Mindset Buster: Being a Working Mom is Selfish

Being a Working Mom is Selfish

We all have these mindsets that affect what we do, the decisions we make and the perspective that we have about our lives. Sometimes these mindsets can be positive ones that we should keep, and other times, we hold mindsets that can actually hold us back from reaching our full potential.

One very common mindset for mompreneurs is that being a working mom is selfish. Let’s take some time to break this down and see where this mindset comes from and what we should do about it.

I was talking with one client who is a great mom. She puts her kids first. She does things for her family all the time. She set priorities that she holds. She also has her own business. She realized, however, that she always felt guilty for being a working mom. That in the back of her mind she held this idea that being a working mom was selfish.

Before the days of motherhood, I lived a pretty self-focused life. I got to choose what time I’d get up in the morning. I picked what and when I wanted to eat. I selected what I wanted to do during the day and what time I wanted to go to bed. And I never really felt guilty about living like that.

Self-care after motherhood

Now we all know that once we get pregnant, something changes inside us. Something about motherhood gets hardwired into us. Suddenly, we give up so much of that self-focused life. Now everything revolves around our husband and children. We cook what the children like to eat. We nurse all night. We get up at 5 a.m. because that’s when the children are awake. We give up our needs and wants to take care of the long list of things for our family. There’s not often a whole lot left for ourselves at the end.

So when moms decide to go back to work, we often hear in our own minds that it is an act of selfishness. Stunning, isn’t it? Before motherhood, it was accepted that sometimes we do things for ourselves. Then when motherhood set in, we put everything ahead of us. Moms, in general, don’t excel at self-care. We rarely take a break, do something to take care of ourselves, or find something fun to do on the weekends.

If we decide to go back to work or to start our own business, it will make us unavailable at times. It will put something before our children at times. This will definitely happen, and it can look selfish. Even if we are earning money to pay for trips for our family or for college, we can still feed those lovely feelings of mother guilt.

“Stealing” time

When I think back to my early days of coaching, I remember feeling like I was stealing all the time. I had two little kids, and if I spent time with them, I felt like I was stealing time from my business. If I was working, then I felt like I was stealing time from my children. I stayed in that mindset of stealing; I was always stealing from some other part of my life. And I always felt guilty. My most important priorities were in conflict. When I was stuck in that stealing mindset, I was not being productive.

What happens in that mindset is that we start unwittingly sabotaging our business and our happiness. I had one client who was blaming the lack of success of her business on her husband. She felt that he had too high of expectations on what she could deliver in her business and what she could handle in housekeeping and childcare. However, as we talked about it more, she realized that she was actually the one with the unreachable expectations. It was her judging herself.

Breaking through mindset busters

She realized that her work was important. It meant a level of fulfillment for her. It gave her family a financial cushion they wanted. It was beneficial to another community. During the times she felt guilty, she would actually choose to do housework instead of higher priorities for her business for the sole purpose of earning the “good mother” badge. In the end, when she talked with her husband, he was actually very supportive. He was committed to helping support her in her business and pick up some of the household and childcare duties.

So how do you avoid this mindset? The first step is always awareness. If this article is resonating with you, then maybe you have this mindset. If you’re not aware, this unconscious mindset will motivate you to behave a certain way and make certain decisions. However, once you have awareness, you are capable of deciding if you want to continue holding the mindset or to change it. If you decide to change the mindset, you can replace it with a positive affirmation. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with your priorities and find ways to support yourself as a wife, mother, and person.

Is a negative mindset holding you back? It may be, even if you can’t identify it. If you’re stuck and need some help, let’s talk. I’d love to see if coaching is a good fit for you. Get in touch!

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Top Three Tips for a Successful Summer as a Mompreneur

sunny wall with bicycle

It’s that time of year. The school year is coming to a close or already has, and you may be wondering how you will survive the summer. As a mompreneur, there are mixed feelings when it comes to summer. A part of you is looking forward to spending time with your kids and going on family vacations, but you also must maintain a business. It’s normal to want to power down and go into maintenance mode with your business and enjoy family time, and with a strategic approach, it can be done.

Why is summer so wild?

