When parents work, it can become difficult to balance a career with raising children. However, this prospect is even more difficult for entrepreneurs who have added responsibilities in the workplace.
In some ways, entrepreneurial parents have two kids, their child and their company, which also requires constant attention and careful nurturing. To some people, raising children while working as an entrepreneur may seem impossible.
In reality, many people do it successfully, but they need to be intentional with their time and carefully plan how they will offer the necessary support to their family and their company. Some tips for balancing raising children with entrepreneurship include:
1. Leave work at the office.
Entrepreneurs often feel pressure to bring their work home and be available around the clock. Doing this can make parents feel overwhelmed and cause them to frustrate their families. Instead, individuals need to make sure that they are completely ready to be parents once they walk through the door to their homes.
This means more than just putting away the computer and turning off the phone. Parents need to make sure that they change their overall mindset. As soon as individuals arrive home, they need to let go of the business side so that they can be fully present for dinner and bedtime. Sometimes, this means leaving time to process the workday at the office so that any baggage can be left there.
2. Be kind to yourself.
One of the negative habits that parent entrepreneurs may have is being too hard on themselves. The truth is that balance will not happen every day and expecting this is unrealistic. Some days, people will feel like they neglected their children and other days they may think they failed their company. These things will happen and it is important to realize that, so that parent entrepreneurs can move forward when it occurs.
Getting stuck on shortcomings can send people into an unproductive spiral that prevents them from regaining balance. In reality, it is also important that children see their parents work hard. Additionally, it is critical for employees to see their leaders prioritize families from time to time.
3. Learn how to delegate tasks.
An incredibly important skill for any entrepreneur to learn is delegation. However, this skill becomes even more critical for the success of entrepreneurs who are raising children. Individuals need to realize that they cannot be at two places at the same time. Spending time with their families by necessity means entrusting other people with certain tasks.
When people prioritize their families, they need to make sure that they are completely present. This means appointing someone to handle business affairs for that period of time. Without this sort of help, any entrepreneur will quickly burn out. This is particularly the case if the entrepreneur is someone who also cares for children.
4. Involve your children.
The line between family and work does not have to be hard and fast. In reality, many parent entrepreneurs are inspired by their children to excel in their business pursuits. To that end, children can be sensibly involved in the business as helpers so that they feel like they are part of the team.
Of course, the amount of time children spend helping should be limited, but it can grow over time. Children should be excited, not overwhelmed, when it comes to helping out with the company. Doing this can instill some entrepreneurial spirit and values that will serve children well in their own lives. Plus, children will gain a sense of why their parents devote much of their time to the company.
5. Take control of the calendar.
Entrepreneurs who are parents can sometimes fall into the trap of feeling like they are controlled by their calendars. In reality, entrepreneurs have control over their time. They should feel empowered to create a schedule that works for their unique needs.
Often, the traditional eight-to-five workday is not conducive to parenting. Entrepreneurs should feel free to adjust how they spend their time until they find something that works for them.
For example, perhaps entrepreneurs schedule their meetings in the late morning or early afternoon while children are at school and then plan to be there when they get home. Routine office work can be completed after children go to sleep.
6. Avoid working from home.
A pitfall that entrepreneurs who are parents often fall into is trying to work from home. Splitting time between childcare and work may seem like a good idea at first, but people will quickly learn that they need to give 100 percent to both tasks. When attention is divided, things fall through the cracks, which can be extremely problematic for children and the company alike.
Parents should learn when they can focus completely on their children and then when they can devote all attention to the company. Sometimes, this means hiring additional support in the workplace or negotiating with another parent or loved one to divide childcare responsibilities.