Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Military Wife/Mom/Entrepreneur ... How I Balance it All!

Can I watch Paw Patrol? ... Asked while I'm working out

Can I paint? ... Asked while I'm folding clothes

I want more milk? ... Told while I'm trying to record a training video for my team

I'm hungry? ... Told 1 minute after I sit down to return work emails

ROWAN'S NAKED! ... Yelled when I'm on a one on one call with a coach or client

I want a banana ... Told 1 minute after I sit down to return more emails for work

Can we go outside? ... Asked seconds after I sit down to typing up my blog post

House completely destroyed and littered with toys ... while I sit down to power thru my work tasks

These are just a handful of my daily struggles. HA! Being a wife, mom, and entrepreneur isn't a life of glitz and glam. Don’t get the wrong impression, I love what I do but it can be overwhelming at times. Amongst all this chaos, I often ask myself; how do I balance being a great mom, a loving wife and a successful entrepreneur?

First let me say, I am NO expert and I don't claim to be. My life is far from perfect, I mess up daily, and have little to no idea what I am doing most days. 

Second, each and every one of us is so incredibly different and I, in no way want my readers to compare their lives to mine and think they should be doing more or less. We only can handle what we can handle and that has to be something that you can identify about yourself. I myself, tend to be someone that likes to stay busy and can handle a lot of activity at once. 

I hope you remember while you're reading, everyone is different but you are still doing an amazing job!

I started my business 16 months ago and its grown substantially in that short amount of time. And while life has become very hectic, I chose to have it this way it, and I love it. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I also always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom and wife. Being a work at home mom entrepreneur is part of how I express my creativity, and I’m convinced it is what keeps me sane.

I want to share with you today how I'm able to balance being a mom, a wife and an entrepreneur all from home.

1. I Get Up Before Our Kids
I know everyone is in different stages of their parenting so I get sleeping in with your kid(s) and there is no shame in that. I was still doing that till August shortly after Rowan turned 2 and FINALLY started sleeping thru the night. I had just finished reading the book Miracle Morning and decided to start implementing it in my own life. I'm not going to lie, the first 2 weeks were fucking hard. Gahhh! I have not been a morning person since before I had my its been a good 14 years. But I felt I needed this change and Rowan had just started to sleep thru the night. Now I get up at 445am without any trouble. I love my early mornings to myself. It give me that "me" time, that I've needed for a long time. During this time I like to mediate, pray, manifest my goals and read my personal development. Oh and enjoy that first warm cup of coffee. I'm hoping in the future to start waking up at 415am so I can get my miracle morning routine done and then my workout before the kids wake up. But right now we just aren't in that stage since the boys still wake up early 6/630am and need to me to help get them up and settled.

2. Make sure you set aside specific time for everyone. 
Time that is solely devoted to either family or yourself or work. Each one deserves undivided attention at some point. I like to spend one on one time with the little boys after my workout. We play with toys, play-doh, paint/color, go on a walk or to the park. Now that the weather is a lot colder in the mornings. I'm going to try to talk them on walks later in the afternoons because I know its good for all of us to get out and get fresh air. Days that hubby is home for work, I spend the evenings with him watching one of our favorite shows. Our older two kids are at that stage where they don't want to hang out with me. #preteenandteenager And I always take one day on the weekends off to be 100% present with my family. Hubby and I also plan a date night at least monthly. I'm a HUGE believer in date nights. Ladies you need that one on one time with your husband, trust me!

3. Dress to Impress or At Least Dress to Make YOURSELF Smile
Now I know as stay at home mom entrepreneurs we don't leave the house much, so this might be a little controversial with some moms. But to me, it honestly makes me feel better about myself when I have my makeup on, my hair looks nice (this rarely happens because I workout in the mornings and sometimes it gets pretty sweaty gross that that mom pony tail or mom bun just stays in) and wear something that's comfy but also makes me feel cute (for me that's leggings, t-shirt or hoodie). Try it for a week and see how you feel! Plus, your husband will also notice! :)

4. Set Goals Daily
If you like to check things off your list like I do then make a list each morning while your kids eat breakfast. I like to write down drab things (like doing the laundry) and pointless things (like calling the pharmacy), just so I can "check" them off my list. It literally gives me such a sense of gratification. I also have a check list for work things so I know what MUST get done daily.

