Embracing The Chaos of Mompreneurship
Confession: As a mom who runs a business from home while juggling motherhood and the responsibilities of a small homestead, I have many moments of frustration. Okay, more like full day, all day moments of frustration.
As an introvert who needs a lot of space, but rarely gets it, I allow little irritations to build up and instead of taking a moment to unplug from everything and gather my emotions, I am having a melt down that would put a 3 year old to shame and fighting the urge to tell everyone that they should all just go to bed early. The fact that its only 4 p.m. is completely irrelevant.
While having the flexibility to work from home is a true blessing and is a huge part of why I am a mompreneur, there are moments where, and I am just being real, I have had all I can take.
Everything shifted in my life when I stopped trying to be the Pinperfect mom. I have never been the mom who finds joy and contentment in baking, Pinterest projects or hanging out at the park all day with other moms talking endlessly about our kids' activities and accomplishments. I used to question whether I was even worthy of being a mom if I was not striving to be THAT mom. The one who looks like she is holding it all together while I am hanging on to my chaos by a very thin thread.
First, it’s okay to have those moments where we feel like everything is falling apart right before our eyes and we just want to get in our car and drive away. I don’t think it’s really possible to juggle the demands of business, kids and life without having moments of feeling like its all spinning out of control and wondering "what in the world was God thinking when He crowned me with the title of mother?!"
Instead of fighting against the chaos, we can find more peace, not only for ourselves but those around us who innocently find themselves on the receiving end of our emotional mood swings, when we learn to embrace it and accept that life and business will have its ups and downs because acceptance can truly be freeing.
As someone who is fiercely driven and loves perfection, this has not been an easy road for me. As a business owner, time is money. I already do not find joy in cleaning up after little people and to find a room that I cleaned only an hour ago turned upside down for the third time that day can just about send me over the edge. I don't like my house messy but I also don't have countless hours to go behind others and constantly clean up messes. I have a business to run too.
I have had to embrace a house that is not perfectly tidy. I have had to shift my mindset from seeing a horrible disaster to seeing it as evidence of a family who lives and loves here. The 2,543 Legos spread out all over the living room as a reminder of the creativity that flowed between two brothers as they shared a moment of playtime together. While I do want the messes cleaned up and expect my family to pitch in and help, I am attempting to be more aware of my energy level and how I view the situations around me for the more positive my mindset is, the less likely I am to overreact.
I have had to stick to a very rigid schedule even though its not my nature. I am a creative dreamer who would love to fly by the seat of her pants, doing what she wants when she feels like doing it but that unfortunately does not fit into my lifestyle very well. Being more structured has been a trade off. While it goes against my nature, it keeps me more sane and less likely to blow up when I become emotionally overwhelmed.
While we can't always control the unpredictable laws of life, we can definitely manage the chaos by being more organized and more prepared. Planning out your day the night before, having a schedule of when you work, play, family time, personal time and being mindful of what sets you off. For example, I know how quickly I can become irritable when I multitask so if I continue to do it and lash out at those around me that is on me. Its not anyone's fault but my own that I am not a good multitasker but keep trying to convince myself that I am.
Embracing the chaos is also directly related to managing our expectations. I have been a full time mompreneur since January of 2011 when I was laid off from my corporate job without notice or warning. I would be lying if I did not say that up until that moment I had been dreaming of working from home since 2005 when my oldest was born because I envisioned it being "easier". The laptop lifestyle sounded so glamorous thanks largely in part to the ridiculous marketing tactics of online marketers.
As a mompreneur working from home I was going to be able to slow down, sleep in, go to bed earlier, get more done, have less stress....I could go on and on with my fantasy list. The reality quickly set in that while I had freedom and flexibility, I was also the sole person responsible for my income. Me, myself and I.
At a job you can skate by doing okay work and still get a paycheck but as an entrepreneur I have worked harder than I ever did at a j.o.b. To put it bluntly, I have to work my blooming ass off to earn the money in my bank account. I was not mentally prepared for that huge reality check so embracing the chaos has been a direct reflection of letting go of the expectations that I had of what working from home was supposed to look like.
I have learned to recognize when the chaos meter is going beyond what I can handle. I allow myself to unplug, Close up my computer and put my phone away. Its not like my to-do list is going any where. I have learned to let go of the need to get it all done when I want it done and to give myself a break. I am no good to anyone when I am emotionally overloaded and overwhelmed. I do things that recharge my spirit like going outside, sitting still and meditating, opening my bible and letting God's word fill be back up. If you don't have ways that you "reset yourself" get that figured out asap.
The mompreneurship journey is a rewarding and messy one. It’s normal. Cherish it.
Be grateful for the hardships for they will become your greatest lessons and the next chapters of your story.
Show yourself grace, always. Focus more on progress and less on perfection. Love yourself through the journey. Honor your imperfections, they make you who you are.
Chaos can be beautiful. Don't run from it. Embrace it.
April Williams is the #CreativeMomista of two boys • Storyteller • Coffee Addict • Woman Warrior Of God • Texas Country Girl • Creative Expressive • A vintage soul passionate about living a simple life with a modern approach to business and branding