2 Women sitting on couch talking

As a Mompreneur, you know how easy it is to get frazzled. You’ve got a business and a family to take care of. But there’s someone else you need to take care of, and that’s you. You’ve got to prioritize and improvise in order to stay sane, because there’s just so much to do! You’ve got to use your time more effectively in order for your family, your business, and you to thrive. Most of all, you’ve got to monitor your thoughts, because the battle is won or lost in the mind.

How does this happen? As they say, it’s in the details. Here are 7 little changes you may implement to not only stay sane, but stay ahead of the game and take you, day by day, one step closer to your goals.

Stay Sane Tip #1: Make Your To-Do List Work for YOU

At the end of your day, after the kids are in bed, take 10 minutes to make a list of everything you need to do the following day. Okay, fine, pour a glass of wine first. But here’s the important part: Don’t just list all of your to-dos related to running your house and business smoothly, like picking up groceries or returning emails. I want you to also think about 3 small tasks you can do the next day to move your business forward. The goal here is to be proactive, not just reactive. If you simply work from your email inbox all day, you’re never going to further your own professional goals. Sure, you may be staying afloat, keeping your head above water, but are you finding yourself any closer to the finish line? Dream for a minute. Think about the big end goal you’d like to achieve, and break it down into smaller chunks, tasks you can do every day to get closer to realizing that dream. Once you have a larger game plan, add 2-3 of these smaller, manageable tasks to your To-Do list every night for the following day, and I promise you will be closer to achieving your big professional goals before you know it! Sometimes when we look at how far we have to go it’s difficult to see the progress we can make each day if we take it one step at a time, but if you think back to where you started it can remind you how far you’ve come and that anything is possible.

Stay Sane Tip #2: Manage Your Mindset

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you don’t have enough, or aren’t giving enough to every area of your life. Change your mindset to “I can do this. I have everything I need to make it happen.” Even changing the script you tell yourself can be so powerful. Replacing any negative messages you are sending yourself with positive stories can make a world of difference.

Some people may truly feel balanced in their work and their personal lives, but I honestly don’t know too many. Even those who seem like they have it all together will tell you they have their own struggles. I made a career switch almost a decade ago from law to PR, hoping to ultimately have more balance in my life and more time with my kids when I became a mom. While it’s never easy to get everything done, and I find myself working hard all of the time, I do feel that I have found more of the balance I was seeking and am very lucky to have a career where I’m still able to be part of my young children’s lives. Nothing is perfect, and the idea of an exact 50-50 balance may not even exist—and I try my best daily to be ok with that. Sometimes work will be more demanding, and other times the pendulum will swing the other way, and family becomes the priority. The goal should not be perfect “balance,” but instead a commitment to try your best to be focused on whatever task you are working on at that moment. Say “no” strategically, and try not to allow the anxiety or guilt weigh you down. Change your perspective on what balance means, and instead seek happiness and the ability to be present. Celebrate the peaks and valleys, as they are all opportunities to learn. Appreciate the unique position you are in as a working mom to get the best of both worlds. And above all, cut yourself some slack.

Stay Sane Tip #3: Set Boundaries:

Set boundaries for home and work and stick to them. Also, don’t feel the need to apologize for the boundaries you set. For example, my workday ends at 6 p.m. when our nanny leaves. From then until 8 p.m., I am with my kids, cooking and eating dinner, giving baths and finally tucking them in for bedtime. During this time, work takes a backseat while I am focused on family. After the kids are down, I can check back in on any unfinished tasks for the day, wrap-up email and make my to-do list for the next day (See Tip #1.) My clients understand the schedule I have set and know that I’m focused on family between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. Most people will respect the boundaries you set if you get your work done. Most won’t even notice, and most should respect that time. And do you really want to work long-term with the kind of person who wouldn’t?

Stay Sane Tip #4: Make Naptime Your Power Hour

Instead of doing the housework while your kids are napping, use this time to move your business ahead. Make calls, send emails, map out what you want your business to be. It will be a more productive use of your precious daytime hours to really focus on moving your business and your dreams forward. The housework will wait until the kids are down for the evening.

Stay Sane Tip #5: Get Positive People on Your Team

Look to your partner, friends & family to support you. You need cheerleaders and you need resources. Ask for what you want.

It’s important for you to share how big your vision is. Be loud and proud! If you don’t wholeheartedly believe in your success and that your dreams can and will become a reality, why should anyone else? Your business is not just a side thing or hobby. When you share your passion, people will naturally want to help. Pull together a solid team and get people on board with your vision. If you put out the right energy and are willing to reciprocate, you will find yourself surrounded with a solid network in no time.

Stay Sane Tip #6: Follow the Two Minute Rule

Think to yourself, “Is this something will take me less than 2 minutes to complete?” If so, just do it and move on. Don’t schedule it, don’t put it off for later, do it right now. Hang up your coat, sort the mail, file those receipts, make that appointment. Now it’sdone. The more small tasks that pile up, the more clutter and time-waste you’ll experience. Plow through the small things rather than allowing them to clog up your power to-do list and watch yourself become more motivated and focused on your business.

Stay Sane Tip #7: Make Time for Yourself

I mean it! Claim your “Mommy Time.”

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but consider this a friendly reminder to make it a priority to rest & relax, and take care of yourself. Schedule some “me time,” whether it’s a workout, a night out with the girls, an hour for a manicure, you name it. You may think you don’t have time for such little luxuries, but it’s important to make the time and ask for help with your kids in order to get out once in a while. Reconnect with what you enjoyed doing before children. Remember, you are the glue holding your family together, so everything will run more smoothly when mommy is recharged and refreshed. An hour to yourself here and there has magical healing powers! Both your family and your business will benefit much more from a relaxed and inspired you rather than the frazzled alternative!

Hopefully these small but powerful steps can help you to stop chasing the elusive “perfect balance” and instead do your best every day to be present and proactive in all areas of your life. No one ever said it would easy, but then again, nothing worth having ever is. Except maybe that mani/pedi. Yeah, let’s get to that me time…

Becky Duncan