Updated: Feb 17, 2020
Being a stay at home mom is a ton of work on its own already. You're taking care of kids, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, doing laundry. That in itself is a full time job. So how do I balance not only being a stay at home mom and getting all of those things done in addition to running my business while at home?
While there are a few things that I do in order to make that happen. And the biggest thing that I can attribute my success to is planning. I plan, plan, plan, anything that I need to remember or think about doing. I remove from my brain and I put it somewhere that I can see in front of me. I have a calendar with what I'm going to be posting on my Instagram on certain days. I also have a to do list for major things that I need to get done this month and just around the corner. I have a list of all the tutorials that I plan to create in this year. I am constantly moving information from my mind onto paper and pen. That way I can free up space to think about other unnecessary things.
WRITE DOWN GOALS
Every single morning, and I'm starting to do this every night. I'm writing down three to five goals I have for my day before I go to bed. I will write down a few goals that I have for tomorrow. Things that I know I need to get done or things that I may have not been able to get done the previous day. And then the next morning, when I get up, I look at those goals. I assess how big of a task they are. And I either keep them to a minimal 3 or I bump it up to around 5. So often my days look like getting groceries, working on my tapestries, doing the dishes, getting laundry done, playing with Luna, cleaning, recording podcasts or editing podcasts, creating social media content and so much more.
Anything that I need to get done must be written down for me to achieve it. Otherwise, it is going to get lost in all of the necessary tasks that have to get done in the day. So if it is not written down, it most likely will not get done. It's so easy to get sidetracked, especially when you're a stay at home mom. You see all the things that need to get done and they can be distracting at times. I try to keep my house clean as possible so that I have them that mental space of worrying about dishes that need to be done or bathrooms that need to be cleaned, or clothes or toys that need be picked up. All of that is out of my mind and I can focus on what really matters.
So when you are planning your day, really focus on those tasks that you have written down and then use that to gage the success for your day. Some days I write down my three to five goals and I am able to get absolutely none of it done. Maybe one of the tasks gets done because Luna is having a difficult day or she isn't napping as much. Whatever it looks like, some days just you will not get what you want done, accomplished. And that's ok. You just need to focus on the bigger picture, because if you focus on how you aren't getting as much done as you want, then you're gonna become frustrated and angry and bitter. Focus on the things that you have accomplished. Look at your day and understand that you are doing a lot. Of course you want to have self compassion, but be realistic about if you have goals and dreams that you want to achieve. There are sacrifices that you will often have to make. These sacrifices may be a little less sleep than you would need or not going out on the weekends with friends or or staying up late on some nights to get some work done. That's all part of achieving those goals and dreams that you have and it's part of the process.
AVOID BURN OUT
The key thing is to just avoid burnout when you're working hard and you're trying to achieve all these goals and dreams in addition to being a stay at home mom. You have to have grace for yourself. You have to have an understanding of what a realistic day looks like.
I often have so many goals that I want to set out and achieve for the day. In the younger months, you really want to use your child's lack of mobility to your advantage when they're napping. You nap when they're up. That is the time that you can work because you're able to kind of set them near you or in something to play in. And they're able to stay in that area while you are working. And they're still learning. They're still developing. They're still growing. You don't have to feel bad for working alongside them.
FLEX AND FLOW
Once they are more mobile plan to have your schedule change. So as soon as Luna became more mobile, my reality totally flipped. It went from I was able to work when she was awake, too. I had to come to the realization that while she was awake, I really couldn't get very much work done. There are small tasks that didn't require a ton of focus that I was able to do, but if something required a little bit more focus, there was no way that I was going to be able to get it done. It really does require more of my attention when she's playing. She likes to interact with me and I like to interact with her. I want to be a part of this stage of her life. I don't want to just miss it because I am working too hard and too much.
DO THE THINGS YOU CAN WHEN THEY ARE AWAKE
One thing that I have learned, in order to maximize the amount of time that I have to work while she is asleep, is cooking dinner with Luna while she is awake. I find that this is a really great kind of bonding experience. She loves watching me chop vegetables and while I'm cooking, I'll give her pieces of the food that I'm chopping up. She loves chewing on bell peppers and broccoli and asparagus and carrots, and this keeps her entertained while I'm cooking. And it also is introducing her to different types of fruits and vegetables and textures and tastes. And I think that's all important to help keep her hopefully as less picky as possible as she grows up.
