How to thrive as a business mum
Written for Confident Life by Rachel Allan, marketing consultant, author and mum.
No more super mum! Super mum is bogus! No more super mum! Super mum is bogus!
Who is with me? Who is ready to let go of the old way of thinking and start to thrive as a business mum? The thinking that saw you cooking from scratch, cleaning your house to display home standard, driving a busy business, raising well rounded children. Yet running on empty, feeling like you are treading water rarely taking a breath and often drowning.
There is a better way.
You need to start with letting go of the guilt, the self-imposed standards and be focused – every single day!
If every day you woke to a morning routine, had a task list you worked off during the day which led you to your goals and ensured the day-to-day stuff happened, and had an evening routine. What would you day look like – your business, life, and self. Where would you be in a month, year – still treading water or seeing the success.
So what if occasionally you had take-away dinners, or ate fruit and yoghurt for dinner. So what if you have to buy a packet of something for school lunches. And what if, for just one day you left the dishes on the sink or the washing in the machine – I bet no-one else in your house cares as much as you – or if they do let them sort it out!
What is your priority? To have an immaculate home or a successful business. Is it to spend your life baking or spending time with your children? If your home is tidy and hygienic, and your family eat nutritious food – most of the time – you are doing great!
As mums we can very easily bind ourselves up in guilt. You are enough just as you are. Do not ever let anyone ever tell you any different. Do not ever allow judgement by people who do not walk in your shoes every day, do not know your children, your business, your life.
Create your morning routine. Set your daily tasks. Create your evening routine. Stick to it. Make the small changes today that will give you the life you deserve tomorrow and forever!
When I tell mums to organise their day, including self-time, the first thing they say is that is not possible for them. Their children need help in the morning, getting dressed, having breakfast and so on. Their partner is not at home to help, or if he is he is rushing to get himself ready in the morning. Arriving home after a day at work exhausted and ready for dinner and relaxing. Your day is spent juggling, doing whatever lands on your desk.
Is there something wrong with this picture? What if you went on strike…..what would happen? How would your family react if you told them there was no more super-mum? Encouraged your children to be independent (age related of course), told your partner that you also work all day and he needed to help at night. Enrolled in a belly dancing class, went for an early morning walk.
To create a different life for you, you first need to break old habits. As women we fall into the nurturing role far too easily. One day we wake up and wonder why all the child raising and domestic chores have fallen at our feet AND we are expected to contribute to the family income. The time to change your family is today. It will hurt some of them, especially those who just rely on you to do things, but in the long term it will be better for you and them.
Let’s take a look at some of these routines you can change to totally thrive as a business:
Wake up at the same time every day – it is good for your hormones.
Start with exercise, breathing, moving your body, stretching whatever works for you. Do it with your children if you need to. My daughter has done yoga with her dad, been on walks with me and even bounced around on an exercise ball!
Stop rushing into drinking coffee – start with lemon water, hydrate your body after being asleep. Think about how you fuel yourself up for the day – cereals and bread are often not the best start – green smoothies, fruit, nuts and yoghurt are a better choice. Helping you jump into your day full of energy.
Let go of domestic chores – I used to think I needed to empty the dishwasher, clean up the kitchen, tidy the house in the morning. I even used to clean before I raced off to work. Forget it – it will happen, it doesn’t have to be then.
If making lunches, sorting out school uniforms, you showering or any other task causes you stress in the morning – think of a more efficient way of doing the task or a different time. Can you make lunches in advance on the weekend or the night before? Can school uniforms be ready the night before? Do you need to shower in the morning – I have been known to shower after school drop-off, at night or even during the day!
Create dedicated work time during the day, time when your children are at school or being cared for by someone else. Make this time focused, sacred time.
Schedule everything – tasks, appointments, children’s needs (create a calendar for each of your children). See how your day is looking and if you need to move anything or get help.
Do not let your day get hijacked by people asking you to do something you don’t have on your list. Or friends who see that you ‘are at home’ so pop in to say hi. You are running a business and need to be aware of your limited time, others need to respect that also.
Don’t forget to eat lunch.
The afternoon & evening
Do you find this time hard? Everyone is tired. Babies have their witching hour/s. It is like having to gain the energy to do a sprint to the end of the day, and the hardest part is ahead of you. Dinner and bedtime.
If you are turning to chocolate and alcohol at this time – maybe think of something else you can turn to. Like fruit or juice or protein snacks. You need the pep up, not the sugar!
Could dinner prep be made easier if you planned your menu or pre-cooked dinners? Especially on those days with after school activities or with extra cranky kids!
Can bedtime be made easier with strict routines that everyone sticks to. For us we play a game together, read and then it is lights out.
If you jump back on your laptop to do some work – make it focused and task driven – also make sure you turn your computer off with enough time for your brain to stop working and go to sleep.
Getting to the ideal
Trying to make all of these changes at once may seem daunting, so take baby steps. Implementing one change at a time. It may take some time, but once you have created the ideal morning, day time and evening routines you can then start to create a life that is balanced.
Confident Life Contributor
Rachel Allan has been a business owner for 12 years, and a mum for 5½ years. On her business-and-baby journey she has learned a lot about life, business and herself. She shares her discoveries (and the wisdom of other parents and experts) with you in her new book, When Business Meets Baby. Rachel is honoured to be Sophie’s mum, and she is also an author, integrated marketer, entrepreneur and property investor. From 2007 she has shared her journey with her business and life partner Craig.
If you would like to discover more about Rachel and the services she offers, visit her at www.rachelallan.com.au.