Is it possible to find balance in a life as a WAHM, work at home mom or mompreneur, who is building a home based business while raising three kids? Not exactly, but that’s what makes it so, a-hem, exhilarating!
If you don’t have kids or you’re a guy, please keep reading. While this post is written from the perspective of a WAHM, I promise to share golden nuggets and lessons that can apply to everyone working from home.
I’m writing a series of post about the things I’ve learned in 2010 in the areas that I believe will help my readers; mindset, marketing, motherhood, and money. Today, obviously we’re talking about motherhood and let me tell you, this year has been the mother of all challenges for me in this department.
I’m raising a tweenager, a nine year old, and a three year old, while building a home based business, a blog, working as a VA, and of course, being a wife and home maker.
I could be considered a veteran in the field of being a work at home mom. Aside from a few months working as an interior designer when my oldest daughter was 2, I’ve been working with my 3 babies bouncing in their infant seats, our bouncing off the walls for the last 12+ years. But, I had no idea what I was in-for when I decided to add blogging to my WAHM – mompreneur, life this past summer.
I’ve learned a lot about myself, a lot about my kids, and discovered a lot of things that don’t work, for me. But there is magic in knowing what doesn’t work, because it leads you to what does work…eventually! Right?
3 WAHM Lessons I learned in 2010
There are three big WAHM lessons that stand out for me this year:
WAHM Lesson #1: There is enough time to do the important things.
The biggest lesson I learned this year is that if I don’t put myself first, I’ll never have time for what I need to do.
I procrastinated getting my business started online because I didn’t feel like I had the time to do it. I was running around like every busy mom, and I had no idea how I would squeeze in time to work on building my home based business online. But, I’ve learned that that’s “head talk” and I was ignoring the “heart talk” going on inside of me.
A conversation with my grandma helped me to see what was right in front of me. If you recall from my post on mindset, that I made a list to help me shift from being burned out in my business to being on fire and passionate about it.
While making that list, I remembered the conversation I had with my grandma when I was totally overwhelmed after finding out I was pregnant (surprise!) with my son. I told her that I didn’t know how I was going to do it? I was, “so out of time,” already that I didn’t know how was I going to squeeze in the needs of another baby?
She simply, and very calmly asked me, how much time the girls took up? I replied “All of it!” in a sassy voice that no-one should use in front of their Grandma. She hugged me and then told me then I had nothing to worry about. If the girls took up all my time, then what difference would a new baby make? She said that like the love in my heart, my time would expand to include all the important things, and the unimportant things would just fall off the list.
I’ve learned that the same lesson goes for squeezing in the time to build my business online. When I decided I was going to commit to doing it, and a found a way to establish some mompreneur routines, I realized that there was plenty of time to take care of the important things, and the unimportant ones, just seemed to disappear. The key was that I had to make my home based business and online marketing part of the important things!
WAHM Lesson #2: Make your kids your why, not your reason why not to focus on your business.
Our kids, jobs, housework, friends, etc. are naturally good at keeping us from focusing on our businesses. They’re masters at persuasion and at getting us to procrastinate on the things we know we should be doing.
Now, don’t get angry with me and think that I’m saying that our kids aren’t important; of course they are! But they can drain our time faster than anything if we let them. We have to remember that we’re the moms! We know what’s best, and if being a work at home mom is what is best for your family in the long run, then obviously you need time to work.
For the dads and people building a business while working a full time job, please listen up! It’s common that the very reason (your why) you are building your business, is the thing you have to give up in order to build it. If you want to create more free time with your home based business, then you’re going to have to give up your free time now in order to have lots of it later. Make yourself and your business a priority. Don’t let your job, favorite TV shows, or other commitments keep you from doing what you know is best for you!
WAHM Lesson #3: Learn to embrace a belief that life doesn’t have to be perfect!
The perfect mom, the perfect home, the perfect kids. We are hit with messages that we should be striving for perfectionism from every angle. My goodness, even my toothpaste tube reminds me that my teeth aren’t white enough 2 times a day!
Being home all day as a WAHM, tends to make a lot of moms think that we should be living lives like June Cleaver. And secretly, I sometimes wonder if WAHM means, We’re Always Helper Moms because I get asked to volunteer for everything.
I was always striving to uphold the image of the perfect mompreneur lifestyle, and saying “no” to things I was asked to do was very hard. I learned this year that even though I’m a work at home mom, I still work, and it’s perfectly okay to gracefully decline from making 7 costumes for a ballet recital!
I also learned to apply this anti-perfectionism to my business and my home. I could spend all day writing one blog post if I let myself, but I have to set a timer and just get it done. I could procrastinate doing anything in my home based business because the laundry needs to get done, and there are tumble-weed sized clumps of dog hair under the dresser in the entryway.
Do you put off doing something in your home based business or online marketing because you don’t feel like you can do it “right?” Stop that! Something done imperfectly is so much better than the most perfect intention. Embrace the belief that being imperfect is fun.
There are many other big WAHM lessons that I’ve learned this year, but these three are the big ones that stand out for me, and the issues I see my readers, subscribers, and other mompreneurs dealing with as well. Tomorrow, I’ll share with you the big lessons I learned this year surrounding money, my home based business, and online marketing.
I would love to hear what you think! Please share the lessons you’ve learned about balancing your home based business with your life, family, job, etc. in the comments below. Also, I’d be very grateful if you’d share this post in social media with others who are WAHM and Mompreneurs!