5. Be OK when not all your Goals are hit that day
As good as it is to make daily goals, you have to make sure that you are realistic about them as well. We all know that as moms life is NEVER consistent, each day is different and things always arise. If you are going to make goals for yourself you have to be equally willing to break those goals and be OK with it. Just be honest with how much YOU can truly accomplish. When I over work myself, I end up feeling unsuccessful, and unproductive. Be OK and just "roll with the punches", nobody is perfect.

6. Don't let your Phone Distract You
I know how distracting working at home gets. It can get overwhelming, boring, old, and even depressing. It's so easy to pick up my phone and scroll through my Instagram, Facebook, emails, etc and pay attention somewhere else. Honestly, I struggle with this's probably one of my biggest weaknesses. I tell myself multiply times a day that now is NOT the time to get distracted. I also try to prioritize my need for it as well (i.e. how important is that email to me right now? Does it require a response this very minute?). 

7. Don't overwhelm Yourself with your Tasks
This goes back to #5. You only can do what you can do in a day. Don't over complicate it and discourage yourself. Laundry is sometimes the ONLY task I have on my list for that day because it's a freakin' HUGE task. If I can wash, dry, fold, and put away every load of laundry in one day I feel like superwoman...but the truth is, there is ALWAYS a load left for me in the drier the next day. Its life and guess what, nobody has died yet because I didn't get that last load done. 

8. Meal Plan or Meal Prep
This is something I have done for YEARS now. Yes its always a little daunting for me to sit down and write out a meal plan out the entire week but truth is, when it's done I feel like I just accomplished something HUGE! I actually typed up a cheat sheet of all our meals and categorized them (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Rowan's meals since he's can't have diary) and I just pull that out of my mom binder and fill in our meal planner. This also helps when it comes to grocery shopping. I just look at our menu and write the grocery list according to our meals. Yes I grab extra stuff for snacks, kids school lunch and Will's work meals, but at least I have a guide this way for our weeks meals.

9. Family Dinners at the Table
I don't cook homemade every night, especially when Will is on shift, but we always make sure to sit around the table together, whatever the meal is. 

10. Hire a Babysitter
Thankfully I haven't had to actually hire a babysitter yet. My husband works 48 hours on/48 hours off, so days he's home I'm able to lock myself in the office for 2-4 hours and do nothing but work. This has been my saving grace! Hubby and I have already discussed that when/if he deploys that I'll be hire a sitter a few times a week so I can get work done. Being a military family we aren't lucky enough to have family near us to watch my kids at a moments notice, but if you do take advantage of it. I know some of you are probably thinking "but I'm a stay at home mom entrepreneurer shouldn't I just take care of my kids. Yes of course but I would make this a priority because truth is, it's more life giving then you even realize. Even if you can only afford to get away for an hour at a time, that time is precious and you NEED to make time for YOU. Next school year will be a little different because Sebastian will be in kindergarten and Rowan will be attending nursery school for 15 hours a week so we more then likely won't need the extra help but you never know. With all that being said, you need to do what only you can do/afford.

11. Routines/Schedules
I am such a schedule oriented person anyways that this was pretty natural for mes, but having a daytime and nighttime routine for our kids has allowed me the time to work on business priorities, as well as, have alone time with my husband in the evenings when he's not on shift. We may seem like drill sargents setting such strict nap schedules (which sadly are dwindling away) and putting our littlest two kids to sleep by 6:30pm, the preteen to bed by 8pm and the teenager by 930pm but honestly this has breathed more life into us than I can even explain. Plus, we've found our kids thrive on a schedule so it's a win-win for all of us!

12. Wife/Mom First, Entrepreneur Second
I know I've done things in life because I thought it was going to be good for me but in the long run I wasn't doing it for the right reasons and found myself empty, unsatisfied, and unhappy. Not only that, but when working from home I often have to remind myself of my main priority (I am a wife/mom first and an entrepreneur second). If I find that it's taking too much quality time away from my family, I know I need to reassess my priorities and get a better system in place.

13. Communication 
William and I do a pretty good job of setting expectations for our day/week. We are in constant communication about what we are doing that day and in a way, it keeps us accountable to each other. Plus, it forces us to work together. Whether it be a running errands, taking the family exploring around England, taking care of the kids, giving each other a much needed break, or making time for one another, we do our best to communicate where we need each other the most.

Starting your own business is the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself. Finding the time to make it happen is dependent on you prioritizing what’s important. Balancing it all requires a lot of work. Ask yourself honestly if everyone is happy, and be sure to include yourself. If they aren’t, then it’s time to change to make it work.

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