Moms and Entrepreneurs: Not so different after all!

Moms and Entrepreneurs: Not so different after all!

When you become an entrepreneur, there are ultimately two roles you take on in the beginning: the leader and the manager. It can be a lonely experience, and you can feel like you do a lot of work without it being noticed. Sound familiar? As moms, we tend to feel the same, don’t we? Not only do we share similar feelings but we can look at our job taking care of our family and home the same ways as an entrepreneur does a business. Let’s be real…it is a business. I like to say that we are moms by identity and Chief Household Officers by job. So, let’s dive in and explore these roles we take on as entrepreneurs of our homes.

The Leader: “I have a dream…”

As moms, we are a leader in our home. We purposefully plan our days, weeks, and months, make decisions about what is best for our family, decide how we will spend our time, and create a schedule for how things will run in our home. Problems occur in this role when we don’t stop to think about what is important to us. What are our values? What is our family’s mission statement? Once we have answers to these questions, we can truly plan with purpose. We can create schedules and routines that make sense to our family. We can plan activities with those who matter to us and do things that help us grow. Without recognizing our role as leaders in the home and taking time out weekly to focus on this role we limit ourselves to only putting out fires on a regular basis. I don’t know about you, but I would like to do more than be a firefighter all day!

The Manager: “Whistle while you work…”

This is the part of being a CHO I find that either moms love or hate. Very few are in the middle. The manager gets the housework done, deals with crises that come, and ultimately puts into action the plans that were made. Just like in the workplace when we have a full inbox that we must attend to or meetings with co-workers that we can’t stand, the tasks of taking care of a home and family can be frustrating. Procrastination creeps up and we feel overwhelmed when we look at all the items we need to do. The couch becomes our friend. This is where the leader’s plan and vision for the family come in to play. If what is important to me is that anyone who comes into my home feels comfortable and welcome, and this includes my partner, my kids, and me, then I want to take care of my home to achieve this goal. I will declutter, clean, and create a space that matches my vision. If my vision for myself is that I am calm and able to handle stress with a clear mind, then as a manager I want to get things done immediately rather than put them off. The manager part of the job is the backbone. Without it, we just have a bunch of ideas and no one getting them done.

What can I do?

You may say, “This sounds good, Katie, but I don’t have a clue where to start.” I understand and you are not alone. I talk to moms on a regular basis who want things to change but don’t know how to find the time or energy to do so. I always say that change happens when you are at your wits end with how things are currently going. With this in mind, I created a 45 day program for full and part-time stay at home moms to learn about their job as a Chief Household Officer and make it work for them. The From Stay at Home Mom to Chief Household Officer program is designed to motivate and support you in being a happier mom and stronger CHO. We also explore issues like feeling unappreciated and taking care of you. Instead of having a pity party about it together, I give you tools to improve how you feel about yourself and what you do. I am watching this program change the way moms think, take action, and on top of that improve relationships in their homes in the process.

Not sure you are ready for a program?  I understand. It can be overwhelming to put one more thing on your plate so let me give you some tips to improve your situation now.

  1. Pick one night this coming week and put it on your calendar as a planning night.
  2. When the kids are finally in bed, DO NOT sit on your couch. Go straight to a desk or your dining room table with paper and pen.
  3. Write down what matters to you, what is important to your family, and what you want to change about your current situation.
  4. Then,  start to plan the week in a way that changes what you are unhappy with and focuses on what matters most. Once the week starts, keep this mindset that you want to improve how things are and not stay at status quo.

If you get to the end of that night and have questions, don’t worry! You can write me and ask any question you may have. I encourage you to check out the program at http://fromsahmtocho.com/ and sign up to receive emails with tips and updates. I have free webinars from time to time that support moms in growing as Chief Household Officers. You are doing a great job as a mom! Let me help you rock being a CHO as well!

Katie Rössler is a licensed professional counselor from the United States living in Germany. She has over 10 years experience working with individuals, couples and families on improving their lives and relationships. She also is the creator of the From Stay at Home Mom to Chief Household Officer program (http://fromsahmtocho.com/) which teaches and empowers mothers who stay at home full or part-time to run their households like entrepreneurs do a business.

