Dadpreneur and Mompreneur Routines to Keep the Overwhelm Ogre at Bay

WAHM and Mompreneur Routines to Overcome OverwhelmDo you feel overwhelmed and pulled in 10 different directions at once as a mompreneur or dadpreneur? Would you like to give YOURSELF a Time Out?

It can get frustrating to have a to-do list of things you want to do in your business, things you need to do for your family, and to never feel like you have enough time to finish anything…let alone have any “me time”.

Alert: Overwhelmed Mompreneur on the Loose!

I hit major overwhelm earlier this month.  I remember being on the phone with a friend (who is also mompreneur in another company) complaining about the state of my house, how far behind I felt about my business and what little quality time I was actually spending with my kids, not to mention what a crappy job I was doing taking care of myself.  I was exhausted and working on about 4 hours of sleep. I hadn’t eaten much of anything healthy. And I hadn’t showered yet that day and my girls were about to get off the school bus.  (And I represent a health and wellness company?  Ironic, don’t you think?  Talk about not practicing what I teach!)

I had a flashback to several years ago (when I was first getting started in my mompreneur home based business, and before I’d been blessed with a surprise baby boy) to when my girls were smaller and I was doing the fly lady routines.  On almost every given day, I had dinner planned or in the crock-pot, I wasn’t embarrassed if someone stopped by because I was showered and dressed, with make-up on, my house was lived-in tidy, not looking like the coat closet and toy shelves had been ransacked.  And although I worked at home, my business didn’t consume all my time.

So, In order to save myself from the total chaos my life felt like, I’ve made a commitment to jump back into “Flying” and I’ve discovered that what works for our homes can work for our home based businesses too!  Here are the 4 routines I’ve developed to enjoy my life as a mompreneur, thanks to Marla Cilley, The Fly Lady’s help.  They are doing a great job of keeping the overwhelm ogre at bay.

2 Essential Routines for Mompreneurs and WAHMs

1. The most important mompreneur routine: A bedtime routine that sets the stage for the next day

This is where I create a peaceful morning for the next day:

  • Make a list: I start a little before suppertime by creating a list of things I want to do in my business the next day, note any appointments I have, check the kid’s schedules, etc.
  • Go to bed “Ready”: I make sure that if I’m going out for appointments, I have the clothes set out, clean ironed and ready to go.  It’s helped to have my girls pack their backpacks the night before, make sure that gym uniforms are clean, permission slips signed, etc.  I also have started to make the coffee, and make sure that the dishwasher will run overnight and the kitchen is tidy.
  • Take care of me: I didn’t do this for the longest time. I’d literally brush my teeth, wash my face (usually) and crash into bed, exhausted from the day.  I’ve found that I sleep so much better when I’ve given myself time to wind down.  Take care of my skin with my anti-aging routine, read something positive (I’m reading the Purpose Driven Life right now), write in my journal if I feel like it, and listen to something peaceful on my mp3 player as I fall asleep.  I’m trying to go to bed early (shortly after the kids) so that I’m not grouchy and exhausted the next day.

2. A mompreneur morning routine that sets the stage for a successful day

The biggest rule I’ve set for myself is that I cannot get on the computer until after I’m ready, my family’s taken care of, and I’ve done a few things to keep my home under control.  That means, I’m NOT a mompreneur in the morning, I’m just a mom. No email, no blog commenting, no Facebook, nothing until I’m done with my routines.  It’s incentive to get busy and get it done, and it helps me to not lose track of time so the kids don’t miss the bus, etc.

  • Take care of me: Get my shower in, get dressed, do my hair and make-up, exercise, eat, etc.) So often as stay at home moms we put ourselves last on the list and don’t get our showers in until the kids go down for naps.   How productive do you think we are when we treat ourselves that way?  Would we do that if we were going to a job? NO!  If we’re not going to treat our businesses seriously they’re not going to reward us seriously.
  • Take care of family: Get my kids off to school, snuggle with my son, chat with my husband on his way to work if it’s possible. (The “take care of me” and “take care of my family” are sometimes switched if my son wakes up early before I’ve showered.   I settle him in my bedroom with cartoons while I get ready after the girls are on the bus.)
  • Take care of home: Breakfast dishes, a load of laundry, walk any bills that cannot be paid online to the mailbox, tidy up the backpack papers that get dumped on the floor, etc.  (If I’ve done my night-time routine, this is only about 15 minutes or so.)  During the take care of home time and take care of me time I’m usually listening to some type of personal development audio on my mp3 player.
  • Take care of business: Now I can put on my mompreneur hat. 🙂  I use the timer on my cell phone and set it for 15 minutes.  I tackle my no-matter-what list first, in 15 minute sections with breaks every 2-3 sessions.  My son is usually playing next to me, coloring, tv, etc.)I’m most productive in the morning so I do my hardest or most challenging tasks on my list then, unless it’s something I really need to focus on, which I usually save until my son’s nap time.I’ve developed a blogging routine and a pre-flight blog checklist to simplify my writing and a blog SEO checklist to get the most out of my efforts. I have had to set a limit for my blog posts, where I’ll do a maximum of 30 minutes of writing and then 15 minutes tweaking it for SEO, adding images, tagging it, linking to other posts, proof-reading, etc.  Are they perfect? No, but they’re done. I also “try” (honestly works about 50% of the time) to get a few days ahead of my blog posts so I don’t have to scramble to get a post done when things aren’t clicking easily for me.
  • Keep track of time: It may sound silly, but I can easily get into hyper-focus and lose track of time when I’m writing or doing things online, so I have alarms set on my cell phone to remind me to switch loads, when it’s lunch-time, nap time, time for the girls to come home or get picked up depending on the day, etc.

