Featured Whistler Question column, September 5, 2017: 10 Strategies for Happy Mompreneurs
And just like that, Labour Day is over and the fall routine kicks in. Many parents welcome the opportunity to control their days again but for self-employed entrepreneurs with kids, it’s often extra pressure to manage their dual responsibilities.
‘Mompreneur’ is a trendy moniker to describe women that blend business ownership and parenthood with the hope of greater flexibility to juggle their priorities. Although there are also ‘Dadpreneurs’, companies owned by women are the fastest-growing segment of the Canadian business sector.
According to Statistics Canada, it’s estimated that over 1 million women in Canada are self-employed. Further, women are starting four out of five businesses in Canada.
When asked what challenges they face, local Sea to Sky mompreneurs shared the following.
- Fatigue and burnout are commonplace. Mompreneurs try to ‘do it all well’, often using early mornings and late nights for focused work time.
- Mompreneurs can’t drop everything for last minute requests.
- Working in a louder environment with interruptions can be a hard adjustment.
- Work encroaches and it can be difficult to shut the brain down.
- Constant multi-tasking leads to frustration.
- Affordable childcare is difficult to find.
- Lack of personal time.
How Do You Spend Your Time?
Laura Vanderkam, author of ‘168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think’ reveals data from a study of professional women that those with a child under two years old didn’t work less or sleep less than other women but everything else took a hit. They spent less time reading, exercising and watching television. So mompreneurs may have less leisure time than other people, but their mindset is to subtract their leisure from other people’s perceived leisure, focus on the gap and decide they have nothing. Instead, Vanderkam’s suggestion is that you have some time and what you do with it is all the difference.
10 Strategies for Mompreneurial Contentment
Here are 10 strategies to achieve mompreneurial contentment:
- Get clear on your values and make choices in alignment with them.
- Pull back on your commitments, set clear boundaries and say no.
- Carve out “self-care time”. Journal, meditate, exercise or whatever you need to take care of YOU.
- Become a ‘planner extraordinaire’. Create family charts for meal plans, chores and schedules. Get everyone engaged and when questions are fired at you, point them to the charts. Organize your calendar by filling tasks into time slots and starting with what is most important.
- Communicate what you need.
- Banish negative self-talk. If you are not reason enough, do it for your children because they learn from you. Instead, ask yourself questions like: Am I trying my best? Am I who I want to be? Is who I am helping those around me?
- Stop apologizing. No one should apologize for taking care of family or for loving their work.
- Embrace positivity. Create a network of support with like-minded, positive people.
- Adopt the mantra “Done is better than perfect”. Get it done and move on.
- Be present in all you do. Our society of multi-tasking and attention deficit is killing us. Multitasking produces mediocre outcomes.
Productivity expert Terry Monaghan’s approach is that you can’t manage time because it never changes – the fact is everyone has 168 hours in a week. What you can manage are the activities you choose to do in the time you have.
At Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, Cathy Goddard offers business and life coaching, workshops and is the founder of Lighthouse Mentor Network, a mentor program nominated for Small Business BC Awards for 5 consecutive years. She writes this column for the Whistler Question newspaper.