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3 Steps to a Calmer and Happier Household as a Mompreneur

3 Steps to a Calmer and Happier Household as a Mompreneur

As a work at home mom, you’ve pretty much got the work thing down.  Or at least you’re working on getting it down.  You’re marketing and connecting. You’re making waves in the online world and rocking it.

But I know for me, when my kids were acting out, it could throw off my entire day. It was even worse if I’ve scolded them a little too harshly or lost it for something small. I would feel bad, apologize, and then I would silently question whether or not I’ve messed them up for life.  No matter how on top of my work game I’m feeling, when I’m not mom-ing right, it can become a whole “thing.” It has the ability to change my mood in a heartbeat. And then everything starts to go downhill from there.

And it makes sense that your kids can throw you off track. Being a mom is the most important job you have. The first part of mompreneur is “mom” after all. And that’s why, when you feel like you’re not nailing the mom part of your life, it can start to affect everything else.

I’ll be honest– overcoming the fighting, tantrums and mom guilt, and having a system where you’re not screaming at your kids when they’re annoying you isn’t about trial and error. Sure, you could do a Google search and come up with hundreds of ideas, charts and checklists. But unless it’s tailored to your kid and your family, there’s still a 50/50 chance it won’t work, and you’ll back to square one trying to find a solution that will work.

Instead, go with something that does work. Something that make sense for your child. To help you, here are 3 steps that will help you set up a system that will help eliminate the ourbursts and tantrums from your kids, and the yelling and mom guilt from you.

Step 1: Conquer your own mindset

We start here, because it’s the most important part of managing any situation. You can’t always control how your kids are going to act, or react, but you have a much better chance of controlling your own actions. And let me tell you, your own reaction plays a HUGE part in the harmony of your household. Think about it. When your kids are acting out, you tend to get frustrated. And they get more upset, and then so do you. Next thing you know, everyone is upset.

Or if your kids are being too noisy, or they’re fighting, you start to yell at them. Then what happens? They get more upset and then the situation escalates.

So this step is about calming your own reactions of  anger and frustration, and not letting yourself get so aggravated.  If you find yourself getting upset at your kids often, first of all, you’re not the only one, and second, you can change it. Once you start to understand WHY you react in certain ways, you can start to change it.

My suggestion is to journal. Even if you’ve never journaled before. Or if journaling is too woo woo for you, call it free writing. Start by writing down what you’d like to change most about yourself as a parent. Be honest with yourself.

What do you wish you didn’t do?

What habit do you want to break?

When do you get the most down on yourself?

Then dive a little deeper into the root cause of that action. What are the kids doing that trigger your negative reaction? Is that related to something else you’ve experienced in the past? Think of the feelings you’re feeling and the frustrations that come up. When have you felt something similar?

Reflecting on your responses  should give you a good starting point and a glimpse into what is going on in your head.

Step 2: Understand your child

Once you have a better understanding of yourself, and more control of your own actions in heated situations, you can start to understand your own child.

The best thing you can do is simply to pay attention.

Also, think about the most heated arguments, the biggest blowups. When do they happen? What else is going on? How does your child act?  Does there seem to be a common thread?

The answers to these questions (and more) will give you look into your child’s mind and see what’s going on. Almost every tear, scream, tantrum or fit stems from some sort of emotion. Your child could be angry, tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, hungry.

When you start to look at the cause  of the behavior and not the behavior itself, you can start to proactively handle them.

Step 3: Find rewards and discipline that fit each child

Each child is different. What works for one child may not work for another. Or even what works for your first child may not work for your second child, and so on.

Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of trial and error when it comes to finding discipline methods that stick.

Luckily, once you understand your child a bit better, you can choose routines, rewards and consequences that make sense for your child.

To create a discipline system that works, think of what will impact your child the most. There’s no sense in implementing time out as a punishment when your child craves alone time. Or taking away items won’t work if your kids doesn’t value their things.

Likewise, creating reward systems that work is very similar. What will your child love the most? For some kids it’s their favorite treat. For others it can be extra quality time with you.

Also, some kids do well with charts and stickers, others not so much. Creating routines, systems and of course punishments (though I’m not a fan of this word at all) and rewards that your kids are happy to abide by.

