When I resigned from my corporate Monday – Friday 9-5 job I had no idea just how hard and rewarding being self employed would be. It’s been almost 3 years since I took the plunge into self employment and so I thought I would share the top 3 things I have learned as a Mompreneur. People, especially other mums, ask about my journey from employment to self employment. Whilst I can’t sum it up all in one post I am definitely open to sharing my journey to date though a series of blog posts.
I AM A MOMPRENEUR…..
The word “mompreneur” is a relatively new. Unfortunately I don’t know who to credit for the term but I’d like to thank her nonetheless. It is a genius word that is used by people like me to describe the hustle that is building and running a business whilst raising a family and doing 3,981 other things at the same time. Often the business is online and run from home or it is a Cottage Industry Business of sorts. As women we are blessed with so many amazing talents that often come as second nature to us. In the midst of the storm that is known as the “new era” we have managed to make a living from something we’d once considered a passion, a skill or even a hobby. That being said this journey is much harder than I had anticipated. It is ranked up there somewhere with parenting.
1. SOME PEOPLE JUST WONT GET IT…..
It can be disheartening when people openly tell you that they don’t understand what you are doing and why you are doing it. In my experience people are not shy and say exactly what they are thinking. They ask inappropriate questions and make blunt comments that can sometimes be hurtful. My favourite question of the bunch is “are you going to get a proper job once the boys are both at school?”. I have had comments like “ah, so you’re basically a stay at home mum”. Almost 3 years on I have learned to ignore the unthoughtful comments and questions.
2. MULTITASKING AND PRIORITISING
I have always considered myself to be good at multitasking and prioritising. When I became a mum for the first time I adjusted fairly easily after the initial settling in period had passed. When I became a mum of two I had to prioritise and plan just about everything. Throw in a home business to the mix and you have this crazy whirlwind of constant demand.
Back when Mr Jesse was a newborn and Mr Tyler was an adventurous 3 year old it wasn’t uncommon for me to be breastfeeding, helping Tyler with his dinner and replying to important correspondence all at the same time. There were times when the housework had to wait and I expected the clothes to put themselves away. As time has gone by I have developed a routine of sorts. I still operate on the notion that only the really important tasks get my immediate attention. All the other “nice to do” tasks just have to wait until I have time to tend to them.
3. YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL
I am a workaholic. I always have been. Now that I run Little Chiqui Paperie from home I have no distinctive line between home life and work life. It all kinds of blends together. In the beginning I felt like I had to do just about everything. Keeping charge of the house and looking after the boys felt like my sole responsibility. Naturally, because I was home all the time these responsibilities fell into my lap.
For the first 18 months I really felt like I was bossing it. I would get by on 2 – 4 hours of broken sleep a night because neither of my boys slept. They would rise early at 5am. They’d both be in bed by 7.30pm and after an entire day of running around and taking care of everyone other than myself I would sit down and get 4 – 5 hours of work done. It didn’t take long until I hit a brick wall and realised very quickly that I simply couldn’t do it all. That is when I decided things had to change. My husband and I now share the responsibilities as equally as we can.
HARD LESSONS ASIDE…..
I often get asked if I would go back to employment or if I’d have done things differently in hindsight. There have been times when I have thought about going back to employment but not for the reasons some might think. I love my business and I love staying home with the boys. But, being home all the time is hard work. I don’t think I ever appreciated how hard it is being a stay at home mum until I became one. The sheer responsibility of being a stay at home mum and business owner is more than I ever imagined it would be.
When I look at my life in perspective it is clear to me that I made the right decision. Yes, it is a lot of hard work. No, I never get a break, but I am so blessed to stay home with my babies and follow my dreams at the same time. I just have to remind myself sometimes that self care is important. It’s simply not possible to pour from an empty cup.