As the owner of Divalysscious Moms, a luxury lifestyle company for mothers and families, and the mother of two young children aged six and nine, I am frequently asked how I balance motherhood with owning and operating my own business. While every successful mother and business owner has her own recipe with ingredients that work for her as an individual, here are some tips that I like to give other mothers in similar situations.
Make sure that your work can be done early in the morning before the children wake up. Yes, that means sometimes waking up at 4:30am to finish work—of course, you will need a large cup of coffee. If you know that mornings are too hectic, finish the work the night before, after the kids are sounds asleep in their beds—but don’t put off time with them just to work. There still needs to be a balance between work and family. Be careful: putting things off will only stress you out more.
Always remember that being a mom and a business owner gives you the right to delegate the work, which means surrounding yourself with a great supportive team comprised of positive people who have high energy. Make sure these are people that you can trust, and people that can help you. This is your job and your life, so don’t let feelings get in the way—the most important thing is to get the job done. That’s not to say you can’t be kind, but just make sure that you are respected by the people you ask for help so you don’t get stuck with more work than you originally anticipated. And do not be afraid to ask for help for yourself. It's always better to ask than to be completely overwhelmed.
3. Don’t Cut Corners
Sometimes it’s easier to skip that morning breakfast, or walk out the door without saying goodbye to your family before going to work. Don’t skip out of those moments, because they’re what will put your mind and heart at ease when you get overwhelmed, and also what will put you back into a great mood. If you can, try to always have breakfast with your family in the mornings before you run to the office and they go to school. It’s critical to build those family fundamentals at an early age so they become normal in your household. If you prioritize properly, spending an extra fifteen minutes sitting down with some cereal won’t stress you out and you will be able to properly enjoy the reboot period before you start your busy day.
4. Take a Breath
It’s always stressful being in the office, even on a good day, but that means if you don’t stop for a second to take a breath, you’re going to become way too overwhelmed. Find a quick thing you can do every day when it starts to feel like too much that will bring you back to a calm state of mind. Perhaps you have a small photo album of your family you can flip through, or give your kids a call and speak to them for a quick second, even if it’s just to tell them you love them. Those little ones can do amazing things for you in such a short time—don’t take that for granted.
5. Never Forget You
As moms and businesswomen, it’s easy to forget ourselves in the mix of things. It is so important that we don’t let all of our stress get so pent up that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. During your lunch break, do something that relaxes you: go down to the closest nail salon and get a quick ten minute back rub, or keep your favorite color nail polish with you at your desk and slick on a new coat while you’re at your computer. Although we need to find time for both our family and our work, the time it takes to say “I don’t have the time” is enough to give yourself a little love in return for all the hard work you do. And besides, you deserve it.
Lyss Stern is the founder of Divalysscious Moms, the luxury lifestyle company that caters to NYC’s well-heeled and trendsetting moms. She’s also the co-author of the best-selling book, If You Give a Mom a Martini…100 Ways to Find Ten Blissful Minutes for Yourself. She lives in NYC with her husband and two sons and can be reached at email@example.com.