Getting through the summer without going crazy is the number one topic with my coaching clients around this time of year. There are many reasons why summer tends to be a little stressful. For one, we often tend to give up our routine during the summer. Lack of routine is a contributing factor to some of the stress and chaos in our lives.

Also, kids get bored, and what happens when kids get bored? They sometimes misbehave. Or, they may look to you for stimulation. When we don’t have a routine, everyone gets on a different clock. Your children may stay up later; you may stay up later. This is especially an issue during the summer.

Another reason why summer can be such a challenge is that there is a lack of clear expectations. This is a really critical element to address during the summer. Kids are used to a routine during the school year. Their days are structured and they are constantly being told what to do, where to go, and when. During the school year, they have a consistent schedule. When kids no longer have this routine and structure during the summer, we expect them to figure it out on their own. If there is no routine, your summer will be more stressful.

Three summer success tips

If you want to have a successful and happy summer you must get everyone on board by taking a strategic approach to scheduling, communicating, and setting clear expectations. These three tips will help you have a successful summer for your family and business.

1. Create a Summer Calendar
It’s important to have a visual. Get a poster board for each summer month. Create calendars, and fill them in with events that you know are going to take place. Be sure to have your kids participate. Little kids that cannot read or write yet can draw pictures or use stickers. Note craft projects, and your family summer bucket list. Place the calendars in a prominent place; they must be very visible to the entire family.

2. Have Family Meetings
Family meetings provide much-needed routine and help communicate clear expectations. These meetings do not need to be formal but should take place near the calendar. Meetings can take place at breakfast time while everyone is gathered. These meetings should be weekly, and daily. At the start of the week, go over what is planned for the week, and fill in anything that is missing. Everyone should be clear on the overall plan for the week. Start each day with a meeting. Talk about what is going to happen for the day. For example, discuss who needs to be picked up from where and when. Communicate upfront before the day or week begins.

3. Get Input and Collaboration
As noted when creating your summer calendar, always get input from the entire family when making summer plans. Don’t create a calendar alone and expect everyone to be happy about it. If you engage everyone then they become collaborators who share your expectations. Shared expectations help reduce stress and chaos.

You can have a successful summer from a family and business perspective with careful planning, communicating, and setting clear expectations. Enjoy your summer!

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Top Three Tips for Summer Success as a Mompreneur

summer success

When it is cold and windy outside, we all find ourselves daydreaming of the warmth and freedom of the summertime, don’t we? Unfortunately, then the summer actually comes around and some of us have mixed feelings about its arrival. Suddenly as wonderful as the warm weather is, we also realize that this means the school year is over and our schedules majorly shift. It’s also not uncommon to go into a programmed “relaxation mode” in the summer. That is wonderful, but with kids home all the time and no routine, how do we do that?!

The summer is a great time to enjoy quality time with family vacations, having the kids home and (sometimes) just some peace and quiet to yourself. A lot of my clients choose to “power down” over the summer time just slow down and not be working as much or as hard as through the rest of the year. This can easily be confused as a lack of motivation and then they start feeling feeling like they’re not accomplishing enough. It is totally normal to struggle with this paradigm shift. So, how can we be strategic with juggling the summertime and being a mompreneur?

This is often my number 1 request for advice from those I am coaching – how to make it through the summer. Summertime is both a blessing and curse – because we get to enjoy our freedom, but we also tend to give up our routine. The lack of structure and routine (especially for bored kids) adds to the stress and chaos of everyday life. When kids get bored they will usually start misbehaving or bugging you because they are in need of stimulation. When the routine changes (or stops altogether) everybody gets on a different body clock or rhythm and it’s easy to fall out of sync. Your little kids are up and ready to play at 5 or 6am while yourself and your teenagers find yourself staying up later than usual.

Trouble easily starts from a lack of clear expectations. Kids are used to a routine during the school year. They are told everyday at school what they will be doing and what to expect during the course of each day. How can you combat all the chaos?

