The number one question I get asked constantly isn’t how I manage money. It isn’t how I set up a budget. It’s not how I’m investing in my children’s college education.
Nope; the number one question I get asked it, “How do you do it all?”
Many people want to know how I run a six figure business while taking care of twin toddlers and supporting a husband who is traveling all across the country for residency interviews.
I’m going to weigh in, but first I want to show you how these 12 other highly successful mompreneurs make it work. All of the women below run their own businesses while also playing the role of mom. They are an inspiration to me, and I hope they are an inspiration to you too.
Founder, So Money Podcast
“It is paramount that mom entrepreneurs don’t just ask for help from their spouses (e.g. help me with making school lunch for the kids or help me by running errands). I suggest they hand over entire domains to their spouse and ask them to choose ways they can be entirely accountable for major aspects of the relationship and family. For example, rather than ‘help’ with meals occasionally he can be completely in charge of nutrition and food, which means stocking the fridge and pantries, planning meals and packing lunches every day. Additionally, he can choose to be accountable for managing the family’s retirement and savings accounts. Together, as a couple, take the opportunity to decide what can be the areas in your lives your spouse can completely manage. Don’t think that you have to do it all.”
Founder, The Frugal Millionaire Blog
“My number one tip for balancing motherhood with entrepreneurship is to have incredible time management skills. It’s totally possible to ‘do it all,’ so to speak, you just have to be extremely smart with your time. I wake up before my kids, no longer use Facebook other than for business purposes, and stay ahead of schedule in case my kids get sick or something pops up. Time management is key!! Find a system that works for you and go for it!”
Founder, Club Thrifty
“Know when to hire help. In order to make motherhood and entrepreneurship work, you need to know when it makes sense to hire help. The idea of the mother who can work while simultaneously doing laundry and helping with her kid’s school project is a lie. Most moms who ‘have it all’ hire help to make it work. A lot of people think my kids are home with me while I work all day. They’re in school now, but I have had them in daycare since they were babies.”
Founder, Financially Blonde
“#1 – Quality is just as good as quantity. I’m not always physically present with my son, but when I am, I make sure my phone is down and the computer is off. I give him my undivided attention when we are together.
#2 – Understand that balance happens over a long period of time. Within a given day, I never feel as though my roles are balanced. Some days I am more entrepreneur and some days I am more mom; however, over time the two balance out. When I have moved too far in one direction, I balance it out by devoting time to the other direction.”
Founder, Shop Hello Sunday
“I would have to say it’s don’t be afraid to ask for help. That could be childcare help, help managing your finances or help from your significant other. I find that it’s hard to ask that first person, but once you do it gets easier and the feeling of ‘I have to do it all myself!’ slowly fades away.
Founder, Embracing Simple
“Be present in all that you do. If you are playing with your kids, be in the moment and focus only on them. If you are working, don’t be tempted to multitask and juggle your family at the same time. Not only will you be more efficient when you are focusing only on the task at hand, but you will be happier too! It can be very difficult to not let the lines of work and family life blur, especially if you work from home, but it’s the only way to stay truly balanced and give both your family and your business the attention they each deserve.”
Founder, Retired by 40 Blog
“I read on an inspirational blog somewhere that as moms & professionals, we should ‘Measure ourselves by a standard of grace rather than a standard of perfection.’ This doesn’t mean we can slack off. What it does mean is that no one is perfect – in fact, ‘perfection’ is just an illusion sold to us by television, magazines, and even other moms at the gym. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone fails.
When we can’t get it all done, or when we make a huge mistake, it is best to own it, and then move forward from there. When we’re feeling crazy productive, embrace it. And when we’re feeling neglected, that means its time to delegate and take a little time for ourselves.
I often overthink things, especially when they aren’t going as planned, but when I think about measuring myself by a standard of grace instead of perfection I’m able to let the worry and anxiety go, become more productive, and then amazingly things start going according to plan again!”
Founder, Life and a Budget
“My number one tip for being able to balance motherhood with entrepreneurship is saying no to things that don’t help me achieve a desired end result. If saying no means being able to do more for my family and being able to provide self-care, saying no is a wise thing to do. When my family is well taken care of and I’m refreshed from all of life’s daily stresses, I’m more productive and able to do things I really want to do. I achieve more in the end.”
