As a mom and a CEO of my business, I have received many questions from friends, family, and curious people about how I manage to balance motherhood and keep all the plates spinning in the air at once in my day-to-day life.
I’ve been asked questions like…
How is your business going?
Are you able to get work done?
What is a typical day like for you?
Between naptime and stroller walks, client calls and new projects, my own personal development and lifelong learning, and all of the other tasks and responsibilities on my plate, I don’t always have clear answers to these questions.
My checklist is a living document, that I am constantly updating. That’s really it! It’s a crazy easy concept, but an absolute necessity for anyone trying to balance motherhood and working on your business. A to-do list keeps your mind and your life organized, so you don’t have to spend precious time trying to remember everything you have. Opening a business is time-consuming. Time spent baking is only half the commitment. You’ll need to market your business, take orders, help customers, and do an array of administrative tasks. If you don’t have someone cheering you on, it can be hard. Whether it’s your spouse, a colleague, or business mentor, you need someone in your corner. Listening to my inner voice has never failed me, and I always recommend my clients do the same, whether it's their personal or professional life. If you are ever confused about your business.
What I do know is that my mindset has transformed dramatically since becoming a mom and having our first baby. I’ve learned that YES, it is completely possible to run your own business and be a happy, healthy mom.
In this post, I want to take a moment to reflect and appreciate all of the amazing lessons I’ve learned on this journey of being a mompreneur.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far to balance motherhood and running a business.
1) Become a time management ninja.
One of the biggest excuses I hear is, “I don’t have enough time to (fill in the blank).”
At the beginning stages of my journey of balancing motherhood and being CEO of my biz, I challenged myself to get over the excuse of not having enough time in the day. I had to learn pretty quickly how to adapt my personality and preferences to my new mom lifestyle if I wanted to create a sustainable rhythm to my new life.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week. If you shift your mindset, you will find there is ALWAYS enough time in the day. It just depends on what you are trying to do in that time.
I still have a lot to figure out and improve with this, but being intentional about my time has been the key to accomplishing things I never thought I could do.
You make time for what matters.
Get on topbuddhist games. During the newborn, infant, and even toddler phases, I learned to appreciate the incredible possibilities of what I can get done in the span of time during naptime.
I learned how to be more productive in 1-2 hours than ever before. I know how to break down tasks into manageable increments that I can gradually accomplish throughout the week. Furthermore, I learned to listen to podcasts and watch online video courses at 1.5x speed.
I’m convinced that most moms develop superpowers. Moving around the house and working at lightning speed is one of my new superpowers.
How did I manage this? Shifting my mindset.
For my business, a shift in mindset about time (and deciding that enough time is available to me) has helped me to overcome perfection, procrastination, self-doubt, and frustration. It also helped me to be happier and more focused on producing tangible results.
We all have numerous things in our day that tempt us to waste time but are not essential. These distractions do not help us accomplish our dreams. They don’t help us reach where we want to go.
- Recommended Reading: If you are looking for some extra motivation to get things done, check out my post here with inspirational quotes!
Learning to say no to distractions, projects, events, relationships, habits, or other things that do not bring joy or do not enhance your life in a meaningful way is an art that takes practice but is worth the effort.
2) Make self-care a HIGH priority.
Self-care is a popular topic right now.
Motherhood has made me realize how important self-care is.
What is it and why is it so important? Self-care is all about taking time for yourself to recharge, rejuvenate, and rebalance your inner self. It’s also about managing your mindset so you can become the best version of yourself.
Almost every day, I take time for myself. Usually, it is about 30 to 60 minutes. Some days it might be only five minutes. That’s okay! Not every day will be ideal. This is my time for myself, my chance to deep think, to recharge, to plan, to reflect, to dream big, to ask my brain questions, and to figure out solutions.
Self-care takes many forms: journaling, spending time in nature, accepting yourself fully, getting a manicure, going to the spa, the list is endless.
One of my favorite things is going for a workout or a run. Nothing recharges me more than going out in nature for an 8+ mile long run. Exercise is a form of relaxation for me. It is my space to think about all the ideas, goals, and realities of my week. Or simply to sit back and enjoy without overthinking.
3) Focus on your strengths (and ask for help in other areas).
Another important lesson I have learned in motherhood is that I can’t do it all.
As much as I’d like to manage everything, I’ve learned to ask for help, hire help and outsource parts of my business, invest in tools to help my business run smoothly, and focus on my strengths so I can stay in my zone of genius.
I’m also very lucky to have a super supportive spouse and business partner. My husband and I co-founded our design business years ago. Over time, we have learned to divide responsibilities effectively and focus on our strengths. We know quite well who is better at certain tasks, who is better at certain stages of our design projects, etc… and thus we allocate the work accordingly.
4) Use a planner to keep track of All.The.Things.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a paper planner or a digital calendar. This is the number one way to stay on track of everything you need to do.
Believe it or not, I didn’t use a planner during the first few years of my design business. Although I started each day by writing a to-do list of priorities, I didn’t really keep a daily and monthly calendar to plan things out. I look back now, and I have no idea how I survived without it!
When I became a mom, I knew I would have a LOT more responsibilities on my agenda. Thus, I decided to invest in a beautiful, inspiring paper planner. At the time, I needed something simple, not overly complicated, so I could see the entire week at a glance and organize my priorities. My current favorite planner is this one now which gives me a more detailed look at each day and week.
I’ve also spent hours, money, and effort to learn tons of new time management, productivity, and task organization tools. It was completely worth it, and I’ll share more about that in future posts.
Using a planner to keep track of everything has become essential to juggling motherhood and business.
I keep both a written and digital planner. I like to have things color-coded. My schedule is mapped out in detail a week in advance at all times. My goal is to get to the point where I have 2-3 weeks planned out in advance, down to the hour.
When it comes to my fitness and running, I have my workouts planned out weeks in advance. I know exactly what I’m supposed to do when I have that 30-60 minutes of time. Thus, I don’t waste a single moment when it’s time to workout.
Every day is different, but I do my best to honor the commitments on my calendar to both myself and my family, as well as all of my clients and business projects.
A Final Note!
Motherhood has been truly one of the most rewarding things in life.
Although at times it has seemed that everything was out of balance, I think that’s totally okay and I’ve learned so much in the process. I believe work-life balance is a myth, and it’s more about finding a happy “blend”. No matter what your profession or circumstances, work and life are always deeply intertwined.
As time continues, I have found (and continue to find) ways to adjust to my new role as a mom and figure out how to balance the most essential things in life, while removing the unessential.
Some days have been demanding and exhausting, for sure. But it has been amazing to watch my child grow and discover more about the world with each passing day. I don’t take that for granted.
How I Balance Motherhood With Running My Own Business Account
I hope these lessons about what has worked for me trying to balance motherhood and business have been helpful!
How I Balance Motherhood With Running My Own Business Name
XOXO – Elizabeth
How I Balance Motherhood With Running My Own Business Plan
Hi, I’m Elizabeth! I’m an Architectural Designer, Digital Course Creator, and Success Mentor for Architecture Students & Graduates. I help aspiring architects thrive in the design world by organizing their life, mastering their mindset, learning architecture & design skills, and building a professional career they love. – Read my full story here!