So, I have three tips for you to survive the summer:

  1. Developing a family calendar
  2. Having a family meet daily
  3. Encouraging input and collaboration

Developing a calendar seems like a no-brainer but is also something that a lot of us fail to execute. Moms and dads are always running around knowing who needs to be where, with what, at what time but often the kids are not privy to this information ahead of time. Maybe Mom and Dad have the cell phone calendars linked, but where does this leave the little ones? Kids ages 3 and up can start learning about what to expect and what is coming up on their family calendar. Helping them have clear expectations will help your home run so much smoothly. I love having a big visual calendar and filling in all the events that we know are going to take place. It is important to have your kids contribute to the calendar as well. Let the little ones who are too young to read draw or use stickers to know what is coming. Get your calendar out of your head and get it into a public place for all to see and understand.

Having a family meeting can help everyone be on the same page. No, it doesn’t have to be rigid and formal. Just chat about each week and each day in the morning while Mom is pouring her coffee and the kids are eating their cereal. Look at the calendar and talk about what’s coming up, add anything new things and give a brief overview. Once again, helping to set those expectations. I’m telling you, the best summers we have ever had are when we start each day with a family meeting.

Don’t just get your family members to participate, but get their input and encourage them to really collaborate together on your calendar. Don’t try to simply set a schedule and expect everyone to follow it AND be happy about it. Get your kids and family members to contribute and give back their opinions and feelings about how they would like things to go and help build those expectations. You will be so very happy you did (and they will probably cooperate better, too)!

If you put these into place, you can enjoy a smoother, more relaxing summer. Good luck!

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How to Stay True to Your Family Priorities as a Mompreneur

Have you ever felt like though you are succeeding in business, you are not doing so well as a mother? This can be a very common issue for mompreneurs, and you are not alone.

As a business owner, you have probably set goals, timelines, and measurable metrics for where you want your business to go in the future. But, unfortunately, many of us don’t often do the same for motherhood.

Women who find success with how their businesses are going oftentimes realize after accomplishing their business dreams that they don’t feel successful with their families. There are so many pieces and dynamics at play when you are both a mother and a business owner. One of the biggest is that it is very easy to get caught up (and carried away) in business. Your business, clients and schedule have needs and demands that are right in front of you demanding your attention. You are always quoting a potential client, building a new sales funnel or keeping your many appointments each day. Your business has its own ways of keeping you accountable—we just don’t have those metrics to keep us accountable in motherhood.

Sometimes, even the best laid plans of “making time” (planning to work until 2pm, then have family time from 2pm-5pm) can be sent completely off the rails unexpectedly. Humans can be tricky. Especially humans of the smaller variety! They are sleepy, hungry, grumpy, or just plain fussy. When you make a plan and can’t stick to it for some reason, it can be very difficult for some of us to bounce back when the plans change unexpectedly. These changes can cause stress and unhappiness and, after a pattern of this, it can be tempting to get frustrated and stop trying to plan. You will find yourself drawn to focus more on your business because it is predictable and you are in control. You just feel happier and more relaxed when you make a plan and stick to it—and that’s generally easier with your business than with your family.

Here are the three things I recommend if you see this becoming a pattern for you:

1. You have to force yourself to put real metrics in place. Because we know that best laid plans don’t always work out; but having some plans and some routine helps. Help your children and family members know what to expect because it will help you have much greater chances of accomplishment.

2. Make a point to always minimize your business or work distractions during your allotted family time. Don’t allow yourself to zone out and just get on the internet or check your email “real quick”. Create a very real boundary between work and family time.

3. Plan ahead for quality time. Sit down, free from stress and distractions, and make a hit list of 5-10 quality activities you can do in just 30 minutes at a time (walk around block, going to open swim, craft time). Put things on your list that make you feel successful as a mom—because that’s what this is about!  Now, when a moment comes up where your kids need you, you’ll have a list of activities ready to go and not waste time trying to decide what to do together.

If you can implement just some of these rules and do so with determination, you will feel a huge shift in your ability to “mom” just a little better. You will feel more connected and present in the time that you are spending with your family. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend grabbing my book Moms Mean Business. My co-author Erin and I really dig deep into creating metrics for your business and your family so you feel successful on all fronts.

