was my actual day a few days ago. Such is the life of a mompreneur trying to balance being home with kids and running a business at the same time.
I belong to a large online networking group of entrepreneurs, and when I joined the group last year, I got pretty overwhelmed pretty quick. People seemed to be racking up accomplishments and successes while I racked up dirty diapers.
I felt I had a clear vision, I am a hard worker and great at time management, but I also had 2 (adorable) kids under the age of 5 and limited childcare each week. I felt like the entrepreneur train was passing me by and while I ran to try to keep up, my kids were watching too much tv and eating frozen chicken nuggets for a few too many meals (but hey, they were the organic kind!)
No matter if you are a mompreneur or not, it is easy to get a case of “comparitis”. It is easy to think someone else is doing better than you, someone else has it figured out or someone else is making better progress than you. (Like that perfectly sculpted mom in her Lulu’s leaving the gym…she has it figured out, right?)
I want to tell you that we ALL struggle with something. Here are my top tips (that I tell myself over and over again) for getting over my own case of comparitis.
Put Blinders On
In this day and age of instant access and status updates, we all know what everyone else is doing. Whether it is a business success or fabulous vacation photos, we can doubt our own progress when we are confronted with other’s every time we turn on our phones.
If you are having a day where you are not feeling successful or accomplished, take a social media break. Turn off Facebook, or don’t open the latest email newsletter. Focus on your progress. Take a few minutes to physically write down a big personal accomplishment (or a little one!)
Remind yourself that we all have our own struggles and successes and that social media is not an accurate picture of someone else’s life.
Ask For Help
Entrepreneurship is a unique world. Not everyone understands it. Even our biggest supporters in life might not totally understand what we’re doing on the computer after the kids go to bed or why its hard to throw a load of laundry in when we are ‘working from home.’ Entrepreneurship by definition seems to mean we have to go at it alone. But you don’t. Ask for help.
Those who support us, want to help, they sometimes just don’t know what we need. Your partner might never say, “gee, hon, you probably have to finish your sales page copy for your launch next week, why don’t I take the kids.” BUT, if you ask for help, he or she will probably head off to the park with the kids to let you get your work done. And that mom down the street? She would be more than happy to swap a playdate with you if you ask. Remember, it takes a village to raise a mom too.
Put Down Your Work
As a mompreneur, I think it is really important for my children to see me working on something that is important to me. My business is also fulfilling a personal dream and me working at it is a life skill I want my kids to see and understand.
But sometimes, I find myself sneaking off during cartoons to write one more email or checking Social Media from my phone at the park. I have to remind myself that my work will get done. I know I am on the right path, I might just take a little longer to get there than those around me.
Like in my scenario above, sometimes a pirate puzzle trumps the next blog post. And sometimes the kids watch an extra cartoon so I can get a little work done. Both are ok.
Find a Community and a Partner
A few weeks in, I reached out to my online entrepreneur community and asked if there were any other moms (specifically of young children) that would like to start a smaller group. We instantly had a band of like-minded moms who were all so thankful to have a place to ‘hang out’ where everyone was in a more similar place. Posts in our Facebook group range from seeking advice on website optimization to seeking advice on infant sleep. It is so reassuring to know there are others out there frantically trying to rack up work hours in the wee hours of the morning or racing against the nap clock.
Although I have quite a few ‘working mom’ friends, I realized I didn’t have any ‘mompreneur friends’. Through my new mompreneur group I met an accountability partner whom quickly became one of my best friends (shout out to Beryl Young!) She and I swap blog posts to edit, text each other when the kids aren’t napping and talk each other off entrepreneurial ledges on a fairly regular basis.
So whether you are struggling to get a handle on entrepreneurship, or fit in your own workouts into your busy mom schedule or put healthy food on the table 3 times a day. I am here to tell you: You are not alone. There is a whole community of moms out there that know what you are going thought and want to be part of your village.
So next time you are up at 5am trying to fulfill your dreams…text me. I am too.