Running a business is hard work. So is being a mom. Finding the balance to do both can be more challenging than conquering colic. While none of us moms have it down to a science, here are some tips to help you transform into a #momboss extraordinaire.
Transition to motherhood first
As any woman who becomes a mom for the first time can tell you, WTF right? The life that you’ve known is suddenly upended and your world is forever re-prioritized around this little life. It’s thrilling, emotional, amazing, draining and scary all at the same time; especially when it’s your first child. If you’re a mom and a business owner (or aspire to become one), the first thing to do is let yourself become immersed in motherhood. Babies can be tough. Each one is different and there is no magic trick that will get them to sleep more and cry less. So give yourself a break and take the time to get to know your child. Although babies can also be unpredictable, they do settle into little routines. Find a bit of a groove with your little one before you start tacking on or reinstituting all of the responsibilities of your business life.
Alert your support system and then access your allies
I don’t care how tough or savvy you think you are—no one can go it alone. Motherhood is one challenging endeavor. Before you get going with your business, if you have a partner or spouse, you need to talk about the potential strain on your relationship, your finances, and your emotional state. If you have entered into motherhood solo, consider telling friends and family or even find a mommy group you can share with. Let people know you will need their help and support, whether it’s for bouncing ideas off them or just venting about the struggle here and there. Tell those around you what you’re doing and what you might need (should they just listen? offer advice? etc.) You can and should be direct about this. You can also access your circle to see if they can offer any help. Your friend who’s a graphic artist might be able to help you with a website. Your friend who is a hairdresser might be able to send you some referrals. All of these small acts can help make the transition a bit less stressful.
Get good at setting a schedule… for everything
The best business people cannot fly by the seat of their pants. If you are not great at keeping organized, well, you need to get there. It’s one time where being a little more OCD can be a good thing. You may have heard that it’s best to set up a routine as if you’re going into a corporate job anyway, and I have certainly found that to be true. Get up, shower, and get dressed like it’s any regular work day and it will put you in the right mindset to stay focused on your business, especially if you’re working from home. The goal obviously is that whatever business you are in will see success and you will wind up busy. If you are using that calendar already, you’ll stay organized and on top of things. Just as important as setting regular work hours, you need to block out regular time for the 3 F’s: Family, Friends, and Fun times! Make these things constants that you cannot reschedule and you will keep a positive balance and have the best of all worlds.
Pre-accept the ups and downs
You already know that there will be growing pains. Breathe. Accept it ahead of time and know that even if things start smoothly, tough times can and will arise, and you already know you will get through it. For most of us, becoming a mompreneur means you have lost your security blanket. Maybe there is no more weekly paycheck or your industry has periods that are insanely busy then terribly slow; that’s where tips like this will help you find balance and peace of mind.
Unapologetically go for it
As with anything that can have a high reward, you have to be all in. You can’t know the reward unless you give it your all. That’s why I say to take no prisoners, screw the non-believers, don’t be afraid to not take some of the advice you’re given (especially when it’s unsolicited), and go for it.
Melissa Oddo lives in Connecticut with her husband, Jeff, and her daughter, Olivia. She is a self-proclaimed "Jane-Of-All-Trades" who enjoys her professional career as a Lifestyle Consultant. When she isn't managing her business, she enjoys being outdoors, cooking, meeting new people, and a good Moscow Mule.