Running a business and being a mum is hard. Being a mum is hard enough but when you add running a business to the mix, it gets complicated. While there are difficulties there are also more bonuses than I imagined. I'm sure that some that I talk about you already know but some may come as a surprise.
I started a business before I became a mum but only really realised this freedom since having Sam. When you become a mum, you're mum all the time, 24/7. You feel like you lose a bit of who you are. Running a business gave me the freedom to be me again. I got to be creative again. It was Kate running the business. Not Kate the mum, just Kate. It was an outlet to think about something other than when did the kids last eat, when did Chloe wake up from her nap and the million other things that you think about as a mum and looking after a house. It's mine alone. It's time away from it all.
Ahh mum guilt. An emotion that a lot of mums are familiar with. We feel guilty for not doing enough with the kids. We feel guilty when we go out without the kids. So much guilt. Honestly, running a business adds more guilt. You feel guilty when you're working on your business because you're not with them and then you feel guilty for not working on your business. Sometimes it feels like you can't win. It's silly but I've felt guilty about leaving my husband with the kids. Isn't that ridiculous? He is their father and looking after them all the time isn't my responsibility. The thing that I forget is that Jeff is a great dad and loves spending time with Sam and Chloe. He enjoys his time with them. I need to let that guilt go. I think some guilt is valid and other times it is completely not.
Another thing that isn't uncommon for mums. My youngest is 19 months old and I still feel like I'm sleep deprived from when she was a newborn. Running a business adds another to do list that is a mile long. You're trying to squeeze more into an already busy day. It means either early mornings or late nights to try and do it all. There is physical tiredness but also decision fatigue. We make enough decisions about our kids and households but you then have decisions about your business. It gets tiring. In saying that though, it's really nice to be able to be in control of something and to make decisions for yourself.
Those who know me well know that I am a complete introvert. I could happily spend a day by myself. Being in business has totally pushed me out of my comfort zone. I've gone to networking events and initiated conversations. I've had a stall at markets and talked to people all day. I've learnt about social media, finances, website development and so much more. You get challenged to do things you never thought you would do.
It's incredibly hard work being a mum and running a business but it's totally worth it. There are days when I'm exhausted after running around with the kids and don't have the energy to work on my business. Then there are other days where I can't wait to get to it. I love having something that is mine. If you're thinking about starting a business but are worried about balancing it all, it is possible and it's worth doing it.