I used to think being a stay at home mompreneur was a DREAM. But I learned several important lessons quickly on that have shaped the way I operate my business and my home life. Keep reading because I’m diving all the way into each lesson I’ve learned down below.
Manage Your Expectations
A lot of how we view life comes down to our perspective. In the book, ‘The Four Agreements”, author Don Miguel Ruiz talks about how we all live our life based on our own reality. Your expectations on what you hope to get out of anything that you put time into is connected to something deep rooted and personal to you and only you. But the reality is, things don’t always happen according to what we expect.
When I left my full time job I expected the time I now have to put into my business would mean endless creation which would mean my business would be exploding by now. But the reality is, with any new business, you have to put in years of hard work to reap any reward. Owning a business is a long game and you have to be committed and patient.
Shortly after being home, I realized my job as a stay at home mom would be more demanding then any 9-5 I’ve ever had. That meant I had to shift my expectations from thinking that just because I didn’t have to report to an office everyday, I still had responsibilities that come before any of my businesses. And that it’s ok that growth happens at a slower pace because of these responsibilities.
Set Boundaries For Your Business
It’s so important to remember that working from home means the boundaries for almost everything no longer exist. That’s if you don’t establish some quickly on. I think Covid taught us this lesson very well. You have to establish several boundaries which we will talk about in just a moment. But first, I want to talk about establishing boundaries for your business.
As a stay at home mom, your office can sometimes feel like the entire house. Maybe one day you want to work from bed, and the next day your kitchen table. But in order for you and your family to take your business seriously, you have to set up a dedicated space. My office is currently a hot mess with a capital H because I’m planning some reorganization. However, I have established my kitchen table as my dedicated spot everyday. This helps me to also feel like I’m coming back to the same workspace everyday just as I would an office.
Aside from a dedicated workspace, you need to establish your working hours. I have failed at this big time but once the kids were back in school, I made a promise to myself to stick to dedicated business hours. Be sure to let your friends and families know of your working hours so they can respect them too. Trust, me there are so many requests of me throughout the day because people forget that I have responsibilities too. Don’t be afraid to remind them (I’m also working on this).
Create Boundaries For Your Home
As a stay at home mom, it’s so tempting to want to get up and do laundry during the day or do the dishes or get a jump at dinner. But just like establishing business hours, it’s important to establish hours dedicated to running your home. Maybe you can set aside a specific day to get your laundry, grocery shopping or cleaning done. Or, maybe you can set aside specific hours everyday dedicated to just home stuff. Do what works best for you. But PLEASE, avoid throwing that quick load of laundry in the machine in between breaks. The walls of your “business” will quickly start crumbling around you.
And Don’t Forget Setting Boundaries For Yourself
Boundaries… you should be pretty comfortable with that word by now. By definition, a boundary is, ‘a line that marks the limits of an area.” Set limits for yourself and be serious about not crossing them. Everyday, I’m so tempted to turn on the tv while I work to catch up on all my shows. But I made a promise to myself to only turn the television on during my dedicated break/lunch hours.
While you’re working from home, remember to treat it like you would if you were going to an office everyday. This is an area I need a lot of work in. I used to be really good about taking walking breaks at my job. Maybe it was because I would rather do anything besides the work in front of me.
Release the Guilt
Have you ever felt guilty about being a stay at home mom or wife? I surely have. In full transparency, I have often felt that I wasn’t contributing to my home or the workforce. But, in reality, you are the one holding the invisible glue together around not only your family but your business as well. Once you start believing that you are a working mom, although your office looks a bit different, you’ll start to feel a lot less guilty about what you bring to the table.
Hustle Does Not Exist
Can I tell you how much I HATE the word hustle? It insinuates this idea that you need to be on the move non-stop in order to reach a certain goal. As a mom holding my house together and running businesses, hustling is dangerous. It only leads to burnout.
When I hear people say hustle, I often wonder where they’re hustling to. Like seriously? Where are you going sis? I remember catching the DC metro everyday to work and literally hustling to and from the train in crowds of people in order to get to a certain point at a certain time. In your business, there is no need to hustle. There is no time limit on where God is leading you. Make sure to take heathy breaks, have a regular sleep schedule and take care of your mental health. Imagine being so burnt out that you don’t have the mental or physical bandwidth to work on that business that you’re hustling for. Or even worse, you can no longer give to yourself or your family.
Ask for Help
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, asking for help is an indication that you’re mature enough to recognize you can’t do it all. I used to think I had to do everything. Sis, is that you too? I was feeling burnt out and resentful toward EVERYONE. And everyone. And when someone asked if I needed help I quickly shut them down because I felt they wouldn’t do it the way I did.
As a stay at home mompreneur, you have to be willing to ask for help because you are running a business and a full time job… keeping your house together. Don’t be afraid or too stubborn to allow your family to step in. And if you have the means, hire a nanny, cleaning service or whatever else that will give you an extra hand. I rely heavily on grocery services and have a cleaning service to take care of our deep cleaning.
I used to buy planners just because I thought they were pretty. I would get excited for a day or two, “planning” my days out only to toss it away to the planner graveyard a week later. Does this sound like you? Girl, we’ve got to do better! And we will. I recently, like as in this week adopted a new planning system because of my coach Stacy (you’ll hear me mention her several times).
Research and find a system that works for you. That means not just finding a cute planner but finding your planning style. I’ve realized I do so much better when I plan my time in blocks. And I only work on 3-4 goals for the day. I would overwhelm myself with trying to get 20 things done for my business all in one day because I felt my time was limited. “Do all the things now!” That’s what I would tell myself. Unfortunately, “doing all the things now” only leads to not doing the things well.
Home is Your First Ministry
I won’t go into full detail about this because I’ve written about this before. You can catch that article here. But, I will reiterate that your home is your first ministry. Most of us won’t compromise our family for our 9-5 gig. Your business should be no different. This comes back to those boundaries we set. Set a healthy working schedule and stick to it so your family doesn’t feel they are playing second best to your business.
There’s a Season for Everything
We all know that as we go through life, we experience several ebbs and flows. There will be times while your kids are young you may feel like you don’t have time or energy for much outside of being a mom. As they get older and become more and more independent, you’ll notice you may have more time to dedicate to your business. It’s so important to recognize what season you’re in in life so you can adjust your expectations.
I started my design business when Jaxon was a newborn and I was home on maternity leave. Looking back, I know now, that I was in season that required me to build the foundation of my business. I wanted to be able to go out and serve clients, but I just couldn’t. Taking from that experience, I adjust my expectations constantly. During football season when hubby is mostly away, I know that means shifting my expectations because I can’t go full force in my business. I’m needed even more in my home to take care of things. It doesn’t mean that I stop moving forward though. It just means that I have to adjust and be even more intentional about how I spend my time.
This journey has been far from easy. But I want to tell you sis, it’s totally doable. I want us to crush our goals together, all while we still continue to show up for our families. Let me down in the comments if you have any tips to add or if you are struggling in your stay at home mompreneur journey.
Until next time,