Please check back tomorrow.  My post will include the 2 other routines I have developed (weekly and monthly) that are working to simplify my life as a wahm and mompreneur.

Also, I’d love to know what your routines are, if you’re a mom or a dad who is building a business from home.  I know we can all learn from each other, the tips and tricks we use to simplify our days and get the maximum reward for our efforts!  I’m also looking into outsourcing somethings for my business.  If you’ve started outsource in your business, I’d love to know how it’s going for you and what your thoughts on the subject are.

If you comment, you’ll receive a little link love from me because this is a dofollow blog.  And please share this post with your mompreneur and dadpreneur friends!

Heather C Stephens, Clever Marketer Internet Network Marketing MLM    Home Business Blog Tips for WAHM MompreneursHeather Stephens

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  1. Wow Heather, amazing job! I am so thankful that you post this blog. I can definitely relate to what you are saying here because I am also a mompreneur and yes this is indeed a tough job for us, taking care of the business, of our family, the house and all the errands at the same time. With all of this stuff that keep us so busy, I like the part when you mentioned and emphasized how important it is to take good care of ourselves as well. We need to find time to do this because spending time for ourselves can actually help and fuel us to do all our responsibilities and activities in a day. The key here is time management.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Keep it up,


    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Ana!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It’s so easy to bump ourselves to the bottom of the list and I know for me, I feel so empowered and in control when I’m including my needs on my list of things I need to take care of.

      It is the fuel, as you mentioned! I think for me the key is not just time management, it’s having the discipline to follow through with my intentions.

      Thanks for your great comment!


  2. Amy Mengarelli says:

    Heather, I have been trying to follow FlyLady since 2003-the beginning of her journey. Sad thing is that my perfectionism blocks my every move! Like you haven’t heard that before! 🙂
    It’s a great post and has inspired me to get off the computer and do my evening routine. Whatever that is!

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Amy,

      You know what Fly Lady would say…jump in where we are, you are not behind. 🙂 I’m thankful to inspire you to do your evening routine. FLY (Finally Love Yourself) okay? You’re an amazing person and I’m thankful to know you.


  3. This is great Heather. Thanks for sharing another insight into your personal life. It is a constant challenge to be a home based business entrepreneur. It is not has easy as most people think, especially when you have other jobs like being a mother, and a “butler”.

    I’m fortunate not to have these “duties” yet, but even I feel the strain sometimes of keeping up with what needs to be done in a day. I love the challenge of building a home based business, and I realise now how important it is to manage oneself in order to be effective.

    I now aim to always get my highest leverage tasks done when I’m able to focus the most.

    Thanks for sharing this,

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Wayne!

      I have to say that I’ve always struggled to keep up with things…we all do. Before kids I felt like there wasn’t enough time to do everything I wanted to do. Now that I have kids, I feel like there isn’t enough time to do everything I wanted to do.

      Jobs fill up whatever amount of time we give them. And taking care of ourselves is not optional, even when we feel like we have more important things to take care of.

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your perspective very much!

  4. Absolutely amazing post you’ve put together here Heather. The one thing that stands out for me when rerading this, is that your whole “system” comes down to self-discipline!

    You have illustrated perfectly how the simple application of self-discipline can create order & structure in your life.

    This applies to us all – no matter whether we are home based entrepreneurs or full-time employees or owners of brick & mortar businesses!

    Stay inspired!


    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Michael,

      Absolutely amazing? Wow…thank you for the absolutely amazing compliment!

      You are right, the core of the matter IS self discipline like you say. Routines, although at times may feel like they are confining really create freedom for us to have the time, creativity, energy, and motivation to follow through on our dreams.

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. You have encouraged me to set aside some time for myself everyday. I too find the days get away from me and before you know it they are over. What ever happened to time freedom that comes with working from home? I know my problem is I take on more than I can handle. I am going to use your list and priority approach to try and solve this. I will list each item with a priority and work from the top down.

