Top 10 Parenting Tips for Entrepreneur Mums
Posted on May 08 2017
As parents, we’ve always been at the receiving end of various parenting tips from friends and family. If you’re an entrepreneur mum like me, chances are you’re still searching for the best advice you can find to help get you through the challenges of running a business while raising your kids.
Thankfully for us, there are lots of entrepreneur mums all over the globe who pride themselves for taking the bull by its horns. These mums have much to share in terms of parenting styles, tailored to fit the hectic lifestyles we lead. We have scoured through the internet and our books for the best parenting tips that can help entrepreneur mums manage their business and their households.
- Count on Your ‘Mummy Mojo’
Managing a business can indeed be a daunting task. Adding that to the ever-growing mountain of chores that go with child rearing can certainly paint a frown on any face. However, being a mum comes with a set of skills like multitasking, time management, problem-solving, and managing a budget—all of which are quite useful in entrepreneurship. Before we tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to run our own business, think about all the time we’ve spent juggling chores, balancing our budget and managing our kids’ activities at home. With a little creativity, we can readily be on the road to a home run as entrepreneur mums.
- Start Small and Let It Grow
However we define a ‘successful family business’, it is important to consider starting small with our business ventures. Filling in small orders at a time for the first few months of our start-up allows us to slowly adjust the entire family into the business endeavour we’ve started. There is no need to rush things—not when we have kids in tow. Keeping things small and simple at the beginning makes things more manageable. Adjusting to the growth of our business can be made more gradual and less impactful, if at all, to us and our family.
- Let Your Kids Jump Right In
Letting our kids join in on the family business does not only teach them entrepreneurship and marketing skills, among others. It also gives them a deeper appreciation of what we do in the business and every dollar that business earns. Lauren Thom, a self-made business woman and mum of three, affirms the importance of making our family a part of our business ventures. Letting our kids take their place in the family business allows them to play a role in our business’ eventual success.
- Time Management with the Kiddos
Setting up routines is a common item in various parenting techniques employed by successful entrepreneur parents. Training our kids to sleep early in the evening and wake up in time for school in the morning can be difficult at first but not at all impossible. Establishing bedtime, mealtime and playtime routines with our children is a must if mums like us are to maintain a manageable household and keep our sanity intact. If we are getting our kids involved in the family business, establish a specific hour of the day when we are getting them ‘hands on’ so it gets integrated into their personal schedule. In time, they will get used to the routine and will prove less difficult to manage while we’re hustling to get our next orders filled.
- NEVER Lose Your ME-time
Motherhood, as they say, is a 24/7 job. Managing a home business brings double the workload. Personally, I’ve had days when I work until 3 in the morning and wake up at 6 AM to make sure my kids are ready for the school bus before 8. One of the parenting tips I found that’s closest to my heart tell me that I need to be kind to myself. There will be days when things won’t go our way, our kids will make messes and there may be orders we fail to fill. There will be things that can go wrong along the way and go out of your control. It is important to take a breather once in awhile—do not neglect your physical, emotional and mental health. A few hours to get ourselves a manicure or a spa treatment can do wonders!
- Embrace the Tears
There will be times when our kids will throw a fit, right when we least need it. We also go through moments when we hit a wall and want to throw a temper tantrum ourselves. Part of our jobs as parents involves helping our children get a hold of their emotions. Nothing gets this job done better than setting a good example of managing our own emotions. It is important that we let them know that everyone needs a good cry sometimes. If you need to take a ‘time out,’ go right ahead. Your kids can easily pick up the signals from you and will ‘copy’ the way you cope when things get difficult. Letting your kids see that you also become vulnerable—and allowing them to wipe away your tears—empowers them. Afterwards, thank them. Let them know that they gave you strength to carry on (even if you feel aren’t ready yet… they need to hear it anyway). After all, you are their superhero. And they will do everything they can to support you if you let them.
- Differentiate between Needs and Wants
Easier said than done, correct? There are things we need to live and there are also things we like very much but can live without. The line between what we need and want can easily be distorted, even more so when managing a home business. Not being able to spot the difference can lead to potential investing mistakes. Setting your priorities straight and ensuring that they are made clear to the rest of your family can earn you as much of the support you need to make sure you don’t cross this line too often. Plus, you get to set a good example of self-discipline to your kids. If you feel the need to reward yourself with a nice cup of latte from that coffee place or treat the kids to a trip to Disneyland, feel free to do so but in moderation. It helps to set aside a fund specific to these treats so the rest of your funds remain intact.
- The Dishes Can Wait
One of my favourite parenting tips involves letting the dishes sit in the sink for a little while longer than I normally would. Let’s face it: they aren’t going anywhere. And sometimes there are spontaneous moments when you could use a good soak in the tub. Your toddler perhaps needs one more bedtime story or two. These moments in between auditing your sales records and doing your household chores are more precious than you might give them credit for.
- Divide and Conquer
Don’t be selfish. Your spouse/partner can share some of the workloads but if and only if both of you are willing. Communicate your needs and work together on a routine that matches both your interests and schedules. Try not to “micromanage” how your spouse/partner does his/her part (as tempting as it can be). Sharing the load with your spouse/partner not only brings you both closer. It also gets the work done a lot faster than if you do everything all on your own.
- Check Your Balance
Work-life balance means as much to mums like us who work between managing the home and our home business as it does to corporate employees. If you feel that you haven’t been getting enough sleep, or that you have not been able to complete tasks off your to-do lists, then perhaps you are losing your work-life balance. Preparing ahead of time for tasks the next day, planning meals ahead for the week, using the internet for grocery shopping, and creating a family calendar—with a specific time for vacations and holidays—are just some of the things you can do to bring this balance back in order.
If you ever find yourself struggling with managing your household and your home business, it may help to start a daily regimen. Start adopting new habits that help you manage your time. Get the rest of your household into new habits that engage them and get them involved in your endeavors.
Things may get a little rocky at the beginning but, once things get settled, you’re sure to become an entrepreneur mum master.