I am a work-at-home mom – a mompreneur. Every time I say that to someone they say, “you are so lucky”. I know it’s great to be a mompreneur and have the opportunity to make an income and to watch your child grow up. The reality is that with this life comes great responsibility and planning. Mompreneurs working from home are always busy and if you add kids to the equation, the whole thing turns into a different ball game. As a professional chef, I always had worked in brick-and-mortar restaurants, and when I had my daughter, I decided to take my knowledge online and become a personal chef to have the time to take care of her. Here is how I make it happen.
Mompreneur Tip 1: Set a Specific Time for Work
Only you know how your home schedule runs. For this reason, sit down and take time to see what’s the least busy time of the day so you can get some work done. If you are too tired at night when everyone is sleeping, find a sweet spot in the morning or afternoon and give them some tasks, so they are happy and let you work your magic.
The Pomodoro Technique is my best friend. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. This has allowed me to work for a few minutes take a break with my daughter, give her a new task and then go back to work. It’s marvelous because she doesn’t get bored, I can take breaks to refuel (i.e., get more coffee) we can be together during the break time (for hugs and kisses) she doesn’t feel I’m absent or not paying attention to her and we get the most out of our time together. This also works like a charm for me when my husband is home and I need to get some work done.
Mompreneur Tip 2: Avoid Distractions
Having kids at home is like living in Distraction-land. When I say “distractions” I mean checking your social when it’s not the time to or having a visit you don’t need it in the middle of your work schedule. Your kids will always interrupt in one way or another, but it’s up to you to keep them as busy as possible with things that are creative and educational. To give you an example, I sit my daughter next to me and give her play dough and ask her to make figures and get creative. I also give her the tools to paint and build with blocks. These are some of the activities that help her to cultivate her motor skills and her imagination and at the same time, she can be entertained. I found that this also is the best way to deal with mommy guilt.
Mompreneur Tip 3: Set Monthly Goals
In my experience, if you write goals for the month you’ll be more able to track them. It’s important that you have these expectations of getting things done, but, don’t get frustrated if something doesn’t get done by the deadline you set yourself. Simply move it first thing next month and make it as a priority to get it done to cross it off your to-do list. By having a clear outline of the number tasks and amount of hours you intend to work and when, the job you will be doing, and the division of other household chores, will help you avoid conflicts and will also help you feel more in control of the whole situation.
Mompreneur Tip 4: You can’t do All the Things
Perhaps you need to delegate the house chores. Asking for a little help from hubby or other members of your family is more than ok. Or maybe you need to look at hiring a cleaner once a week, or someone to do the ironing or even someone to come in and meal prep and cook once a week for you.
With your business, you can hire a VA to take care of your social media or some projects you want to get done. It’s also good to use the night before to prepare for your next day. Simple things like laying out the clothes to wear for yourself and for your kids can save so much time in the morning. Plus, getting dressed and organized for the morning helps put you into “work” mode for the day. You’ll be far more productive this way than if you were to stay in your pajamas all day. These tactics will allow you to free up more time, trust me.
Check out the following time hacks
It is on-trend and is very useful as well. You can compare prices and save time and money. It’s amazing to receive all you need in front of your door. The less you go around in circles, going from shop to shop looking for items, the better.
Bring your kid with you around the house
To avoid messes you don’t want to take care later and to have them check all the time is best if you take them with you to all the rooms you are going to be at. Is the best peace of mind!
Keep meals simple
for example, put the frozen food down in the fridge the night before, so it’s defrosted by the time you need to cook.
Cook just one dinner for everyone, including the kids
Don’t cook a separate meal for your kids just because they’re picky. They’ll learn to eat the food you make. Try to plate meals in a fun way if you want, but don’t give them a range of options or you’ll be operating as a restaurant daily.
Keep your kid’s stuff simple
Stick to items that don’t need a ton of washing or maintenance. Keep everything organized in bins or boxes. Have designated areas to store them and play with them.