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Permission Granted: You Don’t Have to Make Your Passion Your Job

Guess what you get today? You get my permission (not that you really ever needed it). Ready? Permission granted. You are granted permission to free yourself from “shoulds”, the “woulds” and the “coulds” that can be thrown at us by our daily lives and the media. These things tend to have an uncanny power to stress us out and make us unhappy.

When you set goals for yourself, you probably create an action plan and get going right on it don’t you? I know you do! And sometimes, you find yourself doing it all right, following the plan & meeting the goals and yet you are missing something. There is some element missing from the equation that would’ve made that goal truly fulfilling and satisfying for you. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be nearly impossible to figure out what or why that is for you. The reality is things can always change mid-plan. So many different things can happen in the time frame that you are so focused on your plan that you are distracted and don’t even notice. Then, you wind up reaching your goals & benchmarks and realizing that you are still feeling unhappy.

Sometimes, I think a large part of this can be the alignment or misalignment with your purpose and your passion. Good jobs are financially stable, offer a predictable routine,  and have benefits like sick days, time off and insurance. But, what if you have a “good job” but your true passion is something completely different? What if you are a nurse who loves public speaking, a waitress who feels inspiration in writing short stories or a paralegal who thrives through her photography? All of the sudden it has become a very common theme that if someone is not doing work that they love, there is something wrong. Or worse, that you better feel a burning passion for what you do—or quit and search until you find it. There is a crazy pressure to measure yourself and your success based on whether you truly love your work or not.

Well I’m here to say it is not one thing at the expense of all else. There are certain passions or hobbies that will never make good money. There I said it. Some things were just never meant to be a profit-turning venture. You can enjoy your passions your off time, while also keeping you fulfilling, stable job. I say go for it.

Happiness and fulfillment aren’t always in the same package. I can’t feel right coaching someone starting a business doing something they love, but also isn’t necessarily something that will ever be a profitable, sensible business. Or if it could, it would no longer be any fun anymore. Starting a business means wearing many hats, of which have nothing to do with the thing you are passionate about—like bookkeeping, paying bills, keeping schedules, appointments, managing people, and budgets.

You do not have to leave your job, take off and quit just because your job isn’t fulfilling you. If your job is providing you with things that you value and need for your priorities, you can usually find some other way to use, develop or enjoy your passion. This will still allow you to leave the mark or legacy that matters to you—that’s how I would do it.

I’m lucky to be passionate about being a coach, but I also don’t have to be a breadwinner. I don’t have a weight on my shoulders to support my family financially. I chose this path so I could spend more time with my kids and family while also doing what I love. If I wanted to build a huge business and wanted to define success in terms of extreme growth and profitability, I could do that. But it would also cause a major cosmic shift in our family dynamics, which is most certainly not something I want—at least not right now. I like the time I am around to spend with my kids, responding to emergencies and being here for them while still getting to enjoy my business. When my kids are older, I may shift that to a more growth and profit driven model, but only when it doesn’t affect my ability to spend my time with my family.

So, you’re welcome. Stop listening to the media and getting pushed around that you are some sort of failure if you are just doing a job that suits you and your priorities right now. You are not a failure. You can do a job that serves your family and find ways to fulfill your passions elsewhere in your life. You get to be happy and successful on your terms.

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How to Get Healthy Food on the Table

It can be hard when routines change (back to school, new schedules) to be able to fit everything in that you have had set on a pretty rigid schedule up until now. Simple evening activities like showering, homework for children or chores can be thrown for a loop even with a 1 hour change in your routine or schedule.

One of the tasks that can be the most daunting and time consuming for mom business owners can be simply making dinner for their families and themselves. Getting food made, on the table and the family fed can feel like an impossible mission on some days, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Now if you have been following me for awhile, you know that not only is cooking a passion of mine, but it is also fundamentally in my business plan. What I mean by that is that it is part of my schedule everyday. I’m committed to making it happen as much and as successfully as possible. It is one of my defined goals is to have a home-cooked meal on the table for my family at least 5 nights a week by around 6:30.

I have been successful with this goal for the most part in the past, but it is getting much more difficult with my children getting older. They have their own schedules, commitments to work around instead of just the adults.

