Our sweet boy turned one year old.
We had a low-key, (Mickey-themed) birthday party with our family. He had a great time seeing all of his favorite people in one room, and playing with all of his cousins!
It was a wonderful day, but his birthday also marks something big for my business: I've been balancing motherhood and solopreneurship for 1 year now.
I've Accomplished a lot in my life and biz, But By Far I'm Most Proud Of Being A Work-At-Home Mom.
I feel incredibly happy with what I've built over the last several years. I serve an amazing group of clients and I do work I love. (And I mean really amazing!) I built the exact business I want to run, and work in. And I'm home with my boy.
But the process has had its difficult days, for sure. (Understatement!)
I feel a ton of gratitude when I think about being able to stay home with my son for his first year. But there's no denying there have been some late nights. Some days I've fallen behind because of a sick baby. And even some afternoons where I've called my own mother...crying. ;)
Even though it can be cliche, it's still the truth: it hasn't been easy, but it's been worth it.
There are a few things that I learned along the way, though, I wish I'd known before I became a work-at-home parent:
1. The schedule will change
We've gone through periods of predictability, where I'm able to plan around naps and playtime. But before I know it, he's changed. His morning wake up will be earlier (or, hopefully later)! He'll go through a clingy period. Or he'll refuse to nap at all for a while. Managing my expectations has really been key, and it makes Or day go so much smoother.
What I do instead: I take time at the end of my work day to set y intentions for the next day. Knowing what the most important tasks (MITs) are to get done, helps keep me focused when I'm doing some work during quick nap time!
2. I can do my best, but I can't do it all
Being a work-at-home parent does not have to be an "either/or" scenario. I was stuck in a rut of negative self-talk: "If I stop working to play or read books, I'm not a good biz owner. And if I answer an email while he sits and plays with toys, I'm not a good mom." This idea is simply FALSE - and is nothing more than a self-imposed guilt trip.
What I do instead: I allow myself to answer an email or two during the day, so my clients can get a quick response. But when I'm done, I let myself play or read books without guilt. Then when I'm "in the office", I'm really "there" and focused.
3. Self-care is not an extra thing, it's just "the THING."
A few times this year, I've gone through periods of low focus. Every time I've hit one, some time away from the biz cleared the air. When I build regular breaks (and the all elusive "me time"!), I find I'm able to stay more on task!
What I do instead: Go outside - grab my husband, put the baby in the stroller and take 30 mins. off as a family! And I've also started taking Sundays off entirely. We attend church as a family, and have a relaxing afternoon. It's a brain break that I look forward to all week.
Those are the things I've learned, but there's more to this conversation. I would love to hear from you about what you've learned as a work-at-home parent. And if you have any questions you'd like to workshop through, drop them below!