As a certified woman-owned business, we learned long ago how hard it can be for working moms to achieve an ideal work-life balance. But if it seems like “working for yourself” means “working all the time,” you’re not alone: many female entrepreneurs opt to work every day—if even just for an hour—rather than take a full day off of work.
It may take time before you find the sweet spot of home life and work life. Here are some common ways women cope with the demands of kids and a business (while still managing to make time to live their lives):
Four Ways Women Business Owners Can Be Successful at Work and at Home
- Spend time to make time. Women become masters of time management after having children. All of the concepts you have unconsciously picked up—making lunches the night before to save time in the morning, catching up with friends after the kids have gone to sleep—can all be applied to your business. All the time you save by checking email on the go or eating lunch during a conference call can save you precious time later.
- Personalize your schedule. The best thing about being your own boss is that you work when you can. Normally, this means ruling out when you can’t: if the kids are rowdy before school or right when they get home, take that time off. Reserving time each day to be with your kids gives them your undivided attention, and this special time together will help them to be understanding of your work hours later.
- Allow for flexibility. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong—and usually while you’re on your way to a meeting. The best way to keep your clients happy is to have trusted, built-in backup plans: a relative you trust who can watch the kids when babysitters are sick, or giving your clients the option of setting up a video conference instead of a face-to-face meeting.
- Enjoy both work and family time. If you started a business, chances are your company is about more than just earning a living. Doing something you enjoy can quickly sour if you blame the business from taking you away from your family, so make sure that do the things in your daily work life that made you interested in it in the first place. If you own a coffee shop, jump behind the counter and help a few customers (you’re the boss, after all) and remind yourself that you enjoy what you do.
It’s important that you also remember to take time for one more person: you. If you think taking time to relax is just a luxury you can’t afford, remember that being a boss and a mother both require you to stay strong, healthy, and happy for the people that are depending on you.