Do you ever find it hard to get your work done while trying to care of your kids at the same time? I’ve had to figure out the balance and transition from mom hat to boss hat, and I bet you have too.
I dedicate this post to my mama. Growing up she had to make this transition too and had to do so quickly. Learning from her and now being in her shoes, I’ve learned how to embrace this transition from mom hat to boss hat and, therefore, have become a more effective mom and business owner.
In this post, I’ll cover my five tips to switching from your mom hat to boss hat and, hopefully, give you a better idea on how to ease that transition for yourself too.
Mom Hat to Boss Hat
I’m not only talking about physically switching roles from boss to mom, but figuratively too. It’s really hard to switch your brain back and forth, especially when you are deep in thought creating content. In the back of your mind you know you have to clean up the kitchen, but you keep it back there until you’re done with your business task–at least you hope it will stay back there until then.
2020 would have especially been hard for stay-at-home moms/business owners because of the pandemic and quarantine. This has been challenging for me because my kids have been with me all day every day and they could just walk into my office (a.k.a my desk in my bedroom) at any moment and need something or want to talk to me.
My little girl has interrupted me so many times during a podcast recording, a conference call, or whatever I may be doing and I’ve learned that this is something that just happens when you work from home and have kids.
My husband has suggested to me to lock my door, but I know if I lock it my Scarlett will just bang on the door until I come open it, whether I’m in the middle of a podcast interview or not, so I’d rather her just open it and give her a quick fix than make the extra effort of banging and me having to get up and unlock it. So locked doors don’t work.
Five Tips to Switching From Mom Hat to Boss Hat
Because we both know the challenges when running a business while being a mom to your sweet littles, I plan to share with you my five tips on how to switch from your boss hat and business tasks to your mom hat and home tasks quickly and strategically.
Tip 1: Acknowledge there are two different thought depths and when to use each one.
I use a different part of my brain when I’m creating a podcast episode versus writing an email or posting on Instagram. Do you notice the difference when you’re creating too?
The creating part of my brain causes me to think deeper and due to that it’s harder to come out of it quickly and then go back into it quickly. It’s hard to come out of this deep creative process, but sometimes you are forced to when you have one of your kids come interrupt you with no warning.
When you have thoughts with less depth it’s usually when you’re reacting to something. For example, sending a text, sending an email, or setting up a zoom call. These types of tasks are used with a different part of the brain where it’s not as big of a deal to be interrupted because it’s easier to jump in and out of this thought mode.
How you approach the different depths of your thoughts is going to be different. The reaction tasks (sending a text, etc.) can be done instantly and you can switch back and forth quickly and easily.
However, in the times where you’re in that deeper level of thinking where you’re actually creating content, that’s when you need to be in a different brain space and cannot switch back and forth like you can with other minimal tasks.
Tip 2: Schedule time for deep work.
This time for deep work is so special. It’s important for you to actually schedule time for it and then protect that time.
I’ve had a business the entire time I’ve been a mom, so I know there are easy and the hard things that come with each season of motherhood.
Right now, all buy one of my kids are doing distant learning. My kids make their own schedules, so they have work and breaks all throughout the day, but from 1-2 p.m. everyone in the house is working.
That sacred hour is my content creation hour.
While my kids do school work and Scarlett watches a show, I get to use that hour to create something new. This hour is a big deal to me and I try to protect it. I try not to go grocery shopping, clean, or any other task during that time. It’s important to me to use that hour for my business–to put the mom hat down and the boss hat back on.
Do I feel guilty I let Scarlett watch an hour movie? I don’t. It’s possible for your kids to watch too much of it and that’s something to be aware of, but you guys, she needs to watch the classics. Beauty and the Beast, Robinhood, etc. If she didn’t have that time, when would she do it?
Another time I have is at night. When my kids are all quiet and going to bed and my husband is gone playing basketball or pickle ball, I have some quiet time to myself to create.
Get a babysitter.
Maybe you need to get a babysitter or swap kids with a friend. I swap kids with my sister-in-law, so twice a month I have some time to get things done. Find someone like that. Even in Covid times you can find a safe option with a family or friend to swap with.
