I love being a homemaker. Not in the traditional sense. I love being a modern homemaker.
It has taken me years to be able to say that without wanting to gag. The word homemaker is so antiquated and tied to such vintage images of women in heels and aprons, doting on their husbands and keeping spotless homes. As I came to realize, we are in control of what the word means and I have set out to change the meaning for all moms, but especially for those who have ventured into the world of entrepreneurship.
Being a mother and essentially the hub of the home and family is already difficult, but add to that the pressures of running a business and the complications can pile on exponentially. It’s exactly why I have implemented as much simplicity into my home management as I possibly can so that I can run both my home and my business like a badass CEO.
I’ve been self-employed for as long as I have been a mother and raised both my babies and businesses at the same time. I’ve never known any different and because of that, I have a unique perspective on how simple it can be to manage your home while you grow your empire.
What I have come to find so interesting as a “mompreneur” and homemaker is that my husband has had his own business for nearly as long as I have, and never once has he been asked how he balances having it all. There has never been a single instance in which someone has asked how he manages to keep up with the laundry, running the kids around or keeping the floors clean while building and running his biz baby. But I get that question all the time, because I’m the mom. There is an expectation that I am running the show and in turn have everything perfectly balanced like a scale, which I don’t.
It’s taken me a good long while to discover that the real culprit behind the chaos of running a house while running a business isn’t the piles of laundry, or the meal planning or the constant snack-beckoning from tiny humans. It’s guilt. That nasty, useless emotion takes over our hearts and ultimately rids us of our happiness.
When we’re working, we worry that we should be with our kids. When we’re with our kids, we worry that we should be working. While we write our emails, we think about all the laundry that should be put away and while we scrub the shower, we worry about our social media presence. The guilt is what makes it all so complicated. Ridding yourself of the guilt is the first step to simplifying your home management.
Giving myself permission to be imperfect and guiltless has made it easier to implement other strategies into my life that provide an overwhelming sense of calm and simplicity on days when all I want to do is cry and eat Doritos.
There is nothing that will complicate your life faster than a chaotic routine. Living without a routine in your home is like playing a constant game of catch-up, on a loop, forever. Routines make my world go round and when I somehow miss a step or let them go all together, I feel the chaos drag me down.
Putting routines into place, whether it is for cleaning your home, decluttering your spaces, delegating chores to your children, or completing important tasks at night to make for a seamless morning will provide a sense of simplicity that you can quite literally feel wash over you after implementing. Write down your routines and keep them where you can see them as a reminder to you and everyone in your home until they become habitual.
We’re pretty quick to hire out the necessary tasks in our businesses, so why is it so difficult to delegate the workload at home to someone else? Because we’ve been programmed to believe we’re supposed to do it all.
If you want your home to run more like a finely-tuned machine and less like a beater car with bungee cords holding the hood down, you’ve gotta let go of the need to do it all. Whether that means assigning more work to your children, asking your spouse to jump on board or hiring it out to a nanny or house cleaner, delegating is a fast-track to simplifying homemaking while you focus on your business.
You don’t need to live in a Good Housekeeping magazine to rock it in the home management arena. Each task doesn’t need to be completed to perfection, nor does it all need to be done at the same time. Get yourself on a schedule and focus your energy where it is needed the most.
If laundry has gotten out of control, get it taken care of and forget about cleaning the kitchen. If your floor looks like the wild west with tumbleweeds of pet hair and looking at it makes you cringe, put your efforts there. Much in the same way you are always focusing your business energy into one project or task at a time, so goes it at home.
Aside from being a pro at cleaning bathrooms and a master parallel parker, one of my finest skills is my ability to say no. Boundaries create a barrier of simplicity around everything you do, because they allow you to focus on one thing at a time.
While you’re busy growing your business, it is even more important to implement boundaries between work and home life. The fuzzier the lines become, the more complicated every task will seem. Your ability to say “No,” either to yourself or others, will become your greatest weapon in the battle against an overly complicated life.
Because there is nothing more sweetly simplistic than allowing yourself the room to make mistakes, then make things better, then make mistakes all over again, learning something new every time.
Kendra Hennessy is a home management expert and the head mom encourager at Mother like a Boss. She is the founder of the #homemakerish movement whose mission is to redefine homemaking in the 21st century through better routines, systems, mindset shifts and embracing imperfection. She lives in upstate NY with her husband Adam and their two spunky kiddos, Ava and Everett. Kendra is a Girl Scout co-leader, a podcast and audiobook lover and a coffee junkie. She loves helping moms gain confidence in their houses so they can spend time enjoying their homes. Find her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
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