As a mompreneur, you wear a lot of hats. You’re an amazing entrepreneur, homemaker and parent. But I know that when you’re not feeling on top of your mom game, it can bring your entire life down. Because your kids take first position in your mind …. always. By using these 3 steps, you can start to get a handle on your own mindset and reactions, understand your children so you can contain their behavior and create systems in your household that will help it stay calm and run smoothly.

The Whole Mompreneur Virtual Summit

28 experts, 5 days. Let’s nourish and empower the soul behind your family and your business!  As a mompreneur, we tend to go all in when it comes to our business. But there is so much more to us than just being savvy business women.

We’re women. We’re moms.

This summit aims to nourish and empower all areas of the wonderful women we are, and do it all with ease!

Corinne Kerston is a parent empowerment coach who helps struggling parents find solutions for their biggest parenting hurdles. She lives in Hawaii with her husband and 2 kids.  www.corinnekerston.com

7 Mom Life Summer Hacks

7 Mom Life Summer Hacks

Oh, moms! Summer is HERE. Whether your kids are going to mommy camp or day camp, you’ll likely find yourself with plenty of hours to fill. Let’s be real– the “summer reading challenge” at the library is only going to take you so far. Letting them watch endless TV is extremely tempting but you know, in your heart of hearts, you need to get them off the couch, especially if you want them to go to bed before the sun goes down! (Summer survival tip numero uno: wear ’em out!)

Here’s Mom Life Collective’s round-up of summer activities to fill your kid’s cup and have fun with your kids this summer.

3 Exciting Ice Cube Activities

Who doesn’t have ice cubes handy? This activity from Red Crayon Imagination requires minimal effort and incorporates early childhood concepts as they play. As the weather warms up, moms everywhere are looking for fun activities to keep their kids cool. This minimally messy activity is perfect for indoor or outdoor play for children ages 12 months through 5th grade. It requires almost no prep work making it easy and fun for the whole family!

9 of the Best Rainy Day Activities for Kids

Some of you have been a verrrrry rainy spring, which may not bode well for the summer days ahead.  Be prepared for those rainy days with 9 of the Best Rainy Day Activities for Kids, from The Professional Mom Project.

Free Summer Activities for Kids

Keeping the kids entertained during summer vacation can easily add up (daily ice cream cones, I’m looking at you) but there’s plenty to do that is free. Hodgepodge Moments’  list of free summer activities to do with your kids will help you hit your summer bucket list without busting your budget.

The Advantage of Adventures Outdoors with your Children

You might be outside a lot during the summer but how much are you actually exploring the great outdoors? Enjoy summer at its’ finest by escaping to the woods. A hike is so much more than a hike, as Adventures of Abby Girl demonstrates in this post.

Homemade Bouncing Bubbles

Personally, I think the best way to avoid the summer slide is to have fun with science. Bonus points if it includes items that you probably already have in your house! This bubble recipe from A Little Pinch of Perfect uses only three ingredients, and no glycerin or corn syrup.

DIY Solar Oven

You don’t have to go camping to get your fill of s’mores. Kick up the fun a notch with a STEM twist on the gooey treat by cooking the s’mores in a solar oven. Kiwi Co. Corner tells you how to do it.

Encourage Independent Play

In my research for this post, I legit googled “How to Get Kids To Leave You Alone During Summer Vacation.” In all seriousness, though, we need some downtime and we can’t always resort to plopping kids in front of the TV or you know…just ignoring them!  If you’ve got a toddler, check out these ideas from Lazy Mom’s Blog.  If your kiddos are a bit older, these Quiet Time boxes from Teaching Mama are genius.

How to Better Manage the Elusive Work-Life Balance

How to Better Manage the Elusive Work-Life Balance

I thought I was figuring out work-life balance. I send the kids to school just before 8 am, work like a mad woman until 2:45 pm, and then rush to pick them up, usually late. And that was supposed to be the end of the workday for me so that I could be available to help with homework, make dinner, keep up with the house.

That was the plan.

But then, I started taking on more work. I needed to be able to contribute more financially to the family. With the increased workload, I’d rush to get the kids, speed home from school, throw a snack at them and bark some directions at them, and hop on a phone call or two. I might shut down my computer by 5 pm, or I might continue working later. Then, I’d realize I had not prepared anything for dinner, and I’d totally lose my cool as I tried to create something quick and healthy and delicious… or just order pizza.

