I recently made a long planned leap into business ownership with my husband. We’ve taken a few years to get all our ducks in a row and prepared as best as we could for the change. Still, the transition from SAHM to WAHM has proven to be even more exciting, challenging and exhausting than we anticipated. Although I only have a couple months of this new dynamic under my tool belt, I’ve already learned loads about making this new normal work.
The first week or so into my new position, I sometimes found myself floundering from one task to the other without any real direction. I knew what had to get done, but I didn’t have a plan for execution. I have always kept a consistent routine with my boys, but these were new tasks with school schedules and needs complicating matters. Fast forward a few weeks and I don’t “check out” until I map out the next day; sometimes down to the smallest detail. Pencil in a little business in the bathroom? I’ve had to go there some days.
Take Care of You
You are not going to be able to carry the loads of working woman and super mom very long if you don’t take care of yourself: mind, body, and soul. For me, this happens on my yoga mat and on my plate. Three times a week I get up early to practice before the sun (and the rest of the family) rises. On weekdays I make a real effort to eat nutritious foods that keep me energized and boost my immunity. Come Friday, I’m tacos and ‘ritas all the way…which is good for the soul, too.
Rare is the night that I make it past 10:15. Sometimes I can’t keep my peepers open past 9:30. And I am totally fine with that. My husband and I take turns sleeping in on the weekends. After a night up and down with a scary dream having child or a wandering aging dog, I sometimes need a 30 minute rest ses’h in the late afternoon. And I take it. Nobody’s happy when mama tired.
Balancing kids, work, and marriage is a struggle we all share. It is very difficult to split your time in a way that feels fair and equitable. Working at home, it’s easy to tip the scales in the favor of work. Your laptop’s right there. You can just do that one last thing, even if you’re spent, even if it’s late, and even if you and your partner have barely made it past, “how was your day?” Commit to turning it off at a set time daily or on certain days of the week or whatever works for you. But set limits. My limit is Sunday. Sunday is my Funday and work just has to wait.
When your kid’s school calls and he has a fever, you and everyone working with you have to be flexible and I don’t mean from all that yoga you’re allowing yourself. The schedule gets cleared and you go into Mom mode. I ain’t gonna lie; I was a bit panic stricken when I had to drop it all and leave undone a long list of to do’s, things directly tied to timeline, progress, and ultimately cold hard cash. At the end of the day, though, everything was just fine with the business, my boy, and my stress level.
Lower Self-Imposed Standards
I love to cook. Providing home cooked, nutrient dense meals for my family is one of the contributions I enjoy making. But here lately I’m running from home to our job site three or four times a day and dropping off and picking up boys twice a day and taking meetings and working on my computer and grocery shopping and running errands all in a day’s work. When “FeedMe:Thirty” is looming, I am sometimes overwhelmed with the responsibility of cooking dinner. To ease that burden, I’ve had to lower some of my self imposed standards. I am learning to settle for jarred pasta sauce and finding liberation in the frozen food section!
Admittedly, I struggle with and continue to work on this daily. When you have the world at your fingertips in a tiny high resolution screen it is easy to lose sight of the wonder happening right in front of you. Now that my boys are in preschool and away from me way more than ever, I owe it to them and to myself to really be with them when I am with them. The same is true for my husband. This means that I give them some undivided attention every single day, even if just for a few precious phone-free moments. These times, even when embarrassingly short, fill up our connection buckets and make us smile together, which can only be a good thing, right?
Being a mom is hard, whether you stay home, go to school, work at home, work away from home or any combination thereof. Even though this transition has had many challenges, I’m happy being Mom CEO and am certain that any of you getting ready to take the same plunge will be, too.