Another thing that I do is I batch work while listening to a lot of other podcasts. I have learned that it takes you 20 minutes to get into a state of flow. So when you are hopping from one task to another, you're thinking "I need to go do the dishes and then I need to make this phone call and then going to work on this and then I'm going to answer emails. Let me make another phone call." Every single time that you change a task, it takes you a good chunk of time to get in a state of flow, which is just you're sitting in there and you're pumping a workout.
So the goal is to minimize the amount of time that you are switching from task to task and maximizing the amount of time that you are on one task for me. I make sure that I batch all of my important phone calls that I need to make. This past week, I had to call and make a dentist appointment and then I had to call my insurance agency to make sure that I could go visit that dentist. And I had a call. Our phone business to unlock our phones. And I had a I had a lot of phone calls that I had to make and I batched those all into one day I just sat down and I cranked them out. And the amount of time that it took for me to make those phone calls and get them all done, I know was a lot smaller than it would have been if I had been bouncing back and forth between tasks and just popping those phone calls in whenever I wanted to.
HAVE SELF COMPASSION
When you're a stay at home mom and you're also running a business, you have to have self compassion. There are days where you will be exhausted. You didn't sleep as much that night or your baby didn't sleep as much that night. And you might simply need to minimize the number of tasks that you have that day to one or two. Or you may just need a day to sit and relax and not even think about work and just have a mellow day. And that's OK. Some days you will not get it all done. And honestly, if we're being real here, I'd say some of those days are really most of the days you're not going to get it all done. But the way that I look at it is how I do one thing as how I do everything. If I want to achieve my goals and dreams, I have to give my 100 percent every single day to make that a reality. And I just looks like small steps every day. That's what a hundred percent looks like to me as long as I am moving forward. Each and every day, then I am proud of myself and I know I'm doing what I can. Of course I try not to make just a one task day the new normal.
My life and the life of my child are commingled. If she's having a rough day that kind of just means that today is gonna be a different sort of day. And whatever I can get done. Awesome. Often I make a list for myself at the end of the day, of all the things that I actually did get done as a reminder that I really was productive and that my whole day wasn't a waste. I had a day last week where Luna was being extra difficult and I was exhausted. And really I just answered a few emails went through my Instagram and messaged people and reached out to other people. Other than that, I don't even know if I made dinner, but I felt like I was going nowhere and I was really frustrated with myself.
The reality was, is I did a lot. I took care of my daughter and I was pursuing my dreams in a way that was realistic for that day. You need to look at yourself, care not as a failure or as you being lazy, but as a necessity. Otherwise, you're going to burn out. It's going to flux and flow. And that's okay. You just simply have to learn how to go with that flow rather than fight it. So there will be days where you're packed with energy and you could get so much done. Do it. And there are days where you're only going to have one or two tasks that you can get done. That's okay, too. But you're making those steps towards your dreams and making them a reality.
OUTSOURCE SIMPLE TASKS THAT YOU DON'T ENJOY
Outsource as much as possible. So if you can afford to hire someone to clean your house, we use insta cart so that we can have our groceries delivered to our home rather than I me having to go out and get them, which has been super helpful for me. That way I can continue to work on things while they're doing my grocery shopping for me. And by the time they get here, I've been able to check another thing off of my list, which is really helpful. Mind you, this is not sponsored in any way, shape or form. I just really enjoy the fact that I no longer have to go shopping for my groceries. I can use my time to do things that actually make a difference within my company and things that I. I value my time using.
So outsource the things that you don't enjoy. If you are working on building your rub site right now, but you have no idea how to work with code, and every single time that you go to work on it, you're absolutely dreading it. Then find a way to outsource that. If you don't have the finances to make that happen, yes, do it yourself. But if you can find someone who is willing to do that for you. And if that means having to pay them, which it most likely will do it when you don't enjoy doing something. It takes you 10 times longer to get it done. And in that amount of time, there are so many things that you're passionate about and that actually make a difference within your company.
Take time today to think about all of the tasks that you have to do for your business and begin kind of analyzing. What is something only I can do? What are the things that you love? What are the things that you hate as your business grows? Think about outsourcing some of those things to other people. That way you can really give the time and energy to the things that are gonna make a difference within your company.
I hope that I've helped inspire you and given you some new ideas and insights. A new podcast drops every Monday, so I look forward to seeing you in a week. You can follow me on Instagram @eudaimonialifestyle .