Being a female entrepreneur takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work. Your business becomes your baby as you birth it from idea to launch and beyond. Being a mother is even longer hours and a lifelong commitment to your family. As more and more women start and run successful businesses while having a family, they are often asked; "How the hell do they do it all?!"
We asked 10 Mompreneurs what their “secrets" are, and they openly share their advice, tips, and tricks to juggling their business babies and actual babies.
Let go of control and teach children independence
Actress and Blogger, Elisabeth Rohm, advises to "Instill confidence, positivity, and enthusiasm in the handling of their independence from you. Don't dwell on the goodbyes for too long or create drama around the fact that you're a working mother and definitely don't guilt yourself for working and being a Supermom and super role model!"
“Teaching our son from an early age how to be independent and creating routines and rituals for himself has been a gift. Since the age of 6, he has had his own diary to write his after-school activities in as well as important dates and reminders. We've always instilled in him that preparation is the key. I know he is confident to look after himself without relying on other people." Tina Bangel, Vocal Coach and Founder of One Voice School of Singing
It takes a village
“I have a lot of help around me. I have an incredible team at my restaurant who I am so proud of. They are an incredible bunch who work incredibly hard. At Super Mamas, our sister Elizabeth is our producer and who I delegate a lot to. At home, I have an incredible husband who is a true partner to me in life. So how I do it all? By asking for help, every day." Bricia Lopez, Owner of Guelaguetza Restaurant and Creator of Super Mamas
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Mona Loring, Owner and Partner at Conscious Living PR and Status PR says to "Plan ahead for as much as you can. From planning a week ahead of time to planning out everything I need to get done for the next day, I find that I'm able to get so much more done with a schedule. I will plan the night before for self-care, time with my kids on their homework and extracurricular activities while meal planning and scheduling my business meetings the week before whenever possible."
Fabienne Raphael, Online Business Consultant, Speaker and Podcaster, advises to “Prioritize and accept that some aspects have to get all my attention and some others will be neglected temporarily. It is also a great reminder to recognize which areas to delegate."
The early bird catches the worm.
Allison Carter, Creator of Confetti Party Plans and Host of the Memories in Moments Podcast, gets up an hour earlier before her kids. “Waking up an hour earlier than my kids has been the biggest game-changer for my productivity. It allows me to start my day with intention, rather than immediately being on the defense with kids, needs, and the breakfast hustle. During that time, I plan my day, look at what needs to get accomplished, get social media posts finalized and ready to post, read a business book, work on my podcast, really anything! The sky is the limit in that uninterrupted, quiet hour, and it has quickly become my favorite hour of the day!"
“I've found that when I get up about an hour earlier than the kids (and spouse!), I can plan my day, workout, meditate and really set an intention for how I want the day to go. This morning routine helps me stay focused on my daily goals. When I don't get up earlier than the kids, I am way more irritable and unfocused. It completely changes my attitude and the direction of my whole day." says Renata Rebing, Healthy Food Blogger
Intention is the name of the game
Sitinee Sheffert is a mom of 5, TEDx speaker and the Founder of Giving Artfully. She says her #1 tip for mom entrepreneurs is to “Be intentional with your time and actions. As a mom, when you are with your kids, be intentional with your time with them. Don't be distracted worrying about work. Our kids will grow up so fast before our eyes, we don't want to miss this precious time because we were too distracted. As an entrepreneur, be intentional about your action steps. We are so limited by time that we must focus only on steps that will further our business."
Saying “No" to getting it all done
“For many of us moms, there's a natural impulse to do everything for everyone. The idea that being a super mom means sacrifice isn't necessarily true. One of the best things you can say to free up time and brain-space is saying no when something is out of alignment." says Kenya Moses, Founder of Be A Fit Mama, Inc., Author and Speaker.
Andi Forness, an online dating coach, says “My #1 tip raising my 2 sons as a single mom while I started and now run a successful online business, and dating, was to realize early that I was not Super Mom. The reward for not being Super Mom is that I get time for self-care and fun and my sons are growing up to be responsible little men."
While building and running a business plus making sure your family is in order are all very important, don't forget to take care of yourselves. The last piece of unanimous advice from all of these incredible women is that
"You can't get it all done and that is perfectly fine. You are still a Super Mom."