I took on more work and it extended from these hours to working in the evenings and through the weekend too, to get it all done. Plus, I was still responsible for doing all the home and family stuff. Not because my husband demanded it, but because that was our arrangement, and I didn’t want to admit that I’d taken on so much work, I could no longer keep up with everything.

In March 2018, I was about 3 breaths away from having a full-on nervous breakdown. I felt like a rubber band about to snap – sure a panic attack would ensue at any moment. I was gaining weight rapidly, my health was in decline, I yelled at my kids all the time, I gave very little to keep my marriage happy. But I pressed on, pretending that I had it all under control.

And then my dad died.

My world came crashing down, and I realized I was no longer “living the dream” but I had found myself in Hell. My whole world was chaos. The children were suffering, my marriage was suffering, my clients certainly weren’t getting my best, and I was falling to pieces.

Something had to give. Immediately. I could no longer work at this rate. I had a total shift in priorities.

Balancing your business with raising a family is no joke.  A business is just as needy as kids, but it’s a different kind of neediness. I confess that I used my work as an escape when my kids were little. My work allowed me to be something other than mom, to use my brain in a different way, and engage with actual adults.

Then one day I realized that my little kids are not so little anymore. My youngest is in kindergarten and my oldest just turned 11. I actually want to spend time with them, instead of always looking for a break from them,  and enjoy them as people, not just as little kids that need me all the time. While the older two no longer crawl all over me, demanding physical attention, they still need me, just in a different way. They are growing into independent, funny, opinionated, intelligent conversationalists. If their babyhood went by fast, I know these years will go by even faster. And YET, I still have a business to run. My business has grown along with my children and I feel like I’ve reached the point that while my peers are talking about scaling UP to bigger and greater things, I am looking for ways to scale DOWN. Or at least transition to more passive streams of income and a lot less one-on-one work that requires all of my attention.

Here are four changes I made or am making to make that happen:

  1. The Four Day Work Week: With all of my children in school all day, there was no reason why I couldn’t limit my work schedule to the school day, plus have a free day to do other things. As I finish up long-term projects, I’m being more considerate of what I take on going forward.
  2. Bumping Up My Passive Income: I had the realization that I was sitting on a goldmine of assets that could be sold through an automated sales process as long as I was smart about marketing them!
  3. Just Say No: I touched on this in #1, but a big part of creating a work-life balance is learning to say no. In the early days of my business, I felt like I had to take on every client and project that came along because I wanted the income. My business is a little more established and I don’t have to work as hard to get new clients, so I’ve learned to break the habit of saying yes to every project that comes along. Sometimes, I need a gut-check from my team before taking on a client but there is no longer an automatic YES from me, and that has been a game-changer.
  4. Build Up Systems and Processes: I have a great team that helps my business run, but my team can’t do anything if I don’t have systems and processes in place so that things can run without me, like client in-take, answering FAQs, and managing my online community. This is a work-in-progress for us but it’s also a real game-changer.

To be honest, I’m still working on managing the balance between work and family. I’m not at the point where I can say that I’ve nailed it; but as we head into the summer months I feel pretty confident that I’ll be enjoying time with my family instead of hiding out in my office, trying to get all my work done and feeling guilty about it. We actually have a vacation planned, and instead of panicking, I’m excited about the systems I’ve put in place so that my business will keep on keeping on while I’m hopping giant waves with my little people. It’s gonna be swell.

Health & Wellness For The Whole Family

Alexa Bigwarfe is a wife, mother, author,publisher, and podcaster. Her writing career began after her infant daughter passed away at 2 days old. She has published numerous books of her own and for many other writers and entrepreneurs through her author coaching and publishing business writepublishsell.co and hybrid-publishing company Kat Biggie Press. She loves sharing resources with busy moms and talking about things that matter most to moms on her podcast Lose the Cape! She helps busy moms learn how to make money through writing so that they can stay home with their children like she has been blessed to do. Sign up for a free trial module in her course Make Money Writing at: http://writepublishsell.thinkific.com/courses/writer-biz-workshop You can find her on Facebook @WritepublishsellLLC and on twitter @katbiggie.

