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the mommyhood memos: 8 tips for running a business as a work-at-home mom

Friday, September 17, 2010

8 tips for running a business as a work-at-home mom

By Amanda Stock, author of AmandaStock.com and Baby Bump Diaries

{This post is part of the Moms Who Work series.}



Working at home and owning my own business. Oh, I pictured it as lovely also – a warm cup of coffee, pajamas, the birds chirping, beautiful rays of sunshine cascading over my clean desk, and my toddler quietly playing with wooden blocks on pristine white carpet. In my vision, I even have all of the laundry folded and grocery shopping done.  

That daydream is my happy place. The place I go in my mind while reality is happening – a luke warm cup of coffee, my pajamas and the important papers all over my desk both soaked with milk, my toddler running around half naked with an empty sippy cup, while I am on the phone with the babysitter who just canceled for that afternoon…. 

And that was just my first day on the job!  

Owning my own business has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I put it next to motherhood on my biggest achievements list. It gives me the extra kick I need in my life and as long as I keep everything balanced I get the best of both “worlds” – working and raising my daughter full time.  

I take care of a husband, a two year old, a business, myself, and a household. Juggling all of these things requires a lot of practice and skill. It took me a long while to find that perfect balance and along the way I have discovered some very effective guidelines to keep the balance and help myself and my family remain sane.  

1. Always make time for your husband or partner. I’m talking love him, cherish him, and make him your world. At the end of a crazy day, sometimes the only thing I can think about is how fast my head can hit the pillow. But always take time for him even if it is just a few minutes and remember that after the kids are gone and you retire, you will still have him.

2. Savor the moments you spend with your children. It goes by too fast. Be in the moment as much as possible.

3. Go out with your friends at least once per month and make time for vacations. Taking a break is the best way to renew your creativity and strength.

4. Delegate, both in work and home life. You can do it all sure, but it won’t all be done well and will most likely end in disaster or a nervous breakdown. Remember you are raising the next generation here. If you want to maintain a high level of quality you have to learn to delegate. Understand which tasks are the most time consuming for you and figure out how to get them off your plate. Can you outsource certain tasks or hire a virtual assistant? And never use the excuse you can’t afford it because the more time you free up the more time you have to do the tasks that bring serious results to your business, which means more income.

5. Prioritize and know what brings the most results. Owning your business requires a lot of work, but knowing exactly what activities bring you the most results will keep you moving forward rather than treading water.

6. Schedule specific times to complete your work and hire a mother’s helper if needed. Try not to use up your husband’s free time unless money is tight. For example, I work daily during my daughters nap time. If I have a big project or tight deadlines I have a babysitter come to the house for a few hours and do home school preschool activities with my daughter while I get caught up. My husband comes home and then we are all together without distractions.

7. Always keep a notebook close and jot down ideas when you are outside of your normal working hours. If you need to spend time thinking about or brainstorming something, then make sure your kids can have fun while you think. I grab a notepad and head to the playground or beach. It is even better when you can grab some work at home moms you love and do this as a group. My daughter has a blast and we get some quality brainstorming time.

8. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Know that you have to balance much more than a 9-5 job. Know you won’t be able to compare yourself to those who put 14 hour days into their business. If you can’t finish something today, do it tomorrow. Make obtainable goals and celebrate every success!

Bio: Amanda Stock has over 9 years of online marketing experience. She is a work-at-home mother who helps entrepreneurs build successful, result-driven online businesses. Visit AmandaStock.com or BabyBumpDiaries.com to connect with her.


Further reading in this series:


Dear mommy-friends, how great are these tips?! I don't even own my own business but I feel inspired by reading Amanda's tips. What are one or two things that jumped out at you from her post? Which of her ideas would you like to implement in your home and work? Are you a business-owning mom? Share some of your tips for surviving and thriving while you juggle it all.

inspired by this successful mama,





adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
do not reproduce without written permission

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9 Comments:

At September 17, 2010 at 1:12 AM , Blogger Greta said...

Amanda, these are GREAT tips. Adriel, thanks for posting. These can go across the board for any parent...not just running a business as a work from home mom. I have had a chance to do all "working" mom jobs; Stay at home mom while on maternity leave with both my kids, worked from home part-time after the birth of my first son, and now I work full time in the office while my husband watches the kids and finishes grad school. I can still say that I have to remind myself to do all those tips nearly every day. That post was a breathe of fresh air. Thank you!

 
At September 17, 2010 at 2:55 AM , Blogger Mandy said...

Again, amazing tips!! This is a great series, Adriel! Now... I just need to put these tips to use. A vacation sounds good right about now! :-)

 
At September 17, 2010 at 3:12 AM , Anonymous Paula @ Simply Sandwich said...

This is great information! Thank you so much for sharing!

 
At September 17, 2010 at 3:35 AM , Blogger Chic Mamá said...

What a fabulous idea to have come up with this series!
I am catching up as I have just found your blog through SITS. =)

This is great post on how to balance it all. I definitely agree on savoring every moment. I used to work at home and sometimes get all caught up in finishing, she's right, if you can't do it today, finish tomorrow.

Love the pointers & also love your blog. Especially the about section. so cute. Glad I found found you. =)

 
At September 17, 2010 at 7:30 AM , Blogger Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

Great tips and you are an inspiration. It is hard to balance it all and I love your tips. Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your pointers:)

 
At September 17, 2010 at 7:43 AM , Blogger Nikki said...

I'm filing these away for when this day comes for me! I've always told myself...Self, if you ever work from home, you must take a shower in the morning. I tend to be covered in dog hair most of the time...

 
At September 17, 2010 at 2:12 PM , Blogger Laura Elliott said...

I've printed these tips out - they are exactly what I need right now. I have a lot going on and I'm always looking for ways to balance my family time, my work and my blogging. Thank you.

I can vouch for the one about taking a vacation, I am just back from a week away and feel completely refreshed and full of ideas.

Adriel, this is an absolutely brilliant series!!!

 
At September 18, 2010 at 5:27 AM , Blogger A Little R&R said...

This is excellent!! And soooo needed for me at this point. Just last week I called my mom (I'll even admit that I was crying) and asked, "How did you do it????" She wasn't labled a "work-at-home-mom", they didn't have those kind of labels back then. She was a pastor's wife - so that automatically piled her plate full of everything no one else wanted to do. She actually advised me to do many of things written here, I am putting them into practice...we still have some bugs to work out, but at least I am getting more family time in. That's already a big improvement.

 
At October 5, 2010 at 6:35 AM , Anonymous Amanda Stock said...

Thank you all so much for the kind comments on this article!! It warms my heart so much to read them. Also a big thank you to Adriel for the wonderful series and allowing me to be a part of it.

 

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