I have used these four basic principles to help me to remember how to prioritize meal times:

Make It a Commitment

Commit to yourself and your family to making your mealtimes a family connection time. Try having no technology at the table: no tvs, computers, phones. Try just talking, connection and sharing together. This can be a magical time, even if it is only 20 minutes. Also, be sure to put it on your schedule. Try to have a set goal time for dinner every night. Make sure that everyone knows when that is and to not schedule other (avoidable) things at that time. And, just because it is a commitment, does not mean you have to be rigid about it. Be flexible, sometimes it will be a picnic at soccer or at the park, it will be a box in the minivan, but it is still a home cooked meal that you are having with your family.

Make It Simple

Don’t overthink meal time. Don’t put so much pressure on needed a freshly-cooked, just-out-of-the-oven full meal every night. That’s unrealistic and very difficult to do. Instead, try and make extras when you do cook to be frozen already prepared. Having things pre-cooked, pre-chopped and packaged for future meals will help immensely when you are short on time. You can pull them out and thaw / warm them even when you need to run out the door and still have a home cooked meal on the go!

Make it fun

Make a conscious effort to involve your kids and spouse in the meal-time process. Encourage selecting your dishes for the week as a family and allow them to help you prep and cook meals whenever possible. Not only will this give you more family bonding time but it will also teach your children a valuable, important life skill for their future. Win-win!

Make it matter

Make mealtime an important part of your family time. Dinner time doesn’t have to be long-stemmed candles and linens. It simply means sitting down, enjoying your food and being together. It means truly connection and conversation without the constant distractions of our busy lives. It may only be about 20 minutes, but it can be a 20 minutes that really, truly matters. If you have to have dinner separately due to certain (unavoidable) commitments, then make an effort to possibly sit down once you are all home to have dessert together, or a family breakfast time the next day.

Being a mompreneur is about keeping your priorities in order—and dinner is one way I make sure I’m meeting all my goals. I hope this gives you some ideas on how to set more concrete measurements for your home life, even if dinner may not be one of yours. Even personal goals need to be specific and measurable, just like your business goals.

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Why Striving for Work/Life Balance is Stupid

Did my title get your attention? Great! Now, I will admit it was a little bit misleading because it may seem very contradictory with my mission when you first hear it. You all know that I am a business coach especially for mother entrepreneurs, so when you hear me say striving for work life balance is stupid you may be like “wait, what?” But just hear me out!

In this blog, we’re going to revisit my humble beginnings in business and in motherhood. I like to refer to this time in my life as my “perfect storm”. I started out becoming both a business owner/coach and a mother at the same time. I know, right? Hello, stress! I went from just a person one day to so very much more in such a short time. And you guessed it: I struggled. Just like you probably have as well.

I have very high standards for my business as well as my family life. I had a business coach of my very own at the time kept and she kept noticing my unhealthy relationship my work/life balance. She noticed that I wasn’t living it. She noticed I complained for being unable to accept new clients by spending too much time on my baby. Yet, caring for my baby and living up to my own standards as a mother had become all encompassing for me.

My coach did something for me at that time that I will never forget and that has continued to help me grow even to this day. She forced me to have a terrible coaching call one day that ended in tears, and I thank her for that immensely. See, she knew my unhealthy attempt at balancing my life, so she scheduled a coaching session with me while I took my baby to the public pool. I thought she was crazy, but I obliged after much urging. That call was an absolute mess that I was constantly pausing trying to focus on both baby at the pool and the session at the same time. I wound up, unsurprisingly, in puddle of tears

I had been so heavily compartmentalizing my life and she could see that. I was trying desperately to keep my work life and my parenting life entirely separate and if they ever collided I got very upset. I felt like I couldn’t handle anything fully. I learned that day and every day since that life isn’t about balance. It isn’t about giving your best to both your business and your parenting at the same time and balancing them together. It’s about integration.

Focus on your priorities. I have 4 of my own. They are my well being, my marriage, my family, and my business. Rather than trying to evenly split myself between those 4 things, I integrate them together. It’s impossible to have precise balance between all your priorities.

