work it mama.
As a mom and an entrepreneur, life can be rather challenging. There's the issue of lack of sleep, stress, and just in general having more things to do than can physically be done in one day. I am taking care of Hunter full time, who is just 16 months old now, and my two psycho dogs (a boston terrier and an american bulldog), as well as my husband - plus running a business! It's kind of insane - all you 'momtepreneurs' out there know what I mean.
My days are pretty much a blur. It all begins with Hunters screams of impatience when he wakes up and I'm not immediately there to give him the boob. So I pull my tired ass out of bed and feed him, play with him, while simultaneously attending to my emails and social media, and making myself a cocoa and avocado smoothie to wake me up and ensure I'm not a zombie all day. Because in the morning, I am totally a zombie (largely because I often work until anywhere from 1am to 3am) Sometimes I wonder if I am totally insane to take on so much, but then I run into other 'momtepreneurs' who have like, 3 kids, and I feel like maybe it's not so bad. I'm certainly not the only one, and I definitely don't have it as difficult as some women. I don't even know how people handle 3 kids, let alone 3 kids and a business.
So although I am not an expert, here are a few of my tips for not going totally insane as a mom and a business owner:
1. Eat healthy.
For me, this is super important, because when I don't eat healthy I feel even more tired and sluggish than I would otherwise. I don't eat sugar, gluten, dairy, or processed foods. In our household we eat mostly vegetables and any packaged food is organic and preservative free. I totally believe in eating foods that are as whole and natural to the planet as possible. My favourite meal of the day is breakfast though. Because I am so tired, and I don't drink coffee (because it makes me break out - ugh), I use cocoa powder as substitute, as it works similarly to caffeine and really gets me awake in the morning! I make the yummiest chocolate breakfast smoothie using 1 avocado, raspberries, unsweetened almond milk and cocoa powder. It is delicious, and I highly recommend it! The only difficulty with eating so healthy, is all of the food prep. There is no easy meal, especially for Hunter. I feel like I'm preparing food and feeding him all day! He's pretty much the hungriest child ever.
2. Let go of the guilt.
As a new mom, I have often struggled with feeling guilty for dragging my son around to meetings with vendors, or picking up stuff for the business, or not paying enough attention to him because I have a tight deadline. There have been many days when my son is playing nicely so I decide it's a good time to quickly take some photos for the website and then he starts to scream. But I'm already halfway done and I'm telling him 'just one minute! Just give me a minute!'. It can be super frustrating for both him and I. He wants my attention, and I just want one minute. He doesn't understand that mommy is just trying to make a living so that she can stay home with him instead of going to work full time and sending him off to daycare! So I have just had to let go of the guilt and realize that I am doing the best that I can. I make time for my son, and I make time for my business, and sometimes they are going to butt heads.
As a follow up to #2, I have found that it is super important to separate business from time with my little guy as much as I can. I am trying to make time now specifically for Hunter, by taking him to the community centre programs to play with other kids (also because he seriously needs to develop some social skills!), and being sure to be focused on him during meal time and play time, instead of constantly checking my phone and replying to emails (and this for me is the hardest part). He needs time when his mama isn't preoccupied with work, and I need time away from my phone so that I can really focus on being a great mama. It's also a great break from work, that helps me to come back to it refreshed later.
I have very recently discovered the wonderous magic of nap time. Hunter has always been a difficult child to get to sleep. I have driven him around, I've given him the boob to sleep at for hours at a time, and I have napped with him because he just wouldn't stop screaming otherwise. He can be a somewhat demanding child, and maybe I was a bit of a pushover. At the book recommendation of a fellow mama, I discovered the secret to getting my little guy to nap. And the results have been amazing - although terribly painful for the first couple of days...I hate listening to him cry. That's the worst! Finally he naps for 1.5 - 2.5 hours during the day! It's a miracle!!! So instead of working until 2am every night, I can get some of that work done while my brain is still functioning during the day. It has also made Hunter a much happier child, and it has made me a much happier Mama. Nap time is like the best thing ever. Seriously. It may have taken me a little too long to figure it out though.
And that's it, that's all I've got for now. Hope my tips helped, or at least didn't bore you to tears. Happy napping!