Mums today are not only undervalued and misunderstood, they are totally overwhelmed. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see a mum start a business from their own home and take control of their financial future.
Research undertaken has found that women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men, often part-time while raising children. And recent research has shown that a whopping 70 per cent of Australian women have considered pursuing a business idea since becoming a mum.
I started my business in 2015 because I wanted to help ‘start up’ Mums in business feel less overwhelmed by the journey before them.
Being a Mum in business is no easy feat at any time but is now especially difficult when in the cyber world.
When I was a Mum in business, (my husband and I owned a busy retail food business. The hours were long; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; then the travel time to and from the business) it was a hard slog just trying to find the time; the time for my husband, my kids, the housework, the gardening, the paperwork, the business, and myself.
We used separate vehicles because I still had to get the kids ready for and to school, do the shopping, get stock for the shop at various times, take the kids to sports, etc.
I did this for two years. I then decided to work outside of the business because:
I didn’t want to ‘waste’ my admin skills by working in a fish and chip and fresh seafood shop, and
I thought this would give me more ‘time’ for all of those things that already challenged me. Of course, I hadn’t thought that I would still have to work in the shop as we have staff. However, when it was busy, two or three people were just not enough and I was called in. On other occasions, my husband just needed a break so my weekends were taken up in the business.
Then I decided that my life wasn’t crazy enough, I went back to school on 3 separate occasions. So on top of all of the above, I had assignments to fit into my schedule.
Cutting a long story short, I became burnt out, suffered further from depression and bipolar, began resenting all that I held dear, and in general became impossible to live with. My kids certainly suffered the most and had to grow up much too fast, especially my eldest who was only 14 years old at the time.
Self-care should be your number one priority. Drop the mummy guilt around doing something for yourself. If you are not feeling good the wheels of both family and business will come unstuck. Ask yourself, “what regular rituals of self-care do I do for myself each day and week?”
The house chores can wait
Are there some family tasks your partner/spouse can pick up to reduce your load?
DON’T put all your eggs in one basket
Take each day as it comes
Don’t overdo things and become burnt out