What I mean is this: recently I had a speaking engagement in Las Vegas that happened to fall on the weekend of my wedding anniversary. So, instead of feeling the need to choose between a work engagement and my marriage/husband, I integrated them together. My husband came out with me to Las Vegas for the entire weekend before my speaking engagement on Monday. We spent the weekend together and made a mini-vacation out of the experience. Not to mention, we hiked and explored outside in the beautiful area outside of Las Vegas. In just that weekend, I integrated together my husband/marriage, my business and my wellbeing. All at the same time. And I loved every minute of it! Similarly, when I go for runs from home, I will often invite my son to run with me. This integrates my wellbeing and my family.

Instead of striving for balance, strive to integrate your priorities together. I promise you will feel more relaxed, fulfilled and you will have more time to truly devote to each one, individually and together.

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5 Things I’ve Learned Coaching Mompreneurs

A recent project has had me looking back at my years of clients (can you believe I’m a terrible record keeper?) and thinking about ways these women’s lives have changed after working with me. Now, don’t get me wrong—this is not about patting myself on the back. I can only ask the questions and get the wheels turning; each woman I work with has to come to the right conclusions for her and then take action. Sure, I help think through decisions and then add a layer of accountability, but when it comes to getting the work done? That’s for my clients to do!

As I’ve looked back, I’ve also realized some important lessons I’ve learned as I work with a variety of women in all stages of life who work in vastly different industries with different goals. That’s what I want to share with you today, so here they are:

  1. Everyone (especially mompreneurs) need to get clear about their priorities. This is EVERYTHING about success as a mom business owner. How will you know you’re “succeeding” if you don’t know what that looks like for you? (Shameless book plug: in Moms Mean Business we walk you through the process of identifying your priorities. Order it here!)
  2. Even now, most women need to let go of what success looks like for stereotypical entrepreneurs or even what the women themselves think their success should look like based on external factors. We are not twenty-somethings who are bootstrapping the next Facebook in our basement. We can’t work 60-80 hours per week fueled on Taco Bell and Red Bull. We also probably won’t have a picture-perfect Pinterest house and a perfect coif. We can’t be all the things to all the people. We define success for ourselves!
  3. After identifying priorities, we need to follow those to their most likely result and then be realistic about our expectations. If family, marriage, and business are your priorities, then sitting on other community committees and volunteering for other organizations may have to wait for another phase of life. Asking yourself: if these are my priorities, what kind of life will I have?
  4. Once we are clear about their version of success, we have to follow through with those priorities. Which is why finding out what those priorities really are is paramount to success. If you’re neglecting your business to volunteer for hours at your kids’ school, you’ll just end up resenting that time if copying worksheets is not one of your priorities. And vice versa: if your marriage is falling apart because you spend every evening working on your business, you’re going to be similarly unhappy if that marriage is one of your priorities.
  5. It is absolutely, 100% okay to ask for help. Whether it’s from coach, a friend, a mentor, a mental health professional, our family, whatever, asking for help is not weak. When you have a strong support team, you are better equipped for the many challenges of owning a business and having a family (or either of those on their own)! Asking for help does not mean you’re not cut out for the life you have or that you can’t do what you’ve set out to do. In fact, you won’t be able to do what you want without the right help. So circle the wagons and get some people around you who you can trust!
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Why Your Kids Need to Have Chores

We have a theme going this month—hopefully helping you get your kids lined up and organized for the summer. This includes schedules, chores, and hopefully imposing a little order on how your days go this summer. Typically, summer is a time of fly by the seat of your pants improvisation for moms and kids alike. Which is fine, sometimes. Many of us welcome the break from the rigidity of school year calendars, while some of us dread it. Or maybe we all fit in there in the middle somewhere. I know I do. However, one of the things I love about the summer is the flexibility to do with it what I want! And this summer is no exception.

My situation is probably a little different from many of you. My kids are older now (the youngest is 8), making it much easier for me to put them to work independently while I get things done. They can do a lot of helpful things around the house, too, lightening my housekeeping load and learning some life skills along the way! Which brings me to my main point today: kids need chores. They need responsibilities, even tiny ones (tiny people and tiny jobs). And the sooner you start them doing chores, the better—it becomes a part of their normal routine.

