I have a confession to make. I cried when I dropped off my eldest son on his first day of high school this year. It was a deeply emotional moment for me. I’m a mother to two sons and the CEO of my own company, so I’m used to wearing the mompreneur hat and maintaining my own work/life balance.
The one thing nobody tells you about this entrepreneurial life? You can set schedules and plan out your days and weeks, but time will creep up on you in ways you could never imagine. I’m still working and focusing on the business, but my sons are no longer toddlers or grade school students. They are aging into slowly becoming adults. Our needs as a family are evolving, and we are subsequently spending more time in our respective worlds along the way. School. Running a business. Extracurricular activities. The key is not to get fully swept up in any of those areas.
The gentle act of being present and focusing on wellness is a big part of ensuring that your family continues to grow up happy and healthy. No matter how old your children may be or which stage you’re at in your small business journey, I’ve found the following life hacks to be tremendously helpful for mompreneurs to stay centered on the go.
1. Cut down the screen time.
We have one rule when I drive my two sons to school in the morning and pick them up afterwards: no screens. Nobody looks at their smartphones or tablets. Instead, we have conversations about the upcoming school day on the ride there. During the ride home, we chat about how the school day went and what they did during it. We also discuss things that have not happened yet — like soccer games or field trips — that they are anticipating. Better yet, they even ask me about how my day went! It’s a simple way to stay connected to one another. I like to think that when you cut screens out of the equation, it gives your brain less opportunities to go on autopilot and reply “fine” and really think about the day as a whole.
2. Eating and drinking right.
Mompreneurs are stretched pretty thin. They tend to have their hands in a lot of different honey pots, which makes it critical to maintain a healthy diet. This diet should also be one where you lead by example with your children. Think about what goes into their lunches as you make them. Consider doing weekly meal prep for the whole family that covers all of your nutritional bases. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, too! Swap out sugary drinks like soda for water and decaf instead of caffeinated coffee.
3. Use technology to stay on track.
Can apps be considered a helpful life hack? Absolutely! If you’re struggling to make time to get in a workout, download the Sworkit app. This lets you choose from a few different types of circuit workouts. Other great options include the Studio Tone It Up app, which acts as an on-the-go fitness studio, and MyFitnessPal which helps track your caloric intake for the day.
4. Schedule in a family walk around the neighborhood.
Maybe the kids carpooled to school that day or took the bus. You might have missed out on a great conversation together, but you can still get in some time together in the evening. Before everyone disappears into their own little worlds — the kids with their homework and parents with their respective workloads — go on a family walk. It doesn’t have to be a long walk. A quick jaunt around the neighborhood works just fine. Make sure every member of the family is accounted for and use the time to get in some exercise and regroup as a unit together.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com which provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent services, DBAs, and trademark and copyright filing services. You can find MyCorporation on Twitter at @MyCorporation and Deborah at @deborahsweeney.