Managing a home and a busy family life can feel like another full-time job for working moms. We juggle not only our day-to-day work, but the management of a slew of children’s activities, doctor appointments, putting a decent meal on the table, and shopping for groceries and supplies. All moms know, whether you work at an office or work in the home, being a mom forces you to be smarter, faster, more efficient, and more resilient. If you’re a busy working professional or entrepreneur, having a CEO-mindset can help you to be more strategic in managing your home. Here’s 4 ways you can adapt your home to function as efficiently as your business:
1. Have a Family Mission Statement & KPIs
Identifying your core values and goals, or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), can help your family to remain focused and set standards for how your family will function. One of our family’s main goals is that we always try to eat together every weeknight with no distractions. By setting a five nights per week goal, I have a number to shoot for. If we’re not consistently meeting this goal, then I know it’s time to reevaluate our schedules and priorities. Family goal setting also sets your focus on the future by preparing yourself for far off goals such as saving for college. Just remember, you can’t fire your spouse or your kids.
2. Prioritize Your Work Stream
Managing play dates, activities, and doctor appointments requires prioritization and extreme organization. By prioritizing activities on your schedule, you can decide what stays and what goes. Committed to having a weekly date night? If your children’s tightly packed schedule is getting in the way of this, make it the priority and let something else go and book the babysitter.
Staying organized will help you plan your week and prevent anyone from getting double scheduled or overwhelmed. If you see your schedule written down, it’s much easier to visualize how busy you actually are, be proactive, and decide if you need to cut back or reschedule something in advance. I use a mobile calendar app to hold my appointments, but I also keep it old school by carrying a planner with a running to-do list that I update every evening for the next day.
3. Understand your Opportunity vs. Expense Ratios
My family’s ROI (return on investment) is quickly becoming something that I analyze more frequently. If we want to do an activity (opportunity), what is the gain to us versus the drawbacks (expense)? If we need to go to the grocery store and it’s around nap time, what is the ROI? If we decide to go ahead and go shopping, we’ll have food in the house, but the cost is a grumpy toddler and a not-so-fun shopping trip. Should I sign the kids up for swimming lessons? The opportunity is that the kids get a new experience and learn a wonderful life skill, but the expense is the family rushing around after work, throwing together dinner, and potentially dealing with cranky, exhausted kids who may not even want to swim that day.
There are pros and cons to every decision, but it’s important to decide when to say “Yes” and when to say “No”. I refuse to over-schedule just for the sake of experiences, but I also want my children to have unique opportunities and chances to learn and grow. Learning to swim is an opportunity that far outweighs the expense of having a few hectic nights.
4. Create Opportunities for Development
Professional and personal development go hand-in-hand for working moms. For many years, my husband and I weren’t focusing on growth. We’d become stagnant as we navigated early adulthood and juggled the seemly endless weddings, baby showers, and moves (we changed our address approximately 8 times in 8 years, with 3 of those being moves to a new state!). We don’t become the best versions of ourselves if we don’t tackle new challenges and opportunities for learning on a regular basis. The same goes for our children – are they getting opportunities to learn and grow outside of school, or are they being plugged into a screen every day?
Don’t let the busyness of working and parenting prevent you from training for that 5k, starting that blog, or learning how to properly use your new camera. Seeing your own goals and your children’s goals come to fruition is one of the best rewards of being a mom and an individual.
Being a mom should be considered one of the best things you could possibly put on your resume, and taking practical workplace strategies into the home can improve both your work and family life. The next time your house seems overwhelming, just remember, you’re the CEO!
Allison Strickland is the owner of Shea Hawk Solutions. She’s helped many small businesses dial-in on their brand’s messaging and create content that drives new business opportunities. You can often find Allison running, playing with her two dog’s, and spending time with her husband and two-year-old son, Shea.