Being a business owner and becoming a new parent are two of the most exhausting things you can do, never mind both happening at the same time. Many entrepreneurs would prefer to postpone starting a family until their business has reached a certain stage of success, but we know that often this is not always possible.
Whether you have just started a new business or are thinking of setting up, there are plenty of ways to juggle being a new parent and a boss that will help ease some of the difficulty and can be very rewarding.
Work to a Schedule
Your new-born’s schedule is now your schedule. As most parents will tell you, this schedule requires quite a lot of flexibility at first, but as your baby grows so will their routine.
Feeding and sleeping are two of the longest downtimes for you to try to get some work done, so organize any meetings or big projects for then. Learn to type with one hand, as this will come in handy when feeding or comforting baby. Pre-arrange any phone calls to happen during feeding as this is often when they will be most settled and will allow you the quiet that you need.
A bouncer or baby swing is a godsend for a working parent, it’s hands free soothing for baby and portable, so can be taken to meetings outside the house if need be. A baby sling or carrier will also come in handy if baby only wants to be held, but you need your hands for typing or phone calls.
Be up front with your colleagues and suppliers from the get-go. Make sure they are well prepared that you won’t be as readily available once baby is here and that you appreciate their flexibility. If you have employees, delegate as many tasks to them as you can before you give birth so that you alleviate some of your responsibility.
If you’re booking meetings or appointments with clients, make them aware of your current situation so they understand if you must cancel or change plans at the last minute. You’ll be surprised how many of your suppliers, employees and clients will be understanding and supportive; after all, most of them will have been through the same thing at one time.
It’s also important to be honest with yourself and realistic about your workload. If you try and take on too much, you will most likely end up burning yourself out, making you less productive in the long term.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Build a reliable support network around you who will be able to fill in with babysitting duties or just to lend a helping hand. Having a baby is tough, everyone has those days where it all gets a bit too much, so make sure you’ve got your support there should you need it.
Likewise, with your job, don’t feel like you can’t ask your employees for extra help. If you work on your own, build a support network in your industry of people you trust to look out for you and your business when you’re pre-occupied with baby.
Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Most importantly, don’t give yourself a hard time for not being a good enough parent or boss. It’s easy to feel guilty from taking time away from your baby to work and vice versa, but you can’t allow this to control your decisions.
Feeling guilty will waste a lot of energy that you don’t have, you must try as hard as you can to remain positive and remind yourself that you’re making these choices to benefit both your child and your business.