I know how you feel.
The idea of being a work at home mother seemed like a dream right? The problem is that sometimes a dream can turn into a nightmare. Don’t worry though, you are not alone and knowing that could be the answer to your prayers.
Perceptions can be very different to reality. People who look in on the life of a Mumpreneur may think she has it all. I can’t blame them; before I set up my first business 10 years ago I assumed that it would be a breeze. I would be able to easily achieve the allusive work/life ‘balance’ women seem to try so hard to maintain.
I used to imagine the daily life as a Mumpreneur and it went a little like this:
• Wake up at a leisurely pace
• See to my children (because they woke up at 7 or after)
• Get ready without the rush (after all some days I could even work in my PJ’s)
• Wave my husband off
• Take the children to school
• Do some random jobs around the house
• Make myself a cup of green tea and sit down in my office refreshed and ready start the day
• Nice break for lunch when of course I would eat a delicious healthy, freshly prepared meal
• Return to my desk for a couple of hours before finishing up and turning off the computer
• Get the kids from school
• Cook a home cooked meal, eat as a family at the dining table
• Get my beautiful and co-operative children to help me tidy up
• Help with homework or take my talented kids to interesting clubs where I would socialize with my mummy friends
• Put the kids to bed
• Finally the husband and I would have some quality time together
Some nights I would be able to go out with friends or go to the gym. Of course I would also be there for all the school extracurricular activities and if my kids were ever ill I would never have to make excuses to look after them, being my own boss would mean that my kids came first and I didn’t have to answer to anyone.
IDYLLIC – YES.
REALITY – NO.
My fantasy didn’t take into account a couple of things being pre-husband and pre-children. The first being the years of having small children at home at the same time as trying to build a business whereby anything leisurely is near enough impossible and the second, my husband’s work hours in our agricultural business are not 9 to 5.
It didn’t include the times when the baby wouldn’t sleep more than 2-3 hours. They didn’t include the times I would be working with a toddler climbing on my lap or refusing to day sleep. I would sometimes have to sneak into the office during lunch but would still get interrupted because my kids want their sandwiches cut in different shapes and then didn’t want them at all.
It didn’t include the times that my now pre-schooler would grab my phone and press send on a Facebook post too soon or want to take a photo ‘right now’ or the earth would fall in; or the time my laptop got knocked on the floor by a curious toddler rendering my most recent work lost forever to digital heaven and very nearly my laptop.
We are just hitting school age with number one in Prep (pre-school) and that fantasy is further from reality. There are some days that by the time I have cleaned up the cyclone name McCarthy on return from the school run, I only have enough time to make a tea and grab a quick bite. I get some work done but the school pick up comes around so quickly I don’t know where the time goes. I have to work through many meal times and never get as much done as I had plan to. The shock of going from day care hours to school hours is still with me.
After a school run with a screaming toddler who wants to go to the toilet, even though he refuses to potty train and an ‘easy’ dinner of home cooked chicken nuggets and chips (because vegetables are yuk and I actually did get to make a home cooked meal, just pre-prepared!) I would work into the evening till long past my bedtime, leaving my husband a potential stranger on the nights he was home and my friends long unseen.
Yes I will be able to be there at the school to volunteer for reading or spelling next year and look after my kids when they were ill but being self-employed means that if you don’t work you don’t get paid and all those missed hours or days have to be made up somewhere, leading to late nights because in this house no work gets done when the kids are at home (and that is how it should be and why I am self-employed, they are my absolute why).
Was that the work/life balance I had dreamed of?
In reality working from home is hard and one of the major reasons for this is something I hadn’t considered in my fantasy; the feeling of isolation.
Ever heard the phrase lonely at the top? This saying usually refers to high flying business executives but the same is true for Mumpreneurs. To generalise, the husband is often out all day and friends are in ‘normal’ jobs. Whether you’re a Mumpreneur living in town, on a property or in a remote location; a Mumpreneur may not see another soul all day or week (or at least one over the age of 5) and text please, I’m too tired to talk on the phone …
Nothing prepares you for this, especially a control freak like me!
I am not someone to dwell on the negatives though, I am so grateful to have my husband and my cherubs in my life. Yes this is the very real situation many mothers face but there are things you can do to improve your business and tackle this isolation. I am able to say this based on personal experience.
Having started my business a decade ago and having had a good share of single, married and now with children business hours I have learnt a lot in that time. Life teaches us new lessons every day but I am privileged now to be in a position to help other Mumpreneurs facing the same struggles I did and am.
When you reach out and make connections with other people who understand you then you realize you are not going through it alone.
When you are able to talk to people who experience the same daily challenges you are empowered to find solutions.
When you network with other Mumpreneurs you will find an incredible supportive group of people who will take joy in watching you reach your personal and business potential.
Not only do you gain, but so do the other Mumpreneurs when they meet you, learn your story and understand your why, your passion, your determination.
This is why my coaching focuses on Mumpreneurs, especially Mumpreneurs in regional, rural or remote locations. I am a strong believer in that together we are stronger.
So if you are fed up of feeling like your dream has turned into a nightmare now is the time to refocus, get supported and be inspired. If you are sick of not seeing other mum in business who gets where you are in growing a business then you can easily fox this without even having to leave the house. Whether you are in a regional, rural or remote location you can join our Facebook group and connect with other mums who are waiting to meet you.
Make your first connection today through the Facebook group or arrange a chat with me on a Free Strategy Call so we can streamline your business to allow you to live the life you love whilst building a profitable business – without mummy guilt.
I am going to put a caveat in here… I know there are mummas out there who feel isolated in their Mumpreneur journey even if their mate lives in the next suburb. You are not excluded, make sure you message me and connect and I’ll connect you with some amazing mummas who will expand your network and your business connections.
Don’t feel alone; you are not. The Mumpreneur model is fast growing and you are the leading edge. Just don’t get left behind.
To Your Success