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Balancing a Young Family, a Full-Time Job and Owning a Business
April 6, 2021
By Kristina McGarvey
Two things that are undeniably hard: business ownership and parenting. As a young parent, even thinking about business ownership can feel unobtainable and exhausting. It’s that feeling similar to when you are planning to become a parent… trying to find “the right time” but knowing there is no perfect time. One of my favorite TV personalities, Amy Poehler once said “Great people do things before they are ready. They do things before they know they can do it.” This statement was spot on for me when my all-too-confident husband informed me to buckle up because we are starting the business of his dreams.
Business ownership was always a dream of mine as well, but as a full-time working mother of a rambunctious toddler, I initially thought it would be a long while until it became a reality. Looking back 3 years later, I can confidently say that business ownership is awesome. Being a parent, of now two rambunctious toddlers, is AMAZING. But being both a parent and an entrepreneur… now that is an incredible journey that is more than I could have ever dreamed.
Here are a few things that I have learned that help me juggle parenting and owning a business; my hope is that these tips will resonate with you.
Take advantage of your network.
Yes, I know how it sounds, but utilizing the successes and trials of your peers can help avoid some of those bumps in the road that are bound to come along. Luckily for me, working for HomeWell Franchising Inc., I have franchise owners I am able to witness run successful businesses and manage their parenting responsibilities simultaneously. Don’t be shy in utilizing the resources that you have at your fingertips. Many HomeWell franchise owners, along with my personal circle, shared the same tips with me as I am passing along to you.
Remember that all to confident husband I told you about? This was a struggle point for him. He is an idea-factory, constantly starting new projects before finishing another. We all know this type of person, right? The person that paints a room but does not take the tape off until 6 months later. Yeah, that’s my husband. It is important that to stay organized or the week can quickly fall apart. As young parents know, a trip to the zoo is not as simple as just a trip to the zoo. There is a lot of planning and packing that goes into making sure you have snacks, sunscreen, strollers, change of clothes and of course… their favorite toy. This parenting skill of being able to quickly identify tasks that need to be completed in order to go somewhere/or get anything done, is a trait of a successful business owner. Anticipating needs before they’re required is a key skill for a business owner.
Manage your time wisely!
Trying to do everything at once usually leads to disaster with someone or something getting the short end of the stick. Trust me, I’ve tried it and when I did, I wasn’t able to be my fully present self at work or at home. It ended up with me thinking about my kids while at the business and thinking about the business when I was with my kids. This trap is one that many young parents fall into, and it is a hard one to break. Be sure to remember that you are the business owner, and you can control your day, don’t let it control you.
Don’t forget about yourself.
Allow yourself grace – not every day is going to be perfect or balanced. There will be hard times. Making sure you prioritize yourself and your wellbeing is essential. Business ownership is not for the faint of heart, it is hard work. And parenting… well that job is 24/7. Allowing yourself to unplug and focus on you. That could mean scheduling time to work out during your lunch. Or leaving early to get a massage. Waking up early to meditate or (my personal favorite) pouring a nice glass of wine and diving into a good book. Giving yourself this time to recharge will help you be a less stressed, and a more present parent and business owner.
Revisit your “why.”
It’s funny how when we are in the thick of it, it is hard to see how far you have come to reaching your goals. Stepping back and remembering the very reason you went into business ownership is important. For us, that reason was revolved around family. Providing the best for our children, our parents as they age, and the ones that are closest to us. It’s a lot of work, but we know we are building a lifestyle now that we will be able to enjoy for many years to come.
When my husband and I decided it was time for us to take that leap into business ownership, I knew that many people would think we were downright crazy, or that it was simply impossible. There is a lot of juggling the day-to-day tasks, and to say it has all been butterflies and rainbows would be irresponsible. For me though, every challenge is worth it.
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