Welcome to an era of Mompreneurs! Today, there are 114 percent more female business owners than 20 years ago, with more than 95 percent of women entrepreneurs being mothers. This goes to show that women out there are raring to go – both at work and home.
It comes as no surprise that even the most audacious mompreneurs struggle to manage the demands of it all. More than 1000s of women agree that achieving a balance between business and work is difficult for a number of reasons, and I personally vouch for it.
While the pandemic has granted us a flexible setup, it has blatantly blurred the boundaries between office and home. With kids, work, and the household hankering over our time (all the time), where do we draw the line? Much like me, many mompreneurs out there are struggling to answer this very question.
There is a lot said about work-life balance over the years. However, little of it is of use in today’s scenario. Especially in the pandemic where things have gone haywire, it requires mompreneurs to divest new means to achieve equilibrium between both fronts.
With kids and family being home round the clock, there are added demands on a woman’s time. This has been made worse with no on-ground support at work since everyone is working remotely. But that’s no game stopper for us women. Albeit slowly, female business owners are now rising to the occasion and handling both work and home eloquently amid the pandemic. Here’s how:
● Get yourself a team: Mompreneurs are no less than superheroes. But they need help too. Don’t shy away from asking for it - both at home as well as at work. I have a team set up on both fronts and cannot rave enough about how it has helped me. Delegate household duties between family members or a team or helpers. Similarly, build yourself a trusted team at work to manage the clerical bits. Learning to delegate effectively, rather than trying to do it all by yourself, is crucial.
● Allocate time: Here’s the catch – If you don’t set boundaries for yourself, no one will. Be clever with your time and allocate it well. Have a fixed schedule, even when working from home. Similarly, dedicate a set number of hours each day to play with your kids or simply be with your family members. Communicate your working hours with everyone at the office (and home) and be fierce with your boundaries. This will help with expectation-setting and help you manage your time better.
● Learn to say no: As rightly pointed out by Katherine O’Brien (a postdoctoral research associate at the Baylor School of Medicine), “Women typically are regarded as nurturers and helpers, so saying ‘no’ runs against the grain of what might be expected of them.” I couldn’t agree more with her as I have often found myself feeling guilty when turning down requests at work or with the kids. However, I have also found it useful to say no to demands that unnecessarily eat up my time. Deny working beyond your hours and do not succumb to attention-seeking gimmicks of kids. Being assertive will help you free up a lot of time and thereby be more productive.
● Take a break: Working round the clock may get more work done in the short run, but it will eventually lead you to burnout. To be effective at both work and home – it is necessary to step away for a while. Spend some quality time with yourself, away from daily routine and hassles. Reflect on your wellbeing and your achievements to date. Appreciate how far you’ve come and reward yourself for it. Watch your favorite show, get a massage, order in food- do whatever it takes to rejuvenate and disconnect. This will help you come back refreshed and achieve a lot more.
● Set up a healthy work environment: Since most of us are now working from home, we are deprived of a dedicated workspace. I often found my kids jumping around me – hovering for my attention while I tried to attend to work calls. However, a dedicated workstation changed much of it for me. Get yourself an ergonomic chair and a desk and set up privacy dividers if you do not have a whole room to yourself. Creating a makeshift office at home can help you be more productive and thereby achieve a better work-life balance.
The pandemic may have largely changed the narrative but adapting well is a trait that no one can take away from mompreneurs. We accommodate to the changing situations and come out brighter and better each time. Our secret to eloquently managing work, home, kids, and more, you ask? To smile and conquer it all!
Kavitta B Bedi, is the founder and CEO of JBC INC (Just Because its Children). An entrepreneur at heart, she is also an angel investor. An alumna of Lady Shri Ram College and a specialist in Marketing Management from the Times School of Marketing. She is a spousal member of Young Presidents Organisation (YPO). Katherine Ernst Mehta is the CEO and Founder of Edvanta Consulting and a member of the International Association for College Admissions Counseling. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Welcome Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving and connecting the American expat community in New Delhi, India.