How to Build a Business as a New Parent
Building a business as a new parent may seem daunting at first. Both the business and the new baby demand attention; failing to give enough attention to one or the other could result in disaster.
Working from home with kids requires you to dedicate full-time hours to both your family and your business. Over 20% of businesses fail in their first year, and 50% fail in their fifth year due to lack of funding and customer retention. That being said, it’s not impossible to start a business and have a baby at the same time.
You will need to cultivate productivity while also maintaining your role as a loving parent to a newborn child. This article includes eight healthy habits you will need to have a healthy, happy baby and a blossoming business.
Create a Schedule
Both babies and businesses rely on schedules. Babies eat and sleep multiple times throughout the day, and a new business will need you to dedicate more than eight hours a day to help it flourish.
When starting a business and caring for a baby simultaneously, you will want to create a schedule. Your schedule will help you stay on track and give your business and your children the right amount of time. It helps you focus on building your business, while still prioritizing your personal life and family.
Having a baby can make life complicated; when pairing the birth of a new business on top, your life could get a little hectic unless you maintain an unyielding level of organization.
Strive to keep the house clean and orderly for the baby’s safety while also pushing for organization in all other aspects of your life. Some of the best ways to stay organized include:
- Plan time to exercise;
- Leave a diaper bag or caddy in the car;
- Use caddies for the baby’s supplies;
- Put things away immediately after using them;
- Create a safe workspace.
Staying organized can help you feel more at ease while at home and keep stress at bay. With so much happening, it’s easy to lose track of important items like diapers, wipes, lotions, and toys. Simply using a caddy to organize the baby’s items can help you feel comfortable knowing exactly where something is when you need it.
Be Either “On” or “Off”
To run a successful business and while supporting your family, you need to recognize when to be “on” and when to be “off.” When you’re with your family, don’t check business emails or sneak away to brainstorm on a project.
Your business and family are separate, and you shouldn’t let one take away from the other. Your family should have your full attention when you’re spending time with them.
Additionally, when you’re working, don’t slip away to do chores or other household projects. Ensure your family knows and recognizes the importance of your working hours and knows not to walk in while you’re stressing over business plans.
Rely on Your Support System
You, your partner, and/or your close circle of family and friends are a team. You need to work together and rely on one another while raising a child and building your business. The age-old saying “it takes a village to raise a child” didn’t come about without good reason. As part of your schedule, make sure to plan time to give your partner a break from the baby — letting them relax for ten minutes can work wonders in your relationship.
Stay Open and Flexible
You will need to be flexible when raising a child and building a business. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, unexpected changes, and emergencies. To deal with the unpredictability of your new life, you must stay open and flexible.
You should create a family emergency plan and a plan for business emergencies as well.
For the most part, sticking to your schedule and planning will help you avoid many problems when balancing work and family. However, you need to create room for change within your schedule. For example, if a child gets sick at school during your scheduled work hours, you may need to modify plans so you can pick up and care for them.
With your family, partner, and business partners, you need to foster a relationship of consistent communication. Portland Community College lists seven benefits of frequent and effective communication in both business and personal relationships:
- Builds trust;
- Prevents and resolves problems;
- Provides clarity and direction;
- Fosters better relationships;
- Increases engagement;
- Improves productivity;
- Promotes team building.
Communicating with those around you will help you stay on the same page. You will need to communicate your priorities with your business partners and communicate your business goals with your family.
Take Care of Yourself
Remember to take care of yourself; sleep, socialize, exercise, and pamper yourself by practicing self-care.
As a new parent with the added stress of starting a business, you’re at risk for parenting burnout. Parenting burnout feels like hitting a wall. All of a sudden, you can’t think straight, and you feel like you’re losing control. You may feel exhausted, irritable, and frustrated, or you may feel like you’re never doing enough for either the business or your family.
Parenting burnout can spiral until you’re unsure how to pull yourself out. Because of the exhaustion, you may try pushing yourself harder only to get less done.
Prevent parenting burnout by taking time to relax every day. End your day by doing something you love — go for a walk with your family, spend time outside, or watch a movie when the kids are asleep. Cultivate a home environment that supports your wellbeing.
Every day, remember to practice healthy habits to keep you and your family happy and healthy.
Get as Much Help as Possible
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Parents aren’t expected to raise a child and begin their business entirely on their own. Family members, neighbors, and even business partners will be more than willing to help you carry your burdens.
Ask for help and cultivate relationships with kind people willing to lend a hand. Taking your new baby to the store can be exhausting, so ask a neighbor if they would be willing to watch your baby for an hour while you shop for groceries. You might also consider paying for a meal kit delivery service to avoid shopping at grocery stores.
To receive help for your business, tell everyone you meet about it. Most people strive to support local businesses and will be more than happy to purchase a product or spread the word to their friends. Never be ashamed to ask for help. Once you no longer need help, lend a hand to those around you and pay the kindness forward.