    Thanks for pointing this out to me. I look forward to reading part 2.


    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Rob,

      I hope you’ve been finding that setting some time aside for yourself is helping you get more done. We all take on more than we can handle at times, and sometimes life just runs away with the clock, but with some simple routines, I’m having a much easier time keeping my head above water, work wise, and I’m having a whole lot more fun!

      Thanks for your comment!


  6. This is a REALLY great post Heather! I love the checklists and the thought behind it all. This is very useful and practical information that will help lots of poeple! Well done!

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Thanks for your comment, Chuck!

      I’m so glad you liked the checklist!


  7. Hi Heather,

    thanks for sharing your insights. I fully agree with you that it is important to show appreciation to ourselves, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to show appreciation to other. That includes silent time and as a matter of fact also time for basic needs like showering. Hey, why not taking a bath from time to time ?

    Well, as you know, outsourcing can be a great relief. Even if contractors aren’t always reliable and it takes time, you know that the task gets done. That’s a good feeling.

    Whatever we do, we should organize it in a way that ensures that we can follow through. Otherwise we wouldn’t be consistent.

    Take care


    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Oliver,

      I’m taking you up on your “why not take a bath form time to time” tonight! 🙂 Thanks for the idea. I am mostly a shower girl because it’s faster but a bath with a glass of wine sounds like heaven on this cold rainy fall night.

      I’m going to check out the outsourcing resources in your post soon. I’m really seeing a need for it in my business at this point and I’m looking forward to the leverage it will offer me to work on the things I love, and delegate the things I don’t!

      Thank you for your awesome comment!

  8. Hi Heather,

    I firstly want to say that I take my hat off to all parents who are entrepreneurs at the same time. You are all awesome!

    I love how you shared your routines in your post. Being prepared and organized has always helped me achieve my best. I am just not able to function any other way.

    One must ensure that the routines are practical and achievable and only we know what we can and can’t commit to. It’s so easy to start adding more to routines without even realizing and how then how quickly we fall back into chaos.

    Thank you for sharing your valuable leadership.


    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Marcus,

      I appreciate the hat’s off to parents who are entrepreneurs. Thankfully it gives us a big old why to focus on, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. I know I don’t often stop to appreciate the little accomplishments that are made throughout the day. 🙂

      I totally know what you mean about routines sometimes becoming more overwhelming and hard to stick with. With the Fly Lady’s system, she works on adding one routine a month to her schedule and that’s worked very well for me as well. Picking one thing to focus on for the whole month until it becomes a habit and I don’t have to “remember” to do it.

      Thank you for your valuable comment! I really appreciate it!


  9. Hey Heather,

    Wow, this is an amazing post and I can so relate to this.

    I used to be so organised and on top of everything but no so much lately. Sadly, I haven’t had a “me time” in a long time and I so need it.

    I got a lot out of your post and I’m going to develop a new, sensible routine.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Talk about perfect timing! 🙂

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Mavis,

      I took some “me time” yesterday to get my hair done, and to a little bit of shopping. I bought a pretty picture to hang above my desk and a frame to put it in, and I have to say that those two simple little actions (hair and picture) have made me feel great.

      It’s important to love on ourselves once in a while. All work and no play is not a great way to live at all!

      Thanks for your comment! I hope you’ve found some “me time” in the last few days since you posted it!


  10. Love it Heather!

    Thanks for being so open with us, as I’m sure so many can relate. I’ve had to crack down on myself and my schedule as well, so I can really appreciate what you’re saying here.

    I’m looking forward to the next 2 tips. The first were great. 😉

    Thanks Heather!


    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Susanna,

      Thanks for your comment. We all need to crack down on ourselves once in a while to stay sane and avoid overwhelm.



  11. Hi Heather

    although these excellent tips may seem focused at parents, in fact I can take a lot on board by transposing them.

    As a single entrepreneur it is too easy to spend an unbalanced amount of time online/working on my business. Balance is so important and by adapting some of what you say, these tips will help me.

    Charlie Holles

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      HI Charlie,

      I’m sure even someone who isn’t living with 3 kids can get unbalanced at times. Building a business really is a labor of love at times and although it gives us freedom from when we decide to work, the work still needs to get done.

      Hopefully establishing routines will help us all be more successful in what we do.

      Thanks for your awesome comment!

  12. Great article! All entrepreneurs face overwhelmed now and then. Happy to read. As mother of nine (four at home still) I have to really focus. It’s all about the “why”, the focus, and the action. Thanks, Jo

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Jo,

      A mom of 9…with four at home. Wow, I’m sure you can teach us all about keeping the overwhelm ogre at bay! 🙂

      You are right that success boils down to our why, staying focused and consistent action in our businesses.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and leaving a comment!



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