The ultimate way to learn how to organize your life is to throw together big events like having the most adorable newborn and starting a business at the same time. For some reason I thought, Hey, I can just put her in the playpen and work from home. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Granted, a few times I was able to do just that, but, boy, did I ever learn fast that things had to be kept simple. That and being organized and having a routine keep you from struggling hard with your business and losing your sanity. And that’s just with one kid.
Then came along baby number two, and then three. The toughest year was when they were two, four, and six. I had two of them home with me and the eldest in school every other day while I took calls from clients. That’s before all-day kindergarten came into effect in Ontario. My minivan and I were busy travelling to school, making shift daycare arrangements, and visiting an assortment of onsite clients. One client was generous enough to let me bring my baby to their site.
One of the toughest things I have ever done is breastfeed while running payroll for twenty-five employees using cheques, not direct deposit.
Go ahead and laugh. After three kids, my dignity is long gone. I cherish my clients who remained with me through those years. It’s true I never missed a payroll or remittance, but I did miss a lot of sleep.
Which brings me to the point of this blog post.
It doesn’t matter if you are a mom of three working from home, a college graduate, or a preacher. You need to keep life simple and organized. Getting too complex will only zap those precious moments when you should “just be” and enjoy this experience called life. It will also make every single day a huge struggle. And that’s unnecessary and preventable!
I’m often asked how I do it all. The key is to make sure what you are doing is fun! That makes it much easier to stay motivated and functioning.
But there are also practical things that fuel your energy while you’re a work-at-home mom (WAHM). These things are essential:
- Sleep. Without it, you’re tired, unable to think clearly, apt to make mistakes, and impatient. Also, depression can creep up on such people who lack sleep. Do anything you can to get that rest.
- Eat healthfully regularly. Not doing so saps your energy and can affect you emotionally, physically, and mentally. It’s hard to do this when you’re busy, but it helps to block off some time to, say, cut up veggies for snack containers after you do groceries.
- Exercise. Getting the blood pumping and the sweat pouring releases stress, clears the mind, and gives you both energy and the ability to relax and sleep. The Internet is saturated with the benefits of exercise.
- Organize: your calendar, your groceries, your finances, and especially your time. And make things predictable so that a member of your support team, if you have one, can drop in and pick up a task.
- If you can, put together a support team so you can designate tasks you don’t have time for or aren’t your strength.
- Rally your family to your vision of success and keep only clients who will work with your needs.
There is nothing easy about being a WAHM. But it is possible to make it work.
If I had to do it all over again, would I change anything? NO! I’m tough, goal-oriented, resourceful, and results-driven. That really helps. But that doesn’t always mean things are easy. Doing myself the favour of being organized and simplifying things were the best things I’ve done for myself as a mother and a businesswoman.
Now I have three daughters, a patient husband, and awesome clients to also thank for my success.