If you’re a woman entrepreneur, it goes without saying that you expertly wear many hats each day. But if you’re also a mom – especially one who works from home with kids – you take multi-tasking to the next level.
Many 28 Carrots members are women running amazing businesses right out of their homes. And we understand that it’s not always easy. That’s why we compiled our top 5 tips for managing both jobs at the same time.
Advice for Moms who Work from Home
1. Create a Workspace at Home
For many moms, having a dedicated desk space or home office is integral to their ability to focus. It sends a message to your family that when you’re sitting at that desk, you’re off limits. For others, the ability to work anywhere – on a cozy couch or porch – is the biggest perk. If you’re in the latter group, make sure you still designate a home base. You need a central area to organize and store important papers, contracts and other documents so they don’t get mixed up with the electric bill and your daughter’s homework.
2. Control Your Work Schedule
The no. 1 reason most people work at home is the desire for flexibility. So don’t forget to be your own boss and manage your time accordingly. It’s okay to decline call invites when your kids are getting off the bus and you want to hear about their day. Stack your days so you can be most productive at the best hours – naptime, for example – and more flexible when your kids may need you most.
3. Stock up on ‘Work Time’ Activities for Kids
If you have younger kids, it’s a good idea to plan activities to keep them busy when you have an important call or deadline. Fill a bin with easy craft sets that don’t require an adult, or set aside special puzzles and games they only get at these times. You may even play special movies or shows that will keep kids quiet and engaged until your conference call or Skype meeting is over.
4. Use Back-Up Help
Don’t pressure yourself to be Supermom. Sometimes, it’s just too hard to give your best to both roles, especially if you’re in the midst of crunch time on a big project. Recruit a few reliable babysitters or family members who can watch your kids when you have meetings with clients or just need to focus. That way, you can get more done in work hours and avoid burnout from staying up too late. You’ll get more done with fewer distractions, and resume your role as mom feeling relieved, not stressed.
5. Know When to Unplug
Assign yourself ‘work hours’ and stick to them. When you’re not officially working, resist the urge to check email and take calls. If your kids notice that you’re not giving them your full attention when you’re not ‘on the job,’ they may grow resentful. On the other hand, if you tell them you’ll join in their game in 20 minutes and follow through, they will learn to respect your work time boundaries.
Insider Tips from Photographer Kate Donovan
Kate Donovan, a 28 Carrots member from Amesbury who runs Kate Donovan Photography, knows a lot about balancing motherhood with a successful business. She will be talking about work-life balance and offering advice for using images with social media at the next 28 Carrots event on June 20 at The Deck. (Buy your tickets now.)
Kate’s secret for success is to make family a part of your career.
“I bring my daughter along and make her a part of it,” she told 28 Carrots. “She loves feeling involved and even when I don’t have a choice to bring her or not, I make it fun. She does really well making babies laugh and getting their attention for the camera.”
Kate also says it’s important to be very disciplined with your time. For her, what works best is planning around her daughter’s schedule. “I edit at night or very early in the morning when she is sleeping,” she said. “I am also lucky to have my parents to take her on the weekends for weddings.”
At the end of the day, her best advice is: “Focus on the positive.”
Summer Solstice Networking Party
Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of women who believe in what you are doing can make a big difference. 28 Carrots provides that support. Consider becoming a member today – for FREE.
Don't Miss Kate Donovan SpeakDon’t miss the Summer Solstice Networking Party at The Deck on June 20 at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for members and $25 for non-members.