How to Avoid Creative Burnout When Your Hobby is Your Business

How to Avoid Creative Burnout When Your Hobby is Your Business

You’ve probably heard the popular saying, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work  a day in your life.” While there’s some truth to that sentiment (because there are definite perks to doing what you love for a career,) when your business is centered around one of your favorite hobbies, burnout is a very real risk. Whether you own an Etsy shop or are a blogger, if the products you create are based around your favorite pastime, suddenly there’s a lot more pressure on an activity that you used to do for fun. When you’re a mother and the primary caregiver, if you feel like all of your time is either working or taking care of your family, this pressure increases your chances of experiencing burnout.

 

I have first-hand experience dealing with this. I’m a writer and blog about planning, journaling, and creativity. A lot of my posts on both the blog and social media include pictures of my weekly layouts and journals. Even though I write about embracing imperfection in my posts, there still is the added pressure of deadlines to my pages I create. It’s not always making a layout for the pure fun of it; it’s more of an “I have to get this done now or I’m behind schedule” mentality. I’m sure other creative entrepreneurs, from those who sell their crafts on Etsy to those who sell eBooks on Amazon, can relate to this mental shift. With that in mind, read on for my five tips for avoiding creative burnout when your hobby is your business.

 

Schedule Time for Only Your Hobby

This may sound like an obvious suggestion, but it is easy to forget to make time for your hobby when you’re in the thick of deadlines and creating content. It’s important to allow time in your schedule to only do your hobby or practice your craft, whether it’s creating scrapbook pages, sewing, gardening, writing, or making art. Don’t allow yourself to worry about whether what you produce is good enough to post on Instagram or your blog. In fact, I would suggest if it has been a long time since you’ve been able to do your hobby only for fun, don’t take a picture and Instagram it. You don’t want to either lose your precious time getting pulled into social media or worry about whether your picture looks good enough.

 

If your free time is limited because of your family responsibilities, if you have a partner, see if you could trade off a few hours with each other for having some free time to pursue your hobby in exchange for your partner to have some time to themselves. If your partner isn’t available, consider either hiring a babysitter or asking extended family to watch your children for a couple hours.

 

Splurge on New Supplies

Sometimes, when I’m feeling uninspired in my planner layouts, all it takes for me to find inspiration again is allowing myself to get new supplies for my pages. This doesn’t have to be expensive. For me, this could be as simple as new washi tape, journaling cards, or stickers. If your budget allows it, though, maybe indulging your hobby by letting yourself pick up new supplies that you’ve been coveting for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to buying (or you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have time to use new supplies.)

 

Learn a New Technique

When I’m feeling stuck on my art journaling pages, sometimes picking up a magazine with fresh techniques gives me the push I need to try out new ideas and I don’t fall into a rut trying to come up with only picture-perfect pages. Learning a new technique is a great way to break the tedium of creating content for your business and can be liberating. If money is tight, YouTube has so many great tutorials on it for creative projects that you’d likely find some great ideas for inspiration. You could also check out Pinterest and blogs for ideas, too. Be careful of falling into the comparison trap, though. Remember, you’re trying to learn a new technique for you, not for your business. If the new skill ends up helping out your business, that’s wonderful, but that shouldn’t be your focus at this time.

 

Journal

Before you turned your hobby into your business, there was a reason you loved doing your hobby. Spend a few minutes journaling about what you love about your favorite activity and why you started it in the beginning. Not only will this help you remember all the reasons why you love doing your hobby, but this is a great way to reconnect with your personal “why” for your business and can give it you a renewed sense of purpose.

 

Try a New Hobby

If your workload for your business has left you feeling burned out about your hobby, then maybe spending some time trying a different activity in your spare time may help shake off the blocked feeling. For example, if you’re a writer, you could try your hand at sketching. It doesn’t matter if it’s an activity that you’d be good at; in fact, a beginner’s mindset will help you feel like you have a fresh outlook in other areas of your life, too. It’ll help you shake off boredom if you’ve been in a constant creation mode and break the cycle of repetition.

 

Your Turn

If your business is based on your hobby, how do you avoid burnout? I’d love to read your suggestions in the comments!

 

Health & Wellness For The Whole Family

Kelsey Josephson is an introvert who enjoys connecting with others through writing and mixed-media. She lives with her husband, two young children, and a very sensible cat. She can be found blogging about planning, journaling, creativity, and how those three things tie into self-care at www.simplykelseyjo.com.

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