For a lot of working single mothers, owning a successful work from home business – and the flexibility that comes along with it – is the dream scenario. But for many working mothers trying to make ends meet and raise their kids, all too often that dream seems completely unattainable. After all, starting a business is hard enough – doing it with kids, a full-time job, and by yourself is almost impossible.
I’m a single working mother currently trying to make this dream a reality. While I’m still nowhere near where I want to be, I’ve definitely picked up some valuable lessons along the way that have given me the opportunity to work towards my dream. I still work full-time and I’m still solely responsible for raising my 2 boys, but I’m finding time to learn new skills (HTML and CSS anyone?) and develop opportunities as I attempt to start a small niche e-commerce store. Here are 3 lessons I’ve picked up along the way that has made a huge difference in my life.
1. Develop a support network
You will absolutely need help if you’re going to make it. That’s where close friends and family come in. But more than that, it’s important to build a support network of other parents facing similar challenges as you. Being friends with other parents can help with arranging carpools, running errands, babysitting, and just having someone to turn to when times are tough.
Yes, meeting new people is time-consuming, and perhaps you feel you don’t have time to indulge in a social life when you have kids, a job, and a new fledgling business, but think of it as an investment in not just friendships – but a support network for you and your kids.
As a fledgling business owner, also consider joining an online support group for mothers who are also business owners. You’ll be exposed to helpful new ideas, and you might even find valuable business contacts and opportunities by chatting and networking with other “mompreneurs”.
2. Reorganize your home workspace
If you plan to work on your business from home, you’re going to have to find a way to be productive with your kids around. The only way this will happen is if you structure your space in a way that minimizes interruptions. Whether that means you have an office with a window so you can still monitor your kids, or a completely isolated office (if you have older kids), it needs to be a workspace and not filled with games, toys, or other kid stuff. Yes, you can get some work done at the kitchen table, but I guarantee you’ll be a lot more productive with a dedicated space to focus on business.
3. Take Naps
This may seem counter-intuitive – after all, there are not enough hours in the day as it is! But if you have young children and also work full-time while they’re at school or daycare, the most productive time you’ll have to work on a new business from home is when they’re asleep – whether that’s in the morning or at night. If you’re cutting back your sleeping hours, taking a nap or two when you have a free moment during the day is a definite must. I promise it will greatly increase your productivity.
About the author: Nathalie
Nathalie is a working single mother with 2 boys, aged 3 and 5. She’s passionate about her kids, fitness, and of course – business. In the brief moments of free time she can find, she’s working on building the e-commerce store Towelracked.com. She’s especially excited about her store’s selection of Heated Towel Racks.