How This Mompreneur Balances Work and Kids

Author: Robyn Parets | September 22, 2016

When “mompreneur” Pam Foley started her Auntie Anne’s pretzel franchise business with her first store in Rhode Island, her children were four and seven years old. Over the next decade, she grew her business into a thriving company with five shops.

Foley, now a real estate agent and artist, has since sold off those Auntie Anne’s outlets. Even when it was challenging to find enough time for her children when her business was open seven days a week, she surprisingly still wouldn’t trade those busy years for anything.

If you’re a mompreneur running a small business, you can likely relate to Foley. With the busy back-to-school season coming up, juggling your business and your children’s needs may become even more difficult when you add in extra responsibilities like chauffeuring your kids to school, attending a myriad of events, acting as homework helper, and managing your household. Even if you have your partner’s help, it’s enough to make your head spin.

To help you keep up with the daily mompreneur demands of running your business and taking care of your children, here are our top five tips:

  1. Set mompreneur boundaries

    This means learning that it’s ok to draw a line in the sand and say “no” when your business begins to interfere with your family time. For example, if you leave work at 5 every Tuesday and Thursday to get to your son’s soccer practice by 5:30, this may mean turning down business obligations on those nights. Keep in mind that you may need to occasionally move that line in the sand if you have to travel out of town or have an important work event.

  2. Be flexible

    Just as you might have to shift your boundaries occasionally, you may also need to leave work in the middle of the day to attend to something going on with your kids. The key is to not stress about this and recognize that your company won’t fall apart if you need to leave early or take a couple hours off in the middle of the day.

  3. Enlist help

    Your business isn’t the only place where you may need hired help. If you can afford it, hire a babysitter or two, a cleaning service, and someone to help care for your lawn. Quality childcare in particular, especially after school, will help you focus at work so that when you’re home with your kids, you can focus on them.

  4. Be present

    Although your time may seem splintered, you can hold it together by being truly present at work. Of course, there are exceptions, and it’s important to have your cell phone with you in case there’s an emergency with your children. Likewise, when you leave the office, it’s important to unplug so you can be fully present with your kids. This isn’t easy, especially when you can constantly check work email and messages on your phone. This is why it’s also a good idea to talk to your employees about the importance of your family time so that they don’t contact you for every little thing. Take a lead from Foley, who made sure her Auntie Anne’s employees didn’t call her unless “the sky was falling in or there was a fire.”

  5. Take care of yourself

    Balancing a business and motherhood can take a toll on your health and well-being. For this reason, it’s important that you manage to carve out time to both exercise and relax. With such limited free time, this may mean a run or walk during your lunch hour or even using a treadmill desk. It’s also important that you get enough sleep, eat healthy, and take vacations. If time away from work means time off with your kids, you get to combine family time with investing in your self-care.

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