The life of a mumpreneur is one filled with lots of challenges. On the work front, there is the constant need to bring in revenue, provide quality customer service, and attend to all the administrative aspects of the business. On the home front, balancing the needs of your children, significant other (if you have one) and yourself can be a real challenge.
At times, all of the competing demands can feel overwhelming. Yet, the research tells us that it is important for us to stay upbeat through it all: leaders who take a positive approach are more effective at sales, have more productive staffs, and ultimately, more successful businesses. And, not surprisingly, people who are more positive also enjoy better health, stronger relationships, and a greater overall sense of wellbeing.
So, how does a busy mum stay happy and centered while juggling the two full time jobs of motherhood and work? Read on for some suggestions:
- Stay Present – With lots of tasks on the “to-do” list competing for attention, it can be easy to mindlessly go through a busy day, and at the end, feel like it was a whirlwind during which you were present for none of it. We now know that the concept of multi-tasking is a myth, and that we are most effective if we fully engage in what we are doing at the present moment. When you are attending to work, set up your environment so that you can immerse yourself in it entirely. Likewise, when attending to your family, aim to set boundaries so that you are fully enjoying them (this means setting electronics or thoughts of what you need to do tomorrow to the side). Mindfulness meditation can be a very helpful strategy for developing the ability to stay in the moment.
- Exercise – While it can sometimes be difficult to fit on one’s calendar, I put exercise in the same category as brushing one’s teeth or taking a shower – a necessity. Not only does exercise give you a healthier body, it also has boosts your mood and energy levels, two essentials for the working mom. Make it a priority, and get creative in involving your family if you need to – a recent workout for me included running up and down the hill next to my house and circuit training, while my husband and son played with a ball nearby and provided encouragement. Activities such as these give you the stamina to keep up with your busy schedule, and can also be a source for fun family time.
- Keep a Big Picture Perspective – When you get caught up in the “doing” of life, it can be beneficial to take a step back to remind yourself why you are doing it all. Most entrepreneurs I know chose that path because it felt like a calling to them. Focusing on your sense of purpose in your work can help you persist when you are feeling overwhelmed, and provide you with a sense of meaning. A big picture perspective is also helpful at home. For example, if the house isn’t immaculate at all times, does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Making sure you look at the forest, as opposed to the trees, can help you maintain a healthy attitude in your life and work.
Dr. Patricia Thompson is a corporate psychologist, speaker, and author of “The Consummate Leader: a Holistic Guide to Inspiring Growth in Others…and in Yourself.” She works with individuals and businesses to help them achieve success by bringing joy to work. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and 14-month-old son. Visit her website at www.patricia-thompson.com or follow her on twitter @Patricia_Atl.