Summertime for Mompreneurs: The Struggle is Real
In the summertime, mompreneurs everywhere are wondering how much longer they can endure living as “The Bickersons”… (thank you Noriko for the name).
For 8 years now, July and August include managing kids while working with clients from home and at the office … I can attest first hand that the struggle is real. Whatever age your kids are, spicy situations erupt almost continually that have you counting down until the clock strikes wine o’clock.
I made a promise in a recent blog post, Work From Home Like a CEO With These Five Tips, to expand on strategies to overcome household distractions.
Here are 7 tips to save your sanity while working with kids.
Tip #7 – Plan + Prepare + Execute
Producing work from home with kids must parallel the approach you take at the office while working with adults. In fact, your family is the perfect practicing arena for strong leadership skills executed with confidence and grace. Be strict one with iron clad boundaries.
Plan ahead, anticipate needs and execute like a boss.
A great example of this is feeding the bottomless pits that double as our kids stomachs. How can they be hungry every 7 minutes? Clearly they want our attention, and food seems to be a surefire way to get it.
MAGICAL TIP: The snack tray. Prepared in the morning, packed with variety and food groups, leaving out an age appropriate tray of food guarantees you don’t have to hear the words, “Mom, I’m hungry! Can I have a snack. PLEEEEASE!!!”
Plan: Get the groceries.
Prepare: Make the tray.
Execute: Leave it out where they can reach and don’t forget this step, let them know there will be no other food until it is all eaten.
Sha-zam!! Productivity through the roof.
I elaborate in a short video on my IGTV channel (Instagram’s new version of YouTube) from @BloomLisa,
Tip #6 – Rip off the bandaid
We as parents must own that we train and raise a cutthroat breed of whiners. When we waffle, over and over again, you know you do it ….we all do it…. our kids learn they can wear us down to get what they want. They are armed with whining nunchucks and attack like an elite force unit of ninjas, leaving parents frustrated and defeated.
We teach people of all sizes how to treat us. In our business relationships and with our kids, being consistently firm is non-negotiable.
HOW THIS MOMPRENEUR ROLLS: With summer vacation in full force, screen time was taking on a bigger role despite my reminders of the rules. I was done with all the whining, sneaking, late bedtimes and shrugging off chores. I told them if I caught them sneaking screen time once more, they would lose the privilege.
I took my daughters screen time away for the rest of the summer (OH YES I DID) because they didn’t follow the rules around asking for screens.
OMGNESS – Now that the screentime is gone, there are no post screen time meltdowns, whining for screens or lazing around on weekend mornings. They are engaged in imaginative play and getting along a lot better.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Kids thrive with structure and you are the provider of it, so wear your boss lady sun hat this summer.
Tip #5 – Embrace Your Inner Yoda
There is no try.
Set your alarm early, but not so early you aren’t getting enough sleep. Before the day gets started and the chaos ensues, practice a sacred morning ritual (read a life changing blog post on this here). It could be savouring your morning coffee and reflecting on your blessings or it could be much longer and structured, just do what works for you.
Get your revenue producing work done in the morning before the day gets busy OR during nap time. Making time for your revenue producing work is a non-negotiable each work day.
When you maintain a schedule for the kids each morning it really helps to keep the kids happy and let you be to do your work.
Tip #4 – Ask, “Would a man do this?”
Yep, I said it.
I use this productivity hack when I start to get distracted from work and focusing on the home and mess. If the answer is “not a chance”, I cease and desist.
I am continually shocked at how hard I have to work not to perpetuate stereotypes. I am all about equality for the sexes economically, politically and socially. Yet I find myself working non-stop between managing a home, two children and two businesses and still go into auto-pilot at dinner each night.
Tip #3 – Schedule Time To Clean
With all the mompreneurs I work with, this as a massive struggle that comes up regularly when we are looking at productivity and time management.
I often coach mompreneurs who either have a full-time job and are transitioning from side-hustle status to full time entrepreneurship or business owners who work from home. They find it hard to leave the mess and focus on work, let alone prioritizing CEO time.
Three strategies for empire building mojo:
- Do a morning tidy after breakfast so you can start in a clean space then leave it for the day.
- Use the Pomodoro technique and use the short breaks for cleaning, watch my video on this technique here
- Ignore it. People at an office work, and you are at the office. Work like a boss.
We make time for what matters most and we make excuses for the rest. If growing your business matters, then the dishes and laundry can wait. Trust me, they aren’t going anywhere.
If this feels impossible, then you need to look into an office space.
You can also, re-read tip #4.
Tip #2 – Get Out
Staying home all day is a recipe for fighting.
I like to work from 6 am – 1 pm and then go out with the kids in the afternoon and do something fun. They turn into wild animals in a cage if kept home too long; I have girls and know this is doubley true for my friends with boys.
Think back to Tip #7 – Plan + Prepare + Execute. Structure your day and include work for you and fun for everyone.
Your best ideas will come to you when you are not at your desk. This is where innovation strikes.
MAGICAL FUN BULLET:
Plan: Make a bucket list for the summertime for each member of your family.
Prepare: Schedule the outings on the calendar and your booking calendar so the space stays free.
Execute: Leave work behind and fill up your tanks with family time.
Tip #1 – Forgive Yourself
No matter how well you do, you will end up feeling like you totally blew it on many or most days. Women tend not to focus on what we did well (revisit Tip #4 – Would man ask this?) but rather on what we could have done better and our perceived mistakes.
What if you start celebrating your wins in the evening? A few examples include:
I left the dishes in the sink all day … high five ladyboss!
My children are still alive after this day.
I had a delicious happy hour today.
I am so grateful for passive income and the internet so I don’t have to go an office from 8-6 each day.
I asked my husband to make dinner and he did …give me a woot-woot!!
I only dropped two f-bombs today ….a massive improvement over yesterday. You are the best mom!
I made time for myself to go to a yoga class and re-charged.
See how easy it is.
I do it daily and I am sailing onwards & upwards to abundance in all areas.
Beating yourself up keeps you in that low energetic state of negativity, lack and shame. I am quite sure that is not on your bucket list you made back in Tip #2.
Honour your summer as a time to fill up your tank, have way more fun and prepare for a benchmark quarter and beyond. Follow these tips, and you will be producing bottom line results all summer long.
Until next time, be fabulously YOU!
Lisa van Reeuwyk – Certified Life + Executive Coach