Whether you use online calendars like Google or pretty paper planners, staying on top of everything is key to not get tangled up in your business. I love using Trello to have all my tasks and biz information laid out for me. Writing down everything will make you feel less stressed.
Mompreneur Tip 5: Allow Margin Time
Don’t fill every day’s schedule up to the last minute. Have room for changes because life with kids is unpredictable and you should always have free time on your schedule to allow for flexibility and to give you the space to manage last-minute situations.
Mompreneur Tip 6: Have Me-Time
It is imperative that at least once per week you take time to do something that you love and makes you feel good. As you take care of everyone else, self-care is also important, and you should be making time for it. Do something that makes you happy.
Mompreneur Tip 7: Focus on One Project at a Time
As moms, we are octopuses already by nature. You need to make work easy for you and don’t try to do 4 projects at the same time. I know sometimes its difficult between the website, social posting and working on your business to be focused on just one thing. The best is to make a list for the month, week or day depending on how big your projects are are, and as you complete one task, then you can move to the next one. Otherwise, you’ll be ending up with all your projects halfway completed and you’ll feel overwhelmed. Also, it’s important to not exceed more than 5 tasks on your to-do list per day.
Mompreneur Tip 8: Always Improve your Skills
Find time every month to learn something new and keep yourself up to date. The online world is constantly changing and new things are being released all the time. Being on top of your most used platforms and checking up what’s new in the world will help you move forward and improve as a business owner. Try to constantly read new content, listen to podcasts, watch videos and webinars. This can help you so much. Take the time that you aren’t working and use it to learn something.
Mompreneur Tip 9: Get Involved in a Community
For many reasons, having a tribe of other female entrepreneurs can help you. For me, sharing experiences with like-minded people is the most important of them. Having support is a big one too. Even if you know what you are doing in your business, having peers to chat to about the things that are going on with your biz or just to help you with research is hugely valuable. It’s amazing to feel loved and supported by people who really understand you and your business. This way you can have a “side-family” that can unplug you from mommy duty for a bit and help you to grow as a woman in business. I am having a blast being part of TFC and having Jakolien by my side is the best feeling. Getting all the support from the rest of The Fempreneur Collective crew is priceless. My favorite part of this is that I get to connect with ladies from all around the world from the comfort of my home and at the same time, I can keep taking care of my daughter.
Mompreneur Tip 10: Be Focused
Never lose focus on your end goal. It is important that you are very clear on what do you want to achieve as a business owner and move towards that. Have a guide, a map or a business plan, whatever you like to call it, but, it’s important to follow it. This will make you feel more secure and it will allow you to relax and take a lot of stress off your shoulders since you’ll know what to do and when.
Mompreneur Tip 11: Be Consistent
Once you know what you must do, keep doing it. Sometimes things happen, and we say we are doing a thing that doesn’t get done when we planned, but, the success is found in being consistent, and if you fall off the horse, get back on and keep riding, babe. Don’t get sad or frustrated because you can’t be perfect all the time. But making the effort will pay off, I assure you. As I am writing this, my hubby and daughter are having a blast in their pyjamas in my bedroom. I can hear the laughter and my daughter jumping around, but, that’s okay, because, they need their time as father and daughter and I took that time out to be consistent and to make my own things happen.
5 Things that also help you to have a better day:
- Wake up a few minutes earlier.
- Make the beds and tidy the house for at least 5 minutes.
- Have a mantra for the day.
- Listen to music.
- Coffee or your favourite drink on hand.
With all this being said, we all can agree that this is still difficult. Juggling work and parenthood is a challenge for even the most organized working moms because it always comes with surprises. Running a home business is not always an easy job, but, it is one that you can be very successful at. If I can do this, I honestly believe anyone can. The key is to make every moment count.
Zoé is a Personal Chef with over 14 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry. Zoe specialises in tropical fusion cuisine. She’s a girl Mama and a brewer’s wife who helps women to host delicious and stress-free small dinner parties at their home to reach out and connect to cultivate good relationships with their favourite people while having fun. Zoe also creates fun TFC recipes for food and cocktails.
You can find her on social media by clicking the links below.
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