Personal growth equals professional growth, and tackling parenthood and entrepreneurship simultaneously will test you in ways you didn’t know were possible. Both require dedication, determination, and effective time management. As someone who has embraced this unique journey, I’ve learned valuable lessons along the way.
In this article, I will share some personal insights and practical tips on how to manage your day as a parent and an entrepreneur and finding your way between the two demanding and rewarding roles.
1. Prioritize with Purpose
As a parent and an entrepreneur, it’s essential to set clear priorities that align with your values and long-term goals. Identify what matters most to you, both personally and professionally. Do you want to be part of the parent council or have the opportunity to participate in school functions, doctor’s appointments, extracurriculars with your child? Entrepreneurship sells us the dream of having flexibility but that too comes with responsibility. Write down your priorities and make a conscious effort to allocate time and energy accordingly so that you can remain present mentally when you’re working or with your family. Remember, it’s okay to reassess and adjust these priorities as circumstances evolve.
2. Establish a Morning Routine
Starting your day with a structured routine sets a positive tone and ensures a productive day ahead for everyone. To find balance between what works for you and your family, look to see where your strengths lie. If you’re a night owl as opposed to a morning person, could you prep the night before so you can pass the baton of the morning routine to a partner if present or alleviate morning rush stress for yourself if flying solo? Can you make time to prioritize some exercise, meditation, or any activity that rejuvenates your mind and body to ground yourself before taking on the day? A routine will help you feel more focused, energized, and ready hold your own regardless of what comes your way.
3. Embrace the Power of Planning
Effective planning is essential for efficient time management. Take a few minutes each evening to plan out the next day or first thing in the morning before you begin. Create a to-do list that combines both your parental and entrepreneurial responsibilities and goals for the day. When you cross things off you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment instead of wondering what you did for the day! Set realistic targets and break them down into manageable tasks. Add anything you did but didn’t have on your list and cross it off. This will help you evaluate where you spend the most time and what you can possibly outsource.
4. Outsource and Delegate
Running a business and raising a family can be overwhelming. What are some tasks that you could remove from your plate? Identify areas where you can outsource or delegate to lighten your load. If you have a partner, how can you discuss the distribution of both the mental and physical load. For family support, consider seeking help from relatives, friends or a nanny. Could you hire a housekeeper to help with a deeper house cleaning bi-weekly? Even monthly can make a huge difference in your time and mental health. Likewise, in your entrepreneurial endeavours, delegate responsibilities to trusted employees or freelancers. By seeking support, you’ll have more time and energy for what truly matters. Paying for help could end up paying off.
5. Emphasize effective communication
Separating personal and professional life is challenging to maintain, especially in the early years of your child’s life. Maintaining open and honest communication with your spouse, children, and team members is crucial. Being open to vulnerability as a leader does not make you less respectable. In fact, it humanizes you and creates space to build a healthy work-life balance. Share your schedule, commitments, and challenges with them, and encourage them to do the same. Collaborate and delegate tasks whenever possible. By fostering a supportive and understanding environment, you’ll create space for growth and support while also strengthening your relationships.
6. Be Flexible
As parents and business owners, there can be an expectation that we put on ourselves to do everything and do it perfectly. But, the unexpected events of running a business and the demands of parenting can fluctuate constantly. Embrace these moments as opportunities for growth, adjust your plans accordingly, and develop a flexible mindset. By remaining open to the unexpected, you show yourself to be resilient both with your family and your team, and you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process.
7. Set Boundaries and practice Self-Care
With multiple responsibilities, it’s easy to neglect your own well-being. Remember that taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Establish a calendar and commit to blocking yourself off as unavailable. Have a friend or co-worker hold you accountable. Make sure you honour yourself by setting clear boundaries and designate specific times for work, family, and personal activities. Nurturing your own well-being ensures you can give your best to both your family and your business.
There is no road map to parenting OR entrepreneurship, so be gentle with yourself. Both are a balancing act that requires constant learning and trial and error. By setting clear priorities, embracing effective time management, and nurturing open communication, you CAN find a healthy balance.
“You can have it all. Just not all at once.” – Oprah Winfrey
Focus on how far you’ve come rather than where you wish you were and drop the unrealistic expectations of being the perfect business owner and parent.
About the Author
Nadine M. Woods is a social entrepreneur, advocate, bra innovator and founder of Mayana Genevière, an ethical intimate apparel line committed to empowering women’s health and well-being. She specializes in a decolonial approach to fashion and leads with purpose through her groundbreaking designs and initiatives that are transforming the industry and inspiring others to join the movement toward equity and inclusion. Speaker, writer and philanthropist, Nadine brings a unique perspective and dedication to change, creating a more just and equitable future for all.
Follow Nadine on LinkedIn.
Check out Mayana Genevière.