Balancing Biz + Baby: Tips for Busy Moms

Every so often I encounter a mom who seems to be balancing at all. These women all tend to share some concerns that perhaps they’re not that great at balancing, and yet they have happy kids and thriving (or at least stable) businesses. After speaking with many of them, they all point to determining priorities and giving themselves a break from guilt or high expectations on either end.balancing business and baby

To learn more about these superwomen, I went directly to the source to learn how they do it.

Many of them made important changes after their kids were born, but have learned to keep the chaos to a minimum and to embrace the plethora of opportunities in their life, even if that sometimes means saying no.

Many of them made important changes after their kids were born, but have learned to keep the chaos to a minimum and to embrace the plethora of opportunities in their life, even if that sometimes means saying no.

Here’s what I learned from three moms making it all work to balance biz and baby.

Let Go of Perfection

Emily McGee is the founder of My Adaptable Career, where she helps busy bloggers manage their time better so they can reach their goals faster. She says the idea of keeping all cylinders running is a recipe for burnout.

“I mean this both in terms of the baby and your business. If you want to stay sane AND get things done, you need to settle for good enough. You no longer have time to spend 30 minutes perfecting a Pinterest image or editing a blog post. Do the best you can, and give yourself permission to be imperfect. Try to remember that no one else is judging you as hard as you judge yourself.”
Emily says that being able to let go of that internal dialogue allows her to be extremely productive when it’s time to work.
She applies that same strategy with her family, too: “In terms of baby (or older siblings), let go of perfection there, too. It’s okay to leave the baby happily swinging in his swing for 30 minutes while you get some work done. “
In that same vein, Emily says you’ve got to find small windows in which to get work done and to recognize when sleep is better for you, your business, and your baby.

 Get Work Done Before They’re Born

This might sound silly, but if you’re a blogger or content creator of any top, batching is your best friend! Emily says “Babies don’t really come as a surprise, so luckily you’ve got months to plan ahead.”
This helps to give you some space after the baby is born, too.
Emily shares, “Batch your work so you can get more done, and write several weeks (or months!) of blog posts, social media updates, and email newsletters in advance. Schedule everything to post automatically so that your business keeps growing on autopilot when the baby arrives.”

Be Grateful for Self-Employment if You’ve Got It

Business mentor Becky Mollenkamp‘s newest title is “Mom”, one she’s embracing as she raises her now nine-month old son. In a situation in which many people might struggle with the potential uncertainty of having to create your own paycheck, Becky says that’s a blessing in disguise.
“I’ve owned my business for 12 years and always felt passionately about being self-employed, but having my baby really reinforced those feelings. It no longer feels like an option, but an imperative for me to make my business successful. Making this work means so much more now that I have a baby to care for financially.”
She goes on to say, “Also, the flexibility of being my own boss matters more to me now more than ever because I want to be there for my baby when he needs me. Finally, I’m now more productive than ever because I know I have such limited time to work each week that I need to maximize every minute.”

Ease Back Into Work After a New Baby

Becky adjusted her expectations of what she could realistically do within a given day she never lost sight of what her business needed or where she wanted it to be.
“My plan was to take 12 weeks of maternity leave. My baby was a month early, however, so I was working in the hospital the day after giving birth. I ended up doing a few hours of work each week right from the start, and then returned to my new schedule at about 10 weeks. It wasn’t ideal, but as a solopreneur there was no one else to pick up the slack. Ultimately, I didn’t mind that much because I was still able to spend plenty of time with him and had the comfort of knowing my business was going to stay afloat.”
Having a good attitude goes a long way towards giving yourself some slack and bringing the right energy to all your endeavors.
Becky notes, “Having both baby and business is really perfect for me. Sometimes it’s overwhelming because I’m now doing the same or more amount of work but with less than half the amount of time to do it, but I wouldn’t trade baby or business for anything.”
Laura Pennington

Laura Pennington burned out teaching 7th grade in Baltimore City and realized that traditional education was not for her in the midst of pursuing her PhD in public policy. She launched a freelance writing and virtual assistant career that allows her to work from home on her own time, teaching others how to build at-home businesses and providing content and strategy for major companies like Microsoft. She is a soon-to-be military spouse who has moved four times in seven years with her Navy man. She is a former competitive tap dancer and enjoys spending time with her cats and reading books like a good nerd should.

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