By guest writer Claire of EntrepreneurMom.net:
Caring for a family while building and nurturing a home business often feels like complete chaos. Who am I kidding, it is complete chaos. Never enough time for either, constantly pulling yourself in different directions, overwhelming guilt that your spouse, children, clients/customers (insert other here) aren’t quite getting the best of what you have to offer.
Who hasn’t read Proverbs 31 and felt they don’t quite measure up? Honestly, raise your hand, because I know that’s how I often feel. Whether you have one child or many, are a single mom or been married for years, whether your children are too young for school, home schooled, or go off to school; we all go through these periods of not feeling quite good enough.
But before the guilt (or tiredness, or lack of patience, or…) overwhelms you, here are a few ways to remain filled with grace when the life which was chosen for you seems too hard.
Serve the Lord first
Even if you think it is difficult to start your mornings any earlier than you already do (especially if you are nursing or up with the little ones at night), even 15 minutes can pour blessings on your whole day.
Start each day giving thanks and spending time in His Word. I use the monthly reading plans found on Intentional By Grace (which you can get by clicking here) to help guide my path as well as a free reading plan from BibleStudyTools.com (which also offers a Verse of the Day).
This always has an amazing impact on all areas of my life, I am not completely sure of why that is, but Leigh Ann nails it in her post, Battling the First Sins of the Morning. Obviously, starting the day in a calm space overflows onto the rest of the morning’s activities, but it is more than that; even my home business prospers.
And I can always tell when I am not living according to His Word because my family, my work, and my home business all struggle.
CHALLENGE yourself to do this every morning for at least one week and see the affect it has on your life.
Know your why
Living intentionally means staying connected to why you do what you do. So mama, what is it that drives you each day? Here are Four Reasons I Chose to become a Mompreneur.
Why do you have (or want to start) a home business? What is your mission with this business (To share your gifts? To make a better life for your family? To spend more time with your family compared to working outside the home?)?
Why do I want to achieve this? (Dig deep)
Where does this desire come from?
What does success look like to me personally, for my family, and my home business? Close your eyes and take a few minutes to visualize what this looks like for you. Be specific, detailed, see, hear, touch, and feel everything in your mind (excerpt taken from EntrepreneurMom’s Start and Grow your Home Business e-workbook).
When you are really clear on what you want to achieve it becomes easier to accept activities that are in line with your goals, and to decline those things that waste away your days. You don’t need to do everything, join every social networking platform, or go on every outing, choose what you can do.
Time management – a time for everything
Knowing your why is just one half of the equation; consciously deciding what you are not going to do is the other half. God does not expect you to complete everything in every season. So think about it; what can you give up to ease your load?
Can you work in your pajamas?
Leave making the beds some days?
Let your children watch What’s in the Bible while you make phone calls to clients?
Of course you can, mama! This is less about just not doing something on your ‘to do’ list, but actually making these decisions consciously so that you can focus on what you can do with a gracious heart, and without feeling the burden of guilt.
You have been called to serve
So, you have decided to manage a family and a home business? Good for you! There are sure to be days when you struggle to keep up. Maybe even times when you think that life would be easier if you worked for someone else so that you don’t have to take the ‘work issues’ home after hours and would have a more secure pay check.
And, you may be right.
But consider this, there is a reason that you have been called to start a home business and manage a family and it is beautifully written in one of my favorite passages in the bible (1 Peter 4:10), “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”.
How powerful and humbling; to use the talent that God has given to you. No one has the exact gift that you have. No one can do it the way that you can.
And who are we to turn down such a gift, a God-given opportunity to serve and assist in His work?
Your faith gives you an amazing platform. On the good days when things seem be working out well and on the days you feel like you are failing and falling down, mama, God can and does use us. Let Him do that.
Live Fear Free
Jumping into the unknown can be terrifying; even the excitement of using your God-given gifts to help others and turning them into a home business can be scary. There is a natural fear in the unknown, but Joshua 1:9 (NIV) reminds us “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”.
For some more ideas on what to do when fear threatens to overcome you and stop you from taking the next step, read my post, Six Ways to Take a Leap of Faith.
Mama, God’s favor extends over all of us through every season; even we do not believe that we deserve it, so practice being as forgiving of yourself, as He has forgiven you.
If you have been blessed with the gifts of family, children, and called to start your own home business, rejoice in the faith that God has in you.
One Casting Crowns song, Just Be Held, reminds us of this grace which God offers us, “Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place”.
Claire Winson is a mom, PR pro, and the founder of EntrepreneurMom.net, a resource-filled platform dedicated to helping mompreneurs start, grow & create awareness of their home businesses. Over the years she has been blessed to work with some big corporate clients but after her son was born she traded in her high heels for a home-based office complete with sticky fingers on the computer screen & coffee stains on her important papers. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.