Survival Tips from a Working Mom

Being a female business owner provides its own unique set of challenges.  Can I make payroll this week?  How are we going to make this month’s sales forecast?  Sales are tremendous ~ how are we going to get all this work done?

When you add those challenges to being a Mom, you’ve got a recipe for one crazy lady!  Trust me, I know!

Here are my tips for being successful as both an entrepreneur and a parent while maintaining your sanity.

1. Forget the guilt. Face it, you cannot be both super Mom and super Entrepreneur. Just simply be the BEST mom and employee/entrepreneur/owner that you can be!”.

2. Plan. Plan. Plan for your childcare needs. This is one area I learned the hard way. My children are now teenagers so this is easier on me, but when they were little I didn’t have a good back up plan. Find a quality daycare, trustworthy nanny, or faithful friend to be your primary caregiver while you work. Then make a backup for the days childcare is closed or your little one is ill. Knowing you have a plan alleviates the stress of the unexpected.

3. Create a family calendar and display it for all to see. We have a command center on the wall near the garage that has an annual calendar, but then I also keep a large rolling 6 week dry erase calendar with current events front and center.

4. Hire someone to clean your house if you can afford it. Make this a priority if you can’t afford it quite yet too. Knowing your house is clean relieves a tremendous amount of guilt (see #1) about the tasks you aren’t getting done at home. If you can’t hire someone right now, be sure the household chores are being shared with your husband and the kids. The traditional roles of the woman being responsible for the household are no longer effective in today’s world. If you both work, then you both need to be contributing at home. (Fortunately my hubby is fantastic at this part!)

5. Keep it real with your team. My team knows that some days I’m working from home while caring for a sick child or taking an afternoon to spend some quality time with them. They also know that I work evenings and weekends as needed to keep us moving forward. I share this with my team to avoid resentment for the moments I am not in the office. I don’t want them to think I’m off playing while they work hard. I may be playing at that moment, but I don’t often get my evenings and weekends free like they do. Being honest and open provides that balance and understanding.

6. Be present and plan special activities with your children. It doesn’t have to be an expensive outing, or even an outing at all, it can be an activity you do regularly at home. Right now my son and I are watching all 6 seasons of Lost together. I love this time because I just get to ‘be’ with him.

7. Stay connected with your spouse. Here’s another one I didn’t do well at all when my children were younger. We both ran through our days at warp speed and collapsed into bed to get just enough rest to start it all over again. Now we are both focusing more on each other when time permits. And I have to admit, I’m really enjoying some of the things about ‘us’ that I had forgotten even existed before kids.

8. Relax!  Don’t forget to take some time for just you. Worn out and want to watch HGTV on a rainy Saturday afternoon? It’s all good. Give yourself that time to be mindless and let your brain and body recharge. Let go of the guilt and just do it!

Jan Allison is a monthly contributing writer to Forsyth Woman.  Jan has a passion for helping small businesses succeed.  Each month’s articles will focus on different topics important to local business owners.  If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, please send her an email at