Mompreneurs: Doing it all
This is a guest post by Emily Graham, the original "mompreneur." You can reach her at mightymoms.net. Her email is emilygraham @mightymoms.net.
As a stay-at-home mom, you may find yourself wishing you had a hobby that wasn’t just enjoyable, but also lucrative and allowed for your continued full-time parenting. It can be done! Becoming a “mompreneur” (or a mom entrepreneur) is simpler than you may think. Here are a few tips on getting started and overcoming the obstacles of playing both mom and entrepreneur.
As a mother, you likely already have organization and planning down pat. These skills are vital when it comes to becoming a mompreneur.
---Get Excited! Network in your community or check online for inspiration from moms who have already found success with a home business. Get excited!
---Set Goals. They can be as small or large as you see fit but be realistic.
---Use a Monthly Planner. It helps you stay organized by providing a broad view of your goals. Search for something that can be customized: sticky notes, graphics, and videos are all helpful tools.
---Dress for Success. Many people consider it a dream to work in PJs, but according to one expert, “People feel more competent while wearing business clothes.” A full suit isn’t necessary, just throw on some jeans.
Creating a Business Model
Whether you’re starting a new hobby or choosing something new, it’s important to have a clear plan. This means having a strong business model to keep you focused and on-track.
---Work Your Passion. Decide what your business is going to be and give it some serious thought. Choose something you’re genuinely passionate about that also has real potential for monetization.
---Identify your customers. Who is your key demographic? Knowing your customer base is key.
---Reach Out. Once you know who your target audience is, it’s time to figure out the best way to reach them. Options include creating a new customer and/or refer-a-friend discount, fliers, and an effective website.
---Set a Good Foundation. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, when you’re ready to officially draw out your business model, you’ll need to choose between a traditional model and a lean startup. Lean startups are a simpler option that cover only a few topics like your infrastructure, finances, and customer information; this may be your best option in the startup phase of your business.
---Grow Yourself. Enhance your business acumen with an MBA degree. Enroll in an online program which allows you to learn at a pace that suits your schedule.
Working While Mom-ing
Family first; that goes without saying. Being a mother is a full-time job in itself, so it’s important to make time for all of your duties.
Family meetings are critical for getting and keeping all family members on board. Make your presentation and then switch to active listening to draw out any questions. Incorporate a large, dry erase monthly calendar that all can use to mark down all important events. Having your responsibilities written down in a single place can help keep everyone on-track. Family meetings work best on a weekly basis to update expectations and plans for the coming week.
Ask for help if you need it. If there’s a business task that can’t wait, ask your partner to watch the kids until you complete it. You may also want to consider hiring extra help. Learn how to delegate!
Concentrate on one task at a time. If you have a small child, for example, get as much work done as you can while they nap. Conversely, if your kids are dying for some mom playtime, set aside your work and focus on your family. Sometimes multitasking just isn’t realistic and everybody might lose. Everybody wins with empathy, active listening, and negotiation.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is something we should all strive for, especially when you’re a mompreneur. It’s important to not only schedule time with your family and business, but also for yourself.
Don’t let the idea of becoming a mompreneur intimidate you. With the right planning, creating your own business from scratch could be the best decision you ever make — for you and your family.
Submitted by guest columnist Leslie Campos,
You’ve noticed that your child is having trouble with certain subjects in school. Maybe they’re trailing behind their peers in reading, or perhaps they’re struggling in math class. No matter the subject, you can help your child move forward by making time for educational extracurriculars at home. If you don’t know where to begin, you can look to my colleague, Dr. Robinson, at www.thereformykids.com, for expert guidance! Here’s how to incorporate learning opportunities into your household schedule, polish your own teaching skills, and more.
If you want to include more educational activities in your child’s daily life, you need a plan. Planning starts best by calling a family meeting to identify items to be scheduled and then using a dry erase, large blocked wall calendar to put together the activity schedule. By creating a household routine with a clear structure, you’ll find it easier to make time for your children even when you’re busy.
This doesn’t mean that you have to plan out every moment of your child’s day, but make sure to block off time in your own schedule for working with your child on extracurricular activities. For example, you might want to include some time for reading to your kids in your evening routine or practicing music with them on the weekends.
Head Back to School
Maybe you want to help your child catch up on subjects that they struggle with, yet you don’t have much confidence in your own teaching abilities. This might be a sign that you need to earn an online bachelor of education degree!
By taking online classes in education, you’ll pick up all sorts of skills that you can use to teach your child at home. You’ll deepen your knowledge of different academic topics, and you’ll learn about different instructional approaches, as well as methods for encouraging student development. Online coursework will allow you to study without neglecting your job or family obligations.
Is your child having difficulty in their science classes? Try teaching them about the natural world by exploring the environment rather than sitting at a desk. Clean Choice Energy recommends going on “scavenger hunts” outdoors and showing your child how to identify local plants and animals, making your own terrarium at home, planting a garden together in your backyard, or going camping!
