It bothers me that this is even an issue, but I’ve been struggling with something lately.
It’s the battle between the mom and the mompreneur in me.
Maybe it’s because of the timing in my life right now. We homeschool, and the kids still at home are middle- and high-school aged. So in reality, they are already developing the independent learning skills that are so vital to their future plans – academic or non-academic.
We worked at the end of last summer to develop a schedule for all of us that included work/study times, sports and music lessons, and meetings or other appointments.
They’re already learning to do things quite well independently, without my constant oversight, and I feel a certain chasm growing even without having this other role tugging at my time and heart.
Work, for me, consists mostly of time at my computer, researching, writing and contacting people via email. I admit I spend too much time than is good for my eyes staring at my laptop, but what else is a writer to do?
Many of you reading this may be going through the same struggles. And you may also be asking: what can you do – if anything – to keep your entrepreneurial spirit and activities from damaging your vital, God-given role as mom?
Excellent question! While there are some steps to take to move forward productively, please don’t approach this as a “quick fix.” Anything worthwhile is worth doing well…so take your time working through these, knowing that you may have to revisit this from time to time (or often!).
Five Steps To Win the Battle Between Mom and Mompreneur:
- Pray – You may notice on any list I compose of this sort that #1 is always “pray.” As Christians, I believe prayer should always be our “go to” #1 step, in anything we do. Please understand I’m not saying this with fingers pointed, at least not only at you. I need a reminder to go this route just as much as any other reader.
- Consult – With your hubby, of course, but also with the kids. I’ve only recently gotten better at this. Because we also homeschool, I’ve found it vital to work with the kids regarding scheduling, limits (for us all) and organization of time, materials and space. And recently my husband and I started reading Business By The Book by the late Larry Burkett, which has opened up conversations and accountability regarding my home business.
- Prioritize – I found this matrix helpful in forming priorities in our own home, and you can certainly extend this to business activities. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but it IS important to point out that you’re looking to live and work in quadrant 2. That’s where we are dealing with activities in a timely manner with our priorities intact…Which leads to the next step.
- Plan – If you haven’t already, institute a calendar or planner TODAY so you can start adding deadlines, activities, meetings and the like. If you’re into the paper and pen route, just make sure this can travel with you, so you don’t forget to add anything that comes up when you’re out and about. There are lots of planners available online, too, making them accessible wherever you are, provided you have a smart phone or tablet. This will go far in preventing items from sneaking into quadrant 1: what I call the “oh-no-this-is-due/happening-TOMORROW?” sector.
- Follow–through – If you can’t work it – re-work it. Meaning, if you’ve developed a plan or schedule that is too difficult or cumbersome to maintain, don’t be afraid to try something else. As a matter of fact, let me go farther by insisting you try something else!
Working through all these steps, it’s important for any mompreneur to remember the bottom line: it’s not about the bottom line (as in the money!). Even if you are the sole provider at home, it is NOT your job to provide for your family…it is God’s! You may be the conduit through which He may be doing that, but it is His job, and He is faithful. On the other hand, He HAS created you to be your child’s mother, and you are the only one that can fill that role.
So when you find those roles collide – mom and mompreneur – take a deep breath, ask God for both wisdom and confidence in Him, and give the mom in you a break. Oh, and don’t forget to give your kids a hug!