Last year I gave birth to a beautiful baby named Rowe, and while I knew our lives would change with her in it, I don't think I really grasped the full extent of it. This past year has been amazing: watching her grow and discover the world is simply the best and I wouldn't trade it for anything. At the same time, becoming a parent is hard, and doing so while managing a business feels like running a race with no finish line. The transition to becoming a parent, while incredible, came with a steep learning curve. But along the way, it also helped remind me of a few key things that I think are important for anyone running a business or anyone who feels like they have a lot on their plate.
A schedule and routine make a world of difference
If having a baby has taught me anything, it's that establishing a routine makes work and life so much easier! Babies love routine because it allows them to understand the world better while giving them a sense of security; it allows them to understand what is going to happen next and what is expected of them.
This constant reminder to build a routine has also allowed me to work more effectively. By setting up my own schedule (around Rowe's routine), I am now set up to focus on work when it is time to work. I'm not distracted or uncertain about what I need to do - I sit down and I get things done.
Another added benefit of working while full-time parenting is that it has forced me to take regular (and often lengthy) breaks during my workday. Before, I would sit at my computer and work until my brain and eyes stopped focusing. This new reality where I have to take scheduled breaks keeps me feeling fresh and far more productive.
I had heard countless times before about the value of a routine and taking breaks, but it wasn't until Rowe pushed me to follow through on it that I really understood the benefit. Now that I do, I’m never going back.
Not everything is a priority
Being a parent, ensuring the home I live in is one I love, taking care of my body, delivering top-notch service to my clients, sleeping enough - all of this adds up to a lot in a day, and it’s often more than is realistic to accomplish.
Similarly, with your business, it is essential to look at what your major priorities are and take the time to focus on those. Not everything is a priority. Not everything needs to be done immediately. And, importantly, not everything needs to be done by you - you can always delegate and ask for help.
Priorities might shift based on what you need for yourself and other external factors, and taking the time to remind yourself what your focus is in the moment can make a world of difference. When you focus on your priorities, you can stay present in what you are doing without feeling like your attention should be elsewhere.
Focus on your passion
Working with a baby at home is hard. In general, working from home can be challenging. Our lives are busy, and we all have things outside of work that we want to be doing. At times, this can make work feel like a chore we would rather put off until later, or even just something we would like to quit entirely.
But I've found that when you choose to focus on doing work that you actually want to do— projects you are passionate about, products and services that excite you, work that fills you with purpose—working is something that you will want to make time for. When you focus on the work you are passionate about, your passion will attract more clients. And, at the end of the day, you will feel energized, not worn out by it.
Being a business owner and also a parent has already taught me so many things. And while I don't know for sure what will come in this next year, I know I am excited to continue watching my girl grow, to teach her about the world, and to learn even more lessons along the way.