Here are some things to remember when giving kids chores:

  1. Set expectations. When the chore is to “straighten bedroom” tell them what that means. Be specific, and be ready to remind them (probably a couple of times) what your expectations are. Once they get the hang of a task, you won’t have to keep telling them what you mean when you assign them the task.
  2. Be realistic. A 6 year old will have different abilities than a 10 year old. His vacumming job is just not going to be like yours. Keep that in mind when you assign jobs and make sure the tasks are age-appropriate. (I have a list of jobs by age coming out in my next newsletter. Be sure you’re signed up!)
  3. Don’t redo the job. If your daughter worked hard to mop the kitchen floor, and you went behind her and redid it, how will she feel? Why would she try the next time she does a job if she knows you’re going to just do it yourself anyway? It can be tricky, especially if you are detail-oriented, but instead of redoing it, try this: “Great job honey! Let me show you a trick I’ve learned for next time you do it.”
  4. It’s not about you. If it were, you could just hire a cleaning crew and call it a day. Chores are about learning life skills, developing fine and gross motor skills, being part of the family, and learning to be responsible. Remember that is your main goal, especially when kids are younger and just learning to do a lot of the tasks.
  5. Keep it in perspective. This shouldn’t make or break your day. Sometimes, kids will pitch in, do the jobs, and be awesome. Sometimes, they will be jerks and you’ll have to nag them the whole day. Most days, they’ll fall somewhere in the middle. Just try to remember that it’s not the end of the world, it’s just chores, and you’ll all survive!

So that’s it! Kids can do a lot of chores and help you out, if you let them. They’ll also go off into the world knowing how to make a bed, do laundry, clean a kitchen, and take out the garbage. Not a bad deal when you think about it! How do you get your kids to do their chores? Weigh in on my Facebook page!

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Time Management Tips for Mompreneurs

timetips
If you—like I do—sometimes feel that you’re only barely managing to juggle motherhood and all the ins and outs of running a business, then it’s time to take a good, hard look at how you spend your time. Especially on the cusp of 2015, after the frenzy and chaos of the holidays, the following are some of my favorite time management tips to help you manage your juggling act a little better!

1. Get a routine. Now I understand that there are those of you who will balk at the idea of a formalized routine. But hear me out. While it’s totally not necessary to plan your day in strict, 15-minute increments, a regular schedule of sorts will support the flexibility you value in your life, allowing you time to work on and in your business, as well as time for household chores and family events. Start by creating a loose schedule—morning, lunchtime, afternoon, dinnertime, evening—for Monday through Friday, blocking off office hours and your regularly scheduled daily activities, like packing lunches, getting kids off to school, and so on.

2. Break down your office hours into manageable chunks. This one is simple, and you can block off time by just observing your habits. Is there a particular time you tend to work on the computer? How about returning emails or phone calls? Schedule time to work on your business—marketing and the things that cause your business to grow—and in your business—actual, billable hours of production or face-to-face client time.

3. Make appointments for yourself. You would never stand up a client with an appointment. Why not show yourself that same respect? Need to work on your website redesign? Make an appointment! Have a marketing concept that needs to be fully fleshed out? Set a time for yourself to work on it. Give importance to the things you want to accomplish by putting that time and date on the calendar, and then showing up for that appointment.

4. Schedule downtime. Yes, productivity is important. Yes, as mom entrepreneurs, it seems that 24 hours is never enough. But taking care of yourself is a priority, and it needs to be planned for! Try alternating tasks that require mental focus with good-for-you breaks—a walk around the block, a healthy snack, a phone conversation with a friend—whatever relaxes and recharges you. You may be surprised at how productivity soars when you’re fresh and energized.

These are a few tips that I use to manage my time as a busy mompreneur. All of this will help you round out a really ideal schedule for you, adding up to more time to get things done in a way that makes you feel productive and purposeful—not overwhelmed. I hope these are helpful to you!

Which of these tips can you implement today to help you get control of your time?
What other tips would you include that keep you focused and productive?

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