Leslie Campos: The Business of Being a Mom: Balancing a Business While Raising Children

By Leslie Campos Wellparents.com leslie.campos@wellparents.com

There is no underestimating how important a job parenting is or its degree of difficulty. For many, however, it’s not the only rewarding job. Balancing two priorities — children and a career or business — has been a persistent tug-of-war for many mothers.

Fortunately, home-based businesses are becoming more acceptable and commonplace. Running your business out of your home can provide you with more parenting flexibility: less commute time, being with an infant or there when your older children come home from school, and having the flexibility to be physically available if your children are in virtual or hybrid learning environments or if you choose to home school.

The bottom line is that, even as a mother, you are an individual with an entrepreneurial spirit, and there are ways to fulfill that business drive while parenting.

Selecting the ideal “mompreneur” model

Deciding on your business will depend on a variety of factors pertinent to your circumstances. If you already have strong skills or a previous career in writing or marketing, for example, you may want to stay in those fields so you can draw on your past work successes as you promote yourself. If you are starting from scratch or would like a change, you may want to try a franchise model. You’ll find that no longer are you limited to fast-food or plumbing franchises — there are dozens to choose from that are well-suited to a home-based business model.

Business blueprint and banking

Once you’ve decided what you are going to do in business, you need to lay out how you are going to do it. This is where the business plan comes in — it’s your roadmap for how you are going to get your business off the ground, what your milestones are, who are you selling to, and why you think it will be successful. It is not only a good self-discipline and reality check for you, but if you need financing it will be something that a potential lender or investor will want to review. You should have a business plan if you are planning to operate a franchise, as well.

Home office and nuts and bolts

You also need to consider your work environment, which is now your home. Look at the layout of your home to determine what is the most viable for the type of business you have, and for your family dynamics. For example, if your children are so small that you will need to keep a near-constant eye on them and monitor their daytime sleeping patterns, then a home office with easy access to other parts of the home may be more realistic — at least, for now. You will likely need a similar arrangement if you have young school-aged children who may rely on you for support and guidance in a virtual learning environment.

If your kids are older or attending school in person, then you may be able to utilize a more detached work office setting, such as a converted garage, apartment over a garage, or even a detached building in the yard. You will also want to consider whether or not you expect any client visits so that you have a separate entrance and comfortable seating area for your visitors.

As you decorate your office space, keep in mind your business brand. For example, if you coach busy executives, you will want your brand to convey professionalism. If you are selling fun and cute items in an online marketplace, however, your brand can reflect whimsy and a more creative personality. Whatever logo you choose is an important part of your brand presence. Logos may seem simple, but good logo designers take into account your business and your brand personality in their logo designs. Look on online job platforms for logo designers — these platforms also let you look at client reviews, typical delivery times, and costs. You should also find out what is included in the cost, such as how many revisions you can request before you incur an additional charge.

The only perfection is reality

Parents, and in particular mothers, do one thing really well: They carry a lot of guilt! But guilt transfers useful energy away from both parenting and your business. Accepting that you are happier when you satisfy your desire to build a business can carry over into your parenting. As Fred Rogers said: “If the day ever came when we were able to accept ourselves and our children exactly as we and they are, then, I believe, we would have come very close to an ultimate understanding of what ‘good’ parenting means.”

Executing on a passion for business is a part of accepting who you are, so you can be a positive leader for your children while you lead your business to success.

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

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Dr. Matthew X. Joseph is currently the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in Leicester Public Schools. He has been a school and district leader in many capacities in public education over his 25 years in the field. Experiences such as the Director of Digital Learning and Innovation in Milford Public Schools (MA), elementary school principal in Natick, MA and Attleboro, MA, classroom teacher, and district professional development specialist have provided Matt incredible insights on how to best support teaching and learning. This experience has led to nationally publishing articles and opportunities to speak at multiple state and national events. He is the co-author of Modern Mentoring, Reimagining Teacher Mentorship (Times 10, 2019). His master's degree is in special education and his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Boston College. Follow him on Twitter @matthewxjoseph

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