Maybe your child doesn’t have much interest in filling out worksheets - but they might have fun with a more hands-on approach to learning. If you want to help your child to get in touch with their creative side, roll up your sleeves and do art projects together at home! Artsy Craftsy Mom recommends finding age-appropriate activities, like drawing with crayons for younger kids or sculpting with porcelain clay for tweens and older kids and establishing a space in your home where your children can make a mess and let their imaginations run wild.
Is your child’s teacher concerned about their progress as a reader? Perhaps your child isn’t reading at grade level, or maybe they rarely complete their reading assignments. Sometimes, this is simply because your child has not had an opportunity to read anything that interests them in school. If your child is young, make sure that you’re reading to them as a nightly habit. If your child is older, start looking up books that do reflect their interests and reading level. You might even want to head to the library together and explore the shelves - giving them autonomy in their reading choices is a great way to spark their interest!
When it comes to your child’s education, there is no substitute for parental involvement. If you’re worried about your child’s grades, you’ll need to go the extra mile to help them learn outside of school. With these tips, you’ll be ready to be their fun learning coach, guiding and supplementing their school work, creating and meeting their goals.
Looking for resources to help your child embrace learning? Both WellParents.com and Dr. Robinson have got you covered! Visit our websites today at www.wellparents.com and www.thereformykids.com for teaching and parenting tips. Also, check out Dr. Robinson’s podcast at https://thereformykids.podbean.com.
Photo via Pexels
child safety tips
Adapted from samndan.com/child-safety/ Kids. They are masters of chaos, and they are our everything. For parents, guardians, and caregivers, keeping them safe is a daunting task and our number one priority.
Unfortunately, accidents and injuries happen, and the most recent available statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are sobering.
By Cheryl Conklin, guest columnist
Remote working can be a blessing. Remote working with kids? Not so much. If you’re trying to balance a professional life with a newborn baby or toddler, you’ll need to get resourceful - here are a few of our best strategies to help.
1. Set Realistic Goals
When you’re dividing time between work and a baby/toddler, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to put in a (good) 8-hour shift. With this in mind, try to set more realistic targets so as not to invite feelings of disappointment and frustration. This could mean segmenting larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks and setting new, attainable standards of quality. With the right compartmentalization, you may even find you’re achieving more in the aggregate.
2. Be Comfortable
Considering the range and variety of tasks you’re spreading yourself over throughout the day, it pays to pick clothes in the morning that you know will be comfortable. For new moms, this could mean opting for a dress with soft, stretchable fabric and a nursing panel (this is useful for nursing and pumping away from home). Hoodies and tracksuits also make for warm, flexible choices, and you won’t worry about getting them messy. If you have meetings and need to jump on a video call, the ‘work mullet’ has proven effective ever since the beginning of the pandemic.
3. Toy Management
One of your best assets when it comes to juggling working and parenting are the toys your child can play with independently. It’s important, therefore, to think strategically about when you’re providing access and to which items. Having everything available all at once could quickly prompt distraction and stimulus overload, leading to trouble. Instead, try to stagger access throughout the week, with toys on a constant rotation.
On that same note, we have screens. Almost all parents in the 21st century utilize them at some point, but too many cartoons can create unhealthy dependency or problems of a different nature. Instead, save this past time for when it’s absolutely essential that your child stay occupied - during work meetings, for example. With tactical usage, you can avoid creating an addiction and still reap the greatest benefits of their being otherwise absorbed during critical work times.
5. Bring In Support
If you have friends, family, or significant others who can or want to help out, don’t be shy about reaching out - as they say, it takes a village to raise a child. When someone says, “If there’s anything that I can do, just let me know,” don’t be shy about bringing in support. Extra hands can be crucial if you want to keep your child stimulated without dropping your work performance. If you don’t have anyone available in your immediate social circle, it can sometimes be worth hiring extra hands (such as cleaners) to carry out the menial tasks and lighten the load.
Ultimately, your kids are the priority. If you’re overloaded with work, you may need to plan in advance when and how you’ll spend time with them. Use your active listening skills to understand their feelings and then problem-solve with them to come up with do-able options. This could mean reading bedtime stories, including them in chores, planning days out, or simply joining them for playtime. Priortizing and a spot of organizing are often the solution for a better work/life balance.
Parenting is full-time, whether you go out to work, but especially when you’re trying to earn a living at home simultaneously. If you want to manage both and stay sane in the process, you’ll need to think tactically about time and plan your routine well in advance.
Dr. Robinson is a Christian psychologist, author, radio personality, and speaker who provides biblical resources and practical tools for better mental health, family life, and parenting. Learn more about his work at: www.thereformykids.com
guest article by nvision, www.nvisioncenters.com