Starting a business is incredibly hard. You only have to ask a few entrepreneurs to understand the issues they face and the many challenges they have to overcome.
Then there is the bit where you have to juggle starting a business with parenting, which doesn’t always go to plan. With starting a business there is the inevitable troublesome issues and learning how to switch off is another problem while being able to put the kids to bed before returning to work.
Here are some tips on juggling parenting with starting a business.
Share the passion and the rest will follow
If you love something so much and if you are passionate about it this can be worth its weight in gold. Often people do things for the wrong reasons but if your new business is built on love and passion you will have a better chance than most at running a successful business. When your family know that something means a lot to you, they will be more likely to support you and help with the busy months/years ahead! Share the passion and let your kids know why it is important to you.
Ask for help
Once you have your idea and once you are making progress with your business you may find you need to ask for help and that’s ok. One thing to do is to ask people that are willing to help and not those who aren’t supporting you in your journey. Most people are happy to help and even if it means taking the kids for a few hours so you can do some calls or admin then it will be worth it. Finally, don’t forget to ask your partner for more help. Often partners forget to do things, but they are happy to do so if they are asked. Ask for help doing the dinner and let your partner know if you need to go out for a few hours to get some work done.
Understand the juggle is a struggle
Starting your own business is a huge amount of work and while you may think it will be better for your family life in some cases, it may not be (for at least a time). Starting a business requires lots of hours and some of those hours will be at unsociable hours too. You may have had a 9-5 job but now you are catching up on emails at 10pm. That’s ok if you know the juggling is normal and not to let it wear you down. Having your own business will give you some flexibility but it also comes with a lot of pressure that may add to your busy family life. You’ll be able to spend time with your children when you want but you may have to work late and at the weekends to catch up so the lines of home/life balance are blurred so you will need to be careful about your time management.
Enjoy the ride and remember to go easy
The truth is no business starts and makes millions overnight as there is a lot of work to be done so go easy on yourself. Look after your mental health and try and enjoy plenty of family time when you can to balance the workload. If you get overwhelmed, take time for you and if you are earning enough money consider getting a childminder for the kids to help so you can work more but spend more quality time with the kids when you are off. Get the kids to help around the house and let them know that when you are working to give you some private time.
Best of luck!