Go on a trip.
Another option is to go on a trip. I know we are dealing with the pandemic and quarantine and all that, so options are limited. But I was able to go on a 3-day trip to Nashville, Tennessee in September for the Choice Publicity Conference. (You can find out what that is here.) It was so life changing because I hadn’t been alone in my thoughts for a really. long. time. I was able to think about my business, strategize, and come up with some clear goals.
You can do this by even just scheduling a hotel room for the night and just leaving, even if it is just down the street. This is a good idea! Ask for it for Christmas, even.
If you gave yourself this time you’d be able to really narrow in on your goals for yourself and your business and get rid of the things that don’t matter.
Tip 3: It is OK for your kids to know you are working.
This might be controversial, but I am going for it anyway!
I remember trying to hide from my kids that I was working. I remember sneakily trying to edit pictures on my computer while we were having a family movie night, and I just tried to shy it away like, ‘Oh, don’t worry about me, I’m just editing some pictures really fast.’ But, clearly, I was working.
Then I realized, it’s OK for your kids to know you are working. They see me work in the kitchen, or work outside, so it should be OK for them to see me work on my computer for my business. Why are we so weird about this? It’s OK you have a business. Say it with me: It’s OK you have a business–and you’re a mom. That is awesome and something to be proud of!
Tip 4: Know when it’s time to throw in the towel and shut the computer.
Maybe it’s not a computer, maybe it’s your phone, a sewing machine, or whatever. Just put down the tools and take a break.
There are times when I’m working and I’m trying to get something done when my kids keep coming in and interrupting. Soon after I become frustrated.
Then I recognize, it’s time to put on my mom hat and just take a break and walk away from my business for a moment. I need to take care of my kids. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not, and that’s OK. Just know and accept that those things are going to happen.
I choose to see this as the beauty of having a business at home–where you can shut the computer and walk away and take care of the people that you love.
Tip 5: Switching from mom to boss: This is just how it feels.
I’m sending this number five to you with all of the love in my heart. I know you don’t like to feel uncomfortable, but this whole juggling act of being a mom and running a business, having to constantly transition from mom hat to boss hat, is uncomfortable.
I want you to know this is just how it feels. You feel a little bit out of kilter when you have kids and run a business.
It feels messy, like you aren’t going as fast as you’d like, and sometimes you’re winning and other times you’re really, really losing.
So the secret isn’t to get rid of that feeling, but to embrace it. The more you become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, the faster you’ll see success in both roles.
It’s up to you on what you’re OK with and what you’re not OK with.
I know I need to accept that sometimes my house will be clean and sometimes it will be dirty because of my business.
I need to be OK with sometimes messing up where I may spend too much time on my business. It helps me to trust in what I call the Holy Ghost, or your intuition, to tell me when I’m getting off track.
Stay in tune with that intuition and trust it. Recognize this is just going to be how it feels and then navigate it.
I know, it’s super messy, but super worth it.
Here’s a Bonus!
I hope my five tips on switching from mom hat to boss hat gave you what you needed! Don’t feel guilty for having a business and dedicating solid time to it. Spend time with your kids and with your business and you’ll find the flow that works for you.
I had some ideas for podcast episodes after my kids went to bed last night and I went at it! I have FOUR newly recorded podcast episodes to share.
Isn’t that crazy?! I try to never waste a moment of extreme ambition.
You know those moments when you’re ready to go, you’re here for it? Don’t waste those moments. Those moments are when you get a lot done in a short amount of time. It’s the best when you can ride those moments for a long time.
It’s worth it to stay up late a couple nights if it means having some time off later during the week.
I am cheering you on with this whole business woman mom thing! It’s uncomfortable, and that’s awesome! Join the club!
To help you stay organized and hold yourself accountable to your sacred content creation hour, use my daily planner. You can check it out here.
If you want help on topics for content for the new year, check out my content bank in my webinar. Go to my website here and click on the top button to get into the webinar. I think you’ll really like it and it’ll get you set up for the new year.
Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @iammichellegifford to get the latest tips and tricks for your business growth and content!