How I Balance Working and Motherhood as a WAHM
This is a post I almost didn’t write. It’s not because I didn’t think anybody cared about this topic. Quite the contrary! I frequently get emails and questions about how I manage to get my blogging work done with two small children and how I balance everything. I totally understand the question. I wish I had the chance to sit down with every work at home mom I know to hear the nitty gritty details about how they balance all their roles and responsibilities.
The reason I almost didn’t write this post is that – to be quite honest – I often have no idea what I’m doing when comes to balancing work and family, so it would be a bit silly for me to try to give advice in that area.
I won’t try to bore with all the details of what goes on in my head when I’m thinking about the whole work/life/family balance thing, but I also won’t pretend that I have it even close to figured out. What I can give you is a few non sugar coated truths that I’ve learned that I think will help you.
If you want to balance growing and blog and biz with being a mom, here’s a few things you need to know.
It will be messy sometimes. It’s better to accept that now. Home will be messy. Work will be messy. It doesn’t have to be that way all the time, but it will be some of the time. ‘
I often need to have Skype calls for my business while I’m nursing my baby and trying to make sure my toddler at least doesn’t do anything dangerous. Here’s a picture from when I was on a Skype call planning a joint webinar with someone. I’m in my toddler’s room nursing my baby (he’s under the nursing cover) while my 2 year old is playing (a.k.a dumping out every single toy we own on her floor).
It’s okay if now is not the time for you to start or grow your business. It’s okay to take a step back or close it up for a season (or forever).
I feel like there is a perception that we should be able to fit everything in, but that’s often not possible or just not wise. Sometimes other things do take priority, and it’s totally okay if you choose not to pursue your business dreams right now.
However, there is one caveat I would issue here: make sure if you’ve decided to either stop pursuing your business or not even start it yet, that it is a conscious decision. Don’t use your other priorities as an excuse because you’re afraid to go for it. (I say this because that was me for at least two years before I started my business.)
Don’t put too much stock in the advice you read about how to get it all done. When my oldest daughter was born, I was, of course, struggling to get everything done. I would read blog posts online where other bloggers talked about how they got it all done, but most (or all) of that advice didn’t work for me at all.
For example, “work during naptime” is common advice. Sounds great, but my baby didn’t nap much outside of my arms! Or I would read someone say that it’s okay to put your baby in the pack n play for 20 or 30 minutes while you write a blog post. Sounds great, but my baby would scream every time I put her down – not exactly conducive to writing a thoughtful blog post.
That type of advice ended up doing nothing but frustrate me. It was better for me to ignore and focus on the things I could do in my situation.
You might feel alone, but you’re not. Sometimes being a mom entrepreneur can be rather lonely. I don’t really fit in the full time working mom’s camp. But I’m also not really a stay at home mom either. So where does that leave me?
It’s so important to talk to others who have been where you are. One of the BEST things I ever did for myself and my business was attend the Insipred Retreat in the fall of 2015. I got to talk to people who were right where I was or even further down the path. They were so open and honest about their struggles with balancing everything. I left with a renewed commitment to prioritize my family over my work, and I still haven’t forgotten it.
It’s okay to accept a lot of help. In fact, accept as much help as you can. If there’s one thing I can say with a lot of certainty, it’s that those bloggers you see out there who are releasing 4 new products a year, publishing 3 blog posts a week, and are homeschooling their 5 kids aren’t doing it alone!
If you’re early in your blogging journey, you may not be in a position to afford a lot of help. When you see other people creating tons of stuff, you might imagine that they’re doing all the parts just like you are, but that’s just not true. Right now in my own entrepreneurial journey with a quickly growing business and two little children, I’m getting as much help in my business as I possibly can. I would much rather pay some of my revenue to someone else who will take something off my plate than bring that money home but be stressed. If you’re newer in business, you will need to grow slower and bring on help gradually as you can.
I also accept plenty of help at home. I buy convenience foods even though they are more expensive. My husband and I both do the cleaning. I never in a million years thought I would ever hire someone to clean my house, but at different times, I’ve had a weekly housecleaner to do the deep cleaning. Since my first child was 5 months old, I’ve had some type of part time childcare help.
You’ll never get it all done. Stop trying. Even if you finished all 100 things on your to do list, you would come up with 100 more. Most of us entrepreneurs are idea people. The ideas will never stop coming.
So there you have it. That’s pretty much all I know about balancing the whole working from home and motherhood thing. What about you?
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I really needed to read this, Laura. Thanks! Love the real life picture you shared. 🙂
I so feel you on this! I taught my beta class and had a child nursing several nights while I taught online! Thanks for sharing!
This is really great! Ironically, I have a post coming out on this topic this week as well! Do you mind if I link back to this post to share with my readers as well? I love all of the real advice you shared here!
LauraJane SaysPost author
Glad you liked it. You’re welcome to link bakc.
This was a refreshing read as it gives the truth.. No sugar coating of ways to get everything done. Love the reality and It totally speaks to me! I usually have a plan for the day but the little ones can derail it. But in the end I accept the fact that we do what we can to make our days work for us. As long as we are fed, safe, and happy (for most of the day) then we are good!
Thank you so much for writing this! Sometimes I feel like I’m falling all over myself trying to get anything done and keep my house clean. My baby is always nursing too when I’m trying to write and get stuff done.
LauraJane SaysPost author
I’ve been struggling. I’m a novelist and blogger. The last two weeks have been especially challenging and I’m trying to get back on track. Thank you for this!
Emily @ Small Stuff Counts Says
This is a very well-written post, Laura! I appreciate the non-sugar-coated version. I’m not a mom yet, but it’s something I think about a lot. How will I balance motherhood on top of everything else? Will I still have time for my blog? It’s nice to learn from others who are in that position. Thanks for sharing!
Jessica Justice Says
Wow, I recently starred a business and I feel like I’ve hit a wall! Thank you so much for putting into perspective the things I’ve been worried about! You are awesome! I’m a subscriber of your emails, and you are honest and insiteful! Thank you!
LauraJane SaysPost author
Glad it was helpful.
Ah, finally a post that makes me feel like I’m actually getting somewhere by not being perfect! My house isn’t always the tidiest (that toddler picture is times two for me!) and I sometimes don’t get a lot done as neither or mine will nap but I work at night while they sleep.
LauraJane SaysPost author
Totally understand. I don’t always get the baby and toddler napping at the same time, and when I do, I work instead of clean -LOL.
You know I love this topic Laura and I absolutely love your take on it. Good work you do here, and very good post!
Angela Wills Says
This was great to read Laura! I’m home with my three year old and have a teen in high-school so it’s definitely something I feel alone in, as no one around me knows what it’s like to work from home with a little one and not be a work outside the home mom OR a stay at home mom.
I have my daughter in daycare two days a week now and next month she’ll be going for three days. Definitely challenging but when you’re determined you find a way!
I bought your course on creating printables and have already created my first ones for a telesummit I’m doing.. thanks so much for working through the chaos of working at home while raising a family 🙂
“It’s okay if now is not the time for you to start or grow your business.” I am so happy I came across this post. I have been feeling like it’s one or the other – my family or my blogging. For me there’s not enough time for both. I’m having to stick my kids in front of the tv more often than I’d prefer and I hate it. I feel like this is not why I became a stay at home mom – to just put my kids in front of the tv and hardly ever play with them because I’m always “busy” trying to get this blogging business going. Just last week I decided to shelf this blogging thing and maybe try again when the kids are in school.
Thanks for the “real talk” post!