In 2016, I finally found my voice. I always thought I had one, especially as a business owner and mother of two vocal toddlers, but I had been wrong.
For more than 30 years, I had been struggling with the fear of being my true self and speaking my truth. Then the repressed memories of my childhood sexual abuse unraveled before me while raising my 3-year-old daughter, and my life has not been the same since.
Believe it or not, I am happy about that.
The journey for a survivor like me to feel even slightly comfortable sharing these words, without fear of being shamed or looked down upon, is a long and often lonely one. For all of the people out there in the shadows who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I dedicate this to you. You might never come out to talk about it and that's okay, but I am going to do so here and I hope that in doing so, I will open people's eyes to the long-term effects of abuse. As a survivor who is now fully conscious of her abuse, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, quite frankly, it may never go away.
It took me some time to accept that and I refuse to let it stop me from thriving in life; therefore, I strive to manage it (as do many others with PTSD) through various strategies I've learned and continue to learn through personal and group therapy. Over the years, various things have triggered my repressed memories and emotions of my abuse--from going to birthday parties and attending preschool tours to the Kavanaugh hearing and most recently, the"Leaving Neverland" documentary (I did not watch the latter, but read commentary about it).
These triggers often cause panic attacks. I was angry when I read Barbara Streisand's comments about the men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them, as detailed in the documentary. She was quoted as saying, "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." She later apologized for her comments. I was frustrated when one of the senators questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (during the Kavanaugh hearing) responded snidely that Dr. Ford was still able to get her Ph.D. after her alleged assault--as if to imply she must be lying because she gained success in life.We survivors are screaming to the world, "You just don't get it!" So let me explain: It takes a great amount of resilience and fortitude to walk out into society every day knowing that at any moment an image, a sound, a color, a smell, or a child crying could ignite fear in us that brings us back to that moment of abuse, causing a chemical reaction that results in a panic attack.
So yes, despite enduring and repressing those awful moments in my early life during which I didn't understand what was happening to me or why, decades later I did get married; I did become a parent; I did start a business that I continue to run today; and I am still learning to navigate this "new normal." These milestones do not erase the trauma that I experienced. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that any triumph after something as ghastly as childhood abuse should be celebrated, not looked upon as evidence that perhaps the trauma "never happened" or "wasn't that bad. "When a survivor is speaking out about what happened to them, they are asking the world to join them on their journey to heal. We need love, we need to feel safe and we need society to learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it so that we can protect the 1 out of 10 children who are being abused by the age of 18. When I state this statistic at events or in large groups, I often have at least one person come up to me after and confide that they too are a survivor and have kept it a secret. My vehicle for speaking out was through the novella The Survivors Club, which is the inspiration behind a TV pilot that my co-creator and I are pitching as a supernatural, mind-bending TV series. Acknowledging my abuse has empowered me to speak up on behalf of innocent children who do not have a voice and the adult survivors who are silent.
Remembering has helped me further understand my young adult challenges,past risky relationships, anger issues, buried fears, and my anxieties. I am determined to thrive and not hide behind these negative things as they have molded me into the strong person I am today.Here is my advice to those who wonder how to best support survivors of sexual abuse:Ask how we need support: Many survivors have a tough exterior, which means the people around them assume they never need help--we tend to be the caregivers for our friends and families. Learning to be vulnerable was new for me, so I realized I needed a check-off list of what loved ones should ask me afterI had a panic attack.
The list had questions like: "Do you need a hug," "How are you feeling," "Do you need time alone."Be patient with our PTSD". Family and close ones tend to ask when will the PTSD go away. It isn't a cold or a disease that requires a finite amount of drugs or treatment. There's no pill to make it miraculously disappear, but therapy helps manage it and some therapies have been known to help it go away. Mental Health America has a wealth of information on PTSD that can help you and survivors understand it better. Have compassion: When I was with friends at a preschool tour to learn more about its summer camp, I almost fainted because I couldn't stop worrying about my kids being around new teenagers and staff that might watch them go the bathroom or put on their bathing suit. After the tour, my friends said,"Nubia, you don't have to put your kids in this camp. They will be happy doing other things this summer."
In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have friends who understood what I was going through and supported me. They showed me love and compassion, which made me feel safe and not judged.