Mom First, Business Owner Second

blog mindset May 14, 2023

Learn how balancing being a mom and a business owner has changed as my kids and my business have grown. 


 

Finding work-life balance is hard. Finding work-life balance when you’re a mom is nearly impossible. 

Kids take a LOT of time, energy, and emotion. They deserve a lot of time, energy, and emotion. We pour all we have into them, hoping that we’re making the right decisions. Hoping all that work we’re doing is going to help them grow into strong, independent, successful, happy people. And that the mistakes we make along the way won’t get in the way of any of that.  

Sounds a lot like starting and growing a business, doesn’t it? You pour all you have into it and hope you’re making the right decisions along the way. Mistakes will be made. 

 

 

There’s no right way to balance being a mom with being an entrepreneur. I’m sure of that. But there is one thing I try to remember. 

I’m a mom first. 

My mom/entrepreneur journey has grown and changed as my kids and my business have grown and changed. I’ve learned so much along the way. 

 

When My Kids - and My Business - Were Young

My entrepreneurial journey began when my kids were toddlers. I worked from home, turning an extra living space into my office/maker space/fulfillment center. 

Working from home when my kids were very young had a lot of benefits. I was home all day. That meant I was there for the morning routine and to get them ready for the day. I was available to pick them up from school and spend afternoons and evenings with them, doing all the things little kids love to do. 

 

 

During these years, early bedtime was HUGE. Since my kids were so young, they’d be in bed by 7:30 or 8:00 and I could dedicate a few more hours to growing my business. 

Although my days were certainly full, balancing being a mom of young children and the owner of a young business felt (mostly) manageable. I simply scheduled my working hours around my kids. 

 

School Days and My First Storefront

My kids grew and so did my business. Both brought joys and challenges. And both made balancing mom-life and being an entrepreneur harder. 

I moved my business out of my house and into my first storefront. I was SO proud of that tiny, 600 square foot shop! It was still early days for my business and now I had rent to pay which meant it was a one-woman show. My business wasn’t yet making enough money to hire any help, so I worked a LOT. And that meant I wasn’t home a lot. 

This was when mom-guilt started becoming part of my life. I wasn’t there to pick my kids up after school every day. I wasn’t there volunteering in their classrooms and helping with every class party. I was missing things. And it was hard. 

 

 

Looking back, I don’t regret that time. My kids had other experiences, different experiences than they would have if I’d been there in the same way I used to be. They met new people, tried new things, and gained independence. 

There were days when it was hard. Lots of days. I never got to the point where I didn’t mind missing time with them, but I realized something. 

My business was no longer a hobby or a side hustle. 

And if I wanted it to continue to grow, to become something that provided for my family, it was necessary to sacrifice some of my time with them. 

My business continued to grow. In fact, it grew enough that I was able to hire a team member. I was so nervous about hiring - I wasn’t even paying myself a regular paycheck yet when I did it. But I had to hire in order to grow. As my business continued to grow, so did my team. 

 

 

Having that help allowed me to step away from the shop from time to time. I had the flexibility to take time away from the shop to go to a band performance, soccer game,  or orthodontist appointment. I felt like I was just starting to find enough breathing room to make balancing mom-life and entrepreneur-life a little bit easier. 

Then came 2020. 

 

Lessons Learned from a Pandemic

As a working mom, I thought finding balance and getting it all done was difficult before the pandemic. But moms all over the world suddenly found ourselves trying to juggle and balance and manage more things than ever. 

Overnight, our worlds changed. And our kids' worlds changed. As moms, it was up to us to help them make sense of it all - oh, and figure out how to help them do virtual school! 

 

 

I learned a LOT during this time. I know we all did. I especially learned how important it was to me that my team not have to choose between work and their family responsibilities. 

I knew so many moms who had to leave their jobs in order to be there in the ways their kids needed them to be. I didn’t want that to happen to me or anyone on my team. 

It was time to find a new way to balance all the responsibilities we faced as moms. 

 

New Normal and the Teen Years

In 2021, I focused on creating balance for me and for the women on my team. We’re moms first and business owners or employees second. And that’s how it should be. 

So I made some big changes. 

I closed down my storefront (it was much bigger than the 600 feet I started out with) and moved us into a warehouse space. That warehouse allowed us to manage my growing subscription business more efficiently. It also allowed me to set working hours that worked for all of us. 

My goal was to leave work every day by 3:00. So I made our working hours 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM. That would get me home when my kids arrived home from school. That also meant my team could make it to carpool or home in time to meet the school bus. They’re happier and less stressed and so am I. 

 

 

My kids are teenagers now. My son is 17 and my daughter is 15. When I look at them - taller and more grown up looking every day (my son even has a mustache) - it’s hard not to think about how fast the time has gone. 

Soon - sooner than I want to think about - they’ll be off to college, involved in new relationships, and starting their own grown up lives. The days of watching them do the things that light them up - playing soccer, basketball and football, performing in the band - will come to an end.  

So now, it feels more important than ever to be there for them and there with them. It doesn’t matter if they come home from school and go straight to their rooms, only coming out to get something to eat. I’m there. 

 

 

When they want to talk about something, I’m there. When they need help solving a problem or can’t find something they need for practice or for school, I’m there. 

Sure, I might be working on my laptop - because I’m an entrepreneur and there is ALWAYS something to do. But when they need me, I’m there. 

 

Find the Right Balance for Where You Are 

There is no right answer for how to balance being a mom and being a business owner. And that’s because the answer changes. It’s about asking yourself two questions regularly: 

  1. How much does my business need from me right now? 
  2. How much do my kids need from me right now? 

It’s not one or the other. You don’t have to choose between being a good mom OR being a good business owner. You can be both. Of course, that means letting go of the ideal of being a perfect mom or a perfect business owner. 

And it’s about giving yourself grace. You’re not going to get it exactly right all the time. No one does. 

 

 

Find the balance that works for you where you are in your mom-life and in your business. And remember to stop and enjoy both your kids as your business as they grow - it goes fast!

Learn from me:

  • Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
  • Launch Your Box: My complete training program that walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
  • Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired!
  • One Box at a Time: Inside my book One Box at a Time, I show you the steps you need to follow to start and launch your subscription box. To turn your dream into reality. This book is filled with proven teachings, valuable resources, best practices, and action steps for you to take.

 

Find me on social:

 

Are you ready for Launch Your Box? Our complete training program walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. Join our waitlist and we will notify you when the group reopens.

Join the waitlist

Hear from Sarah each week!

Do you want weekly tips for starting, launching, and growing a subscription box? Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

Subscription Box Business Amazon Must Haves

Jul 05, 2024

Baking Their Way to a Subscription Box Business | EP 164

Jul 03, 2024