How I used boundaries to grow my business as a Mom
This week I gave one of my Mama clients a challenge. I then shared in my follow-up email how I had used boundaries to grow my business as a single mother.
We spoke about her struggles to get everything done with five kids at home.
I asked her how involved her children were in the tasks and chores around the kitchen and the house.
Her hubby was great at getting the children to tend their chores, but she struggled to get the same results and be consistent.
As moms, it can be easy to do everything on behalf of the household, kids, and our partners — even if we know that they’re capable.
We can be manipulated by the very people we love and serve. And they may not even know that is what they’re doing! They’re just utilizing the path of least resistance 🙂
I determined that it contributed to her stress in this client’s case, so I gave her a task for the week.
- Set 1 new boundary per day.
I gave her this challenge because I knew what treasure was on the other side. I knew because I’ve experienced the benefits myself!
Boundaries are an essential lesson that I’ve had to learn the hard way.
When I first began my business and nutritional therapy practice, I did not draw enough boundaries for myself or others in the family. I did not value my work enough to create clear pathways of mutual benefit around my household, kids, and work-life.
My work usually suffered if there was a conflict or imbalance between my kids, household, husband, and the business.
Thus, my business probably grew slower than it might have – OR I worked my tail off around the edges of everything – often being exhausted or stressed, rather than rested and supported.
There was a lack of balance, fairness, and mutual benefit.
When I became a single mom, everything changed.
I was never better at setting boundaries as I was when I was a single mother. It made the necessity for them pretty clear, pretty quickly.
Boundaries became my best friend, which freed me to focus on my most important work – growing my business to keep a roof over our heads. 🙂
We set up a system by which my three teenagers were responsible for the entire day’s dishes 2x per week, which left just one day of the week that I did dishes. They each were responsible for one dinner per week, so I only had to manage three dinners.
I did the weekly grocery shopping, but they put all the groceries away.
Chores were divided into three different weekly lists and rotated, so no one had the same chores week after week.
Here is an example of my Chore List.
Here is an example of our Dinner/Dishes rotation.
First, let’s define what a boundary is – clearly stating what you will do, and won’t do, in a given situation. 🙂
And then enforcing it.
You are better off not communicating a boundary at all than stating a boundary and not enforcing it.
- Decide when you will get up and the first three things you will do – before anyone else gets involved in your day.
- Give each child a new daily task they are capable of learning/doing for the household.
- Dedicate 30-60+ minutes every day for just YOU. Notify everyone ahead of time that you are not to be interrupted. This self-dedication teaches your children to prioritize their self-care & well-being — and you are better able to handle the rest of the day. Win-win.
- Decide the day before what the next day’s meals/snacks will be. Post on the fridge, so it’s clear. Kids love advance notice & boundaries make them feel safe (even if they complain at the moment).
- Set it up so that older children will be helping/watching younger children for specific periods daily so that you can get adult tasks done.
- Re-examine what children can do “adult” tasks. Gear yourself up for a short time of standing firm as new chores are implemented & learned — then you have taken things off your plate for good!
- If you have a partner, re-examine what they can take off your plate and have a “business” conversation about it. Be clear, specific, and keep mutual benefit in mind. If you’re winning, they’re winning, and vice versa.
Life offers experiences that are challenging and experiences that are nourishing, yet over time, they strike a balance.
Boundaries are an essential part of coming to the place of your balance.