Leigh Mitchell's tongue-in-cheek advice on work-life balance originally appeared in Small Biz Blog. Reprinted here with permission, in our series of tools for WAHMs and mompreneurs.

Leigh Mitchell, President of Women At Biz NetworkI first decided to start my own business when I realized that daycare shortages would make it difficult for me to go back to a corporate full-time job. However, I did not want to lose my business skills so I decided to sign up for something very different: the life of a mom entrepreneur. I had daydreamed about what being my own boss would be like while pregnant with my second son. I thought it would be the answer to all my prayers. However, some days my dream resembles a nightmare!

Signs of a seasoned mom entrepreneur

1. You are always tired and you work around the clock. In a tired stupor you put everything into the coffee maker except coffee. You sometimes miss your driveway when returning from your child’s school pick-up because there are too many things running through your head to recall which driveway actually belongs to you.

2. You believed that you would have work-life balance. Hah!

I will share the “real” life of a mom entrepreneur and my top three tips:

1. Realize your children will sometimes dislike the fact that you work from home.

Tip: Pretend you are cleaning the counter while you press the buttons on your smart phone to check your email, or play hide-and-seek while holding your smart phone in a closet. Don’t worry: The screen lights up.

  1. Realize your husband, while professing his love for you and your business ideas, will question what you have done all day and why the house looks like a disaster, all while still expecting you to make money from your business. Said husband will also give you his unsolicited “business tips” or even worse, “work-life balance” tips.

Tip: Grit your teeth while he gives you this advice and try your best to appreciate his input. You will need his support later to chase after the children while you work.

  1. If you are passionate about your business, and you should be, it will be all consuming. You will turn into a night owl, all in an effort to be super mom and superstar business owner. You may burn out or have a good cry every now and then, but it’s worth it.

Tip: Never give up! Remember, you ARE a superstar business owner. Now give yourself a pat on the back for balancing it all!

–Leigh Mitchell

Leigh is the president of Women At Biz Network - Her Community Inc., which focuses on female-centric community building. Her entrepreneurial spirit was awoken when she was on maternity leave. (She is the mother of two boys.) Since then, she's been helping women entrepreneurs build connections, as well as empower and train them. She also provides small business marketing for women entrepreneurs.


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