5 things to keep in mind for new mothers running a small business

By Morgen Henderson

Running a small business is already hard, but doing it with a new baby is even more difficult. Balancing time between being a mom and a business owner is key, but how do you take care of your baby and ensure your business continues to thrive while also taking care of yourself? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

 Your child comes first.

It goes without saying that your baby is your first priority, but it’s easy to get caught up in the demands of your business. This can be especially true if you’re attempting to multitask, working from home while also taking care of your baby or toddler. It can be tempting to put them in front of a screen with music or videos playing to entertain them so you can work uninterrupted. But screen time isn’t an ideal solution, especially for such young children.

Instead, you can use attention-grabbing toys and graphics, such as high-contrast images, which are demonstrated to aid your baby’s cognitive development. Babies primarily gather information visually for the first five months, and high-contrast black and white toys and images are the easiest for them to see. Download and print a few images to show your baby – you’ll gain a great deal of joy from helping their minds form these early connections.

-Remember to prioritize.

As a parent, you’ll quickly discover the power of “no” when it comes to your child, but the word also should be employed frequently when it comes to everyone else. With the new addition in your life, you’ve gained something very special while also vastly diminishing one key resource: time. There are a finite number of hours in a day, and your business and your baby naturally take up most of them. While it can be a difficult new habit to employ, saying “no” is an important way to establish boundaries.

Now more than ever is the time to delegate. If you’re a solopreneur, consider outsourcing tasks where you can – you might hire help with marketing, scheduling, writing, IT support, or social media, for example. If you’ve got employees, entrust your team members with new responsibilities and empower them to take initiative where they can. It may take a bit of adjustment or a shift in your business’s team dynamics, but ensure they understand that there are tasks that you are giving up and will no longer be managing. Set your expectations, communicate them clearly, and offer guidance without deciding that it would be easier for you to do the task yourself.

Keep self-care on the list.

Of course, self-care is the first thing that often falls away when you’ve got too much to do. But remember that you’ll be both a better mom and a better entrepreneur if your mind, body, and soul are in good care. At a minimum, ensure you’re eating healthy foods, drinking enough hydrating liquids (coffee and wine don’t count), and getting exercise – beyond chasing your toddler around the house. Schedule self-care as you would a meeting with an important client. It might mean an hour at the gym, a yoga class, a lunch date with a friend, working at a hobby, or taking a much-needed nap. As happy as it is to welcome a new family member, your life has been shaken up, and it takes time to build new or re-establish old, good habits. Take the time to do it – your productivity will benefit.

Keep work and home separate.

Even if you work from a home office, try to keep a separate, designated workspace. This helps create important boundaries between work life and home life, even if you need to have your baby with you in your office. You will be able to shut out other distractions, including pets, piles of laundry, and noise from other family members. You will be able to meet with clients in a professional space. Likely, you’ve converted an extra bedroom into a room for your new baby. If you have few space options left, think creatively about basement space, attic or garage space, or the power of a “she-shed.”

-Define your “success”

There are many ways to determine whether you’re successful at what you do that go beyond growth and revenue. “Success” might mean more quality time with your child or better work-life balance. As an entrepreneur or solopreneur, you have the option to define your work life as you want it to be. Yes, it might mean pulling back on the time you spend growing your business, or it could mean cutting back on staff or clients, or both. Or it might mean spending more hours at work now to build your business to a place where you feel comfortable pulling back. The key is knowing what you want, not working by the parameters that others may expect.


Morgen Henderson is a business, tech, and sustainability writer from the beautiful Salt Lake valley. When she’s not working, you can find her exploring the globe—or just the mountains near her home. Follow her on Twitter @mo_hendi.

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