Women can do it all. Women can take over the world. Women have their finger on the pulse of all that’s right in the world. Beyond the gimmicky slogans, though, the reality is that it’s a tough act to balance home and work life for women, and tougher still for women entrepreneurs. But does that mean having a child and starting a business simultaneously is a bad idea? Let’s explore.
Women entrepreneurs as mothers
There’s your human child and then your brain child, and managing either one can be a handful when you’re doing it on your own. Now mix those two things together and you can rest assured that you’re dealing with certified chaos. But does that make it impossible? Not really.
Founders who work with Entrepreneurs Collective often talk about the different tips, tricks, and hacks they use when managing life as mothers and startup queens. How do they do it?
Learn to delegate
Startups that are successful work not just because of the idea but because of the team. Women entrepreneurs who make things work and learn to trust the people they work with. They know what parts of the job absolutely need them and which parts can be passed onto their trusted teammates. You should do this well in advance and not after the bubs has arrived. Figure out work plans and responsibilities and use the last few weeks or months to train people to do the things you know you won’t be able to tackle. If your team isn’t equipped to handle something, and then hire the right people, or even temp people, before you’re expected to take your leave of absence. If all things go well, the baby’s arrival isn’t going to surprise you, so use your pregnancy wisely.
Be two steps ahead
It’s no rocket science that you will be out of commission after giving birth, but eventually you’ll have to return to work, and you’ll return as a mom. Many women entrepreneurs already work to ensure that their work environments are family-friendly, but some setup spaces specifically to ensure that they don’t need to pick between their startup baby and their actual baby. While you are at it, also make sure that you have the right care lined up for your child for when you’re MIA. Having the right babysitter or nanny can be a game changer for women entrepreneurs who are looking to disrupt the industry they are in. Here are some EC resources for founders you can use.
Use your support system
They say it takes a village, and they aren’t wrong. Organise your friends and family into categories. There should be people you can count on in an emergency and people who you can count on on a day-to-day basis. The first year of a startup and a child’s life are both super hard, but just like you’re to trust your team with the work trusting your support people with your child is a great way of ensuring that you don’t go mad. In the same vein, if you have a partner work out a schedule with them for sleeping, changing diapers and feeding schedules.
Prepare to be unprepared
Women entrepreneurs are some of the fiercest creatures on the planet. They know the game and they know how to play it. For people who are used to operating at peak efficiency, it can come as a shock how absolutely hurricane-like babies are. They don’t care about your schedule and they don’t care about all the plans you make. You’re in a hostage situation, and your captors will not negotiate. So what do you do? Take a step back and breathe. Acknowledge that you won’t always have your razor-sharp control and that it’s okay that you have bad days.
When you’re prepared for the hard stuff, you’ll find it easier to rise above the storm and walk away with a smile. And if anyone can make it all look easy, it’s women entrepreneurs.