What Nobody Tells You About Being A Mompreneur
Becoming a small business owner is hard stuff… throw in a kid or two on your hip and the challenge escalates quickly. I’ve been at this mompreneur thing now for a little over a year and have encountered a lot of challenging and rewarding seasons throughout my business. So, I decided it was about time that I shed a layer of skin and show a vulnerable side of my business and my heart in hopes that it would encourage at least one other momma who is struggling in this season. Here is a little bit about what I have learned and what nobody told me about becoming a mompreneur.
You will find yourself in a cycle of guilt. Guilt that you are spending too much time on your business and not enough attention on your kids. Guilt that you took that extra hour at the park instead of the inbox. Guilt that you aren’t contributing enough financially. Guilt that your child watches too much television so that you can get through your daily workload. Guilt that they are eating Pop-tarts again for the 4th morning in a row and that you can’t remember the last vegetable they ate. Guilt that your house is starting to be overrun by dirty laundry and you have to pull out swimsuit bottoms as backup underwear (speaking for a friend…). Guilt that your spouse has to work all day and come home to another freezer meal or a night of fending for yourself. Guilt when your business succeeds but your home life is suffering, and guilt when your family is thriving but your business is just hanging on by a thread.
You will feel lonely. In this season of business calls and baby coos you may find yourself feeling alone. It is difficult enough to run a successful business and keep the kids alive, much less feed your social life. Sure you have social media to stay connected, but you are bombarded with the perfect images with white backgrounds and white sheets (and you laugh/cry because nothing in your house has ever stayed white for more than 10 seconds). You have the best intentions in your friendships but sometimes play-dates are really just so that you can take an hour away from being tugged at and actually finish a cup of coffee while it is hot (the first time) and don’t really do much for your emotional and mental health.
You will be exhausted… I mean so exhausted. Remember when you brought that sweet bundle of baby wrinkles home from the hospital and they still smelt new? Remember those nights that felt that they would never end, where you found yourself up every 2 hours either tending to the crying baby or wondering why the baby wasn’t crying? Flash forward to being a mompreneur- even when the kids sleep through the night you can’t because you can’t turn your mind off of to-do lists and a plan of attack for the next day. 10pm seems to be the best time to set long-term business goals and financial decisions, respond to the emails on your phone hoping that the light won’t wake up your snoring husband. You will be exhausted.
Your priorities will change. What once seemed like the most important things to you will seem somewhat insignificant. You will learn quickly that color coordinated to-do lists are overrated and that sometimes the best to-do lists are written on the back on your grocery receipt or a chick-fil a bag. Sorting laundry… HA… Portion sizes and food groups… what’s the point.
You won’t be able to live up to your own standards and expectations. When I started my business I just left a job that I loved but that didn’t allow me to love my family well because it prevented me from raising our son. Fast forward a year later and some days I feel like I am back to square one. In my mind I could do it all. I could love my family well, tend to my business well, feed my family well, feed myself spiritually well, all while rocking a perfect manicure and curled hair and sitting in my Joanna Gaines inspired living room with the whitest of white couches.
You will rely on your spouse more. I hate asking for help. I am a strong, independent woman and I don’t need no man to help get the job done. Relying on my husband’s help more was and is still somewhat embarrassing. Asking for help is SO hard for me, even if it is just something as small as moving the car seat from one vehicle to the other or taking the trash to the curb, BUT I need to do it for my own sanity and to prevent myself for becoming bitter at him when he doesn’t pick up on my hints that I am slowly dying inside.
BUT luckily, through all of these struggles I have discovered a few saving graces in my sanity and my business.
Set a daily schedule. This may seem silly to most, but setting a schedule in order of priority will help alleviate the stress when things don’t go quite as planned. I try my best to set a schedule each day in increments that allow me to take breaks and enjoy time with my son. Just like when I was in college and would give myself study break rewards with an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and a bar of dark chocolate, I reward my to-do task success with 30 minutes of Jude snuggles or running in the yard (or if I’ve REALLY knocked it out of the park, a Target run).
Connect and Network with other Mamas- It is SO important in this journey to not feel like you are doing it all alone. Schedule play-dates and mom nights out if nothing else than for a little relief in your sanity.
Understand that “Mama-Time” is non-negotiable. Don’t feel guilty in asking your husband to watch the kids for a few hours so you can go sit in a coffee shop and people watch or run to Walmart without a fussy toddler. You deserve a little time for self help and frankly, you need it to remain sane for your family and your clients you are serving.
Lower your expectations and then lower them again
Don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help!
Understand that “doing it all” is impossible!
I believe in you momma. We can get through this together.