Founder, The Budget Mama
“My number one tip for balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship is to not be afraid of letting your children entertain themselves. If you keep a schedule and a designated work area (even if it is just the kitchen table), your children will know when it’s time for “mommy to go to work” and that they are now responsible to entertain themselves. It truly keeps me sane allowing my boys the freedom to play as they want to without me hovering over them.”
Founder, Single Mom’s Income
“My number one tip is to schedule specific blocks of time to work but be flexible enough that if something comes up you’ll still be okay. Also receiving help – both in having someone watch my kids when needed and also help on my projects has been huge for me. It can sometimes be hard to ask for help but can make or break you when trying to achieve some sort of healthy balance for your family.”
Founder, Ink Harmony
“On the surface, it’s easy to think that motherhood and entrepreneurship are like oil and water – that they can’t mix. That hasn’t been my experience. Motherhood was the impetus for me becoming an entrepreneur. I was pregnant with our first child, and knew I wanted to be at home with her, yet we couldn’t afford to be a one income family. I had to find a way to make money that would allow me to be at home with our daughter. I put my writing and advertising skills to work and pursued a career as a freelance copywriter. While it was rough at first, 6 years later business is booming and I’m transitioning into hiring others to handle the work and expand operations. With three little ones now to care for and a business to manage, life is full 🙂 However, I keep it from getting out of control by scheduling my day around my kids’ needs. As much as possible, I try to write when they are napping, sleeping or quietly working in the afternoons (something I’ve trained them to do 🙂 ) I also had to accept that our lifestyle and schedule is not normal. Most couples don’t work together from home with young children. When I realized I didn’t have to be like everyone else to raise successful, well-adjusted, happy adults, I stopped stressing so much and learned to be grateful for what we’ve got going on.
Founder, I am THAT Lady
“Running a full time business + having 4 kids can make things really busy! For years I tried to do it all on my own, at the sacrifice of everyone else around me. The thing that I decided to do is to hire out what I can have someone else do. For years I tried to do it all, but that made me a bad mom, wife, and business owner. I decided to start hiring out tasks that I really hated doing, like cleaning my house. Every week I have a housecleaner come and scrub my entire house, and at first I felt guilty, but now I am consider it part of my business plan. If you owned a physical therapy office, you would make sure that it is clean for your patients, so why keep your house a mess for your family when you work from home? I consider that one decision, one of the best investments I can make.”
Wow, inspiring right?
Well, now it’s my turn to tell you how I manage my business and responsibilities as a wife and mom over here. I have to echo all of the amazing mompreneurs above, and I have to say, it was so refreshing to hear from all the women above and know that many of us have the same struggles and are on the same boat.
The way I “do it all” is very simple: I outsource as much as possible. I have someone clean my house every two weeks. I have a nanny who comes three times per week. I have a husband who grew up in a house where his mom and dad worked together. His dad is often doing dishes, cleaning counters, and cleaning up, and my husband is the same way. I also have a strong passion for my work and a solid work ethic. I feel a lot of pressure to make an income and provide for my family, and this fuels my work every day. I also have an amazing assistant in my business who helps me tie up loose ends and keeps me sane. I’ve stopped trying to be everything to everyone, and I’ve stopped trying to do it all. I realize that if I hire quality people and work together with my husband, a sense of normalcy is possible.
In the future, I will elaborate more on how I arrived in this good place – this place of working hard, growing a business, and enjoying motherhood because it wasn’t always this way. At first I was stubborn and I tried to do everything. I had a lot of highs and lows in the first few years as a mom and business owner. I was tired, sleep-deprived, and even depressed. There were many times when I wasn’t sure if my business would survive at all, but I’m happy to say that we are thriving. Much of this comes from nearly two years of working out the kinks and having the support of other women who are trying to be entrepreneurs and mothers.
Thank you again to all the women above for taking the time to offer a quote for today’s post, and if you have any questions about being a mompreneur, please leave them in the comments below! I’m here to help!