Overwhelmed as a Mompreneur? Me too!

May 31, 2008 Katja Presnal

We are back home from our vacation in Texas. We actually got back already on Thursday. When I get a chance, I will tell you more about our trip, and especially share some great photos from San Antonio and SeaWorld.

Vacationing is tiring! And so are big family weddings!

And now I have been so busy with catching up on work things and I am feeling a little overwhelmed. Oh why I thought a vacation was a good idea?

Being an entrepreneuer is tough. It’s even tougher to be a Mompreneur.

Trying to balance the work and family is difficult – it is just impossible to work full time even from home and keep your house clean at all times, cook dinner every night, be the taxi driver to school and baseball games, not to even mention trying to spend quality time with the kids (does watching Food Network together count? Baking apple pies does, right?).

Yes, being your own boss makes it easy to take days off and relax when ever you want to. I have been trying to relax more, spend more time with the kids, and even took a few days off during past winter just because there was fresh snow in the slopes.

Yes, I have to make myself to go and see my kids’ baseball games, and first 15 minutes are hell because I’m thinking all the work related things I should be doing at the moment. Sitting down and not doing anything is not easy for me – even if it’s watching the kiddos play ball. I’m able to relax for a while, and then it starts again – thinking the work stuff.

Yes, I turn off the computer sometimes just to spend time with my husband. To be honest, I forgot to do this for a while when I first got started with my business. I thought, surely he understands that I’m working on computer all the time – I had to get my business going.

But me, him and the kids are a team, and one team member just can’t stop working for our team, even if she/he starts a business. Believe me, spending some quality time with your husband does make your “family team” work better and in the long run your business work better too. Heck, there is no way I could have done this much with my business, if my husband wasn’t helping!

First when I started planning on opening an online store, I wanted my husband to be part of this – he is actually the Vice President of our company. I was hoping the company would be “our thing”, not just “my thing”. Now I’ve realized that while my husband does help with server problems or even takes a few packages to the post office every now and then, the best help for me isn’t him being involved with the business. The best help is him being the Super Dad for our kids he is, and helping at home. And being the Super Husband for me.

I admit, I was upset at first that my husband wasn’t really interested in the exciting worlds of children’s fashion or online marketing. And I was very upset that our site launch took two months longer than expected, because my husband was in charge of it. Now I realize that I should have appreciated more the work he was doing since day one – like making me a sandwich for lunch (because otherwise I wouldn’t have stopped working to eat), cooking dinner or doing all our grocery shopping (for the past one year). The little things he does everyday together are a Huge Help I couldn’t live without – or couldn’t run a business without.

While our “family business” might do much better today if my husband was a marketing enthusiast and a social networking guru – our “family team” might not do that great at all, if both parents were crazy workaholics like me. (Yes, hubby has a full time job, and he is devoted to his job as a rescue helicopter pilot, but he never brings work home. When he is home – he is 100% Dad & Husband – business partner, not so much).

The reason for me to start my own business was to hopefully make a better future for my kids – I’m not looking into making rich here, but I’d like my three kids have the ability and money to go to college some day. But wouldn’t it be controversial to hope for the best future for your kids if you weren’t present in their lives now? This is the dilemma many parents have today.

While I would love to say and pretend that I have it all figured out – I have made a career for myself while being home with the kids – it’s not that easy. I pride myself being a “good mom” and taking my kids to school and picking them up, and making them lunch and dinner every day. But the thing is – I don’t have 9-5 work hours, and my work day is never really over, and it is difficult to be just “mom”. I sneak work time while the potatoes are boiling, or do business calls while driving kids (and giving them bad looks so they’ll be quiet on the backseat). It’s not easy to do it all.

While I am proud of myself that I was able to keep the computer off during our vacation, and do as little work as possible, now I’m feeling really overwhelmed – I have been working non-stop since we got back home, and the vacation already seems a century away! I think the solution is to have mini-vacations, long weekends, or taking just one day off every now and then just for fun, and just for family. Making relaxing a habit is healhty and good for your business too.

While it may sound I’m just “complaining” because of the work overload after the vacation, it really isn’t the full truth. I’m actually so full of new ideas, I’m filled with this “get it done” attitude – and that’s why it’s a bit overwhelming!

So many exciting things happened during the vacation, like one Australian magazine will be covering the Suri’s shoe story! I don’t believe it before I see it – seems so amazing to be true – Skimbaco getting international press. I’m trying to get an Amazon store opened, the CafePress store is going strong – and I will try to work on and answer all my Ladybug Landings’ e-mails as soon as possible. So many ideas cooking – just be patient with me, I’m working as fast as I can, lots of good stuff coming!

And also – visit MumsTheWurd on Sunday evening – they are starting a new feature, Podcasts, on their site, and I will be in their first ever PodCast!

Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (6)

  1. k-rosenberg

    Now you are a prime example of a “made woman!” You manage to not only keep a business up, running and expanding, you’ve got a family to run, and it sounds like you accomplish both with finesse. You’re exactly the success story that inspires women all over to take the jump into the WAHM world. That being said…

    I’m an official Microsoft ambassador and right now we’re really trying to scale up our connections with influential bloggers like yourself. I’d love to share with you some of the stuff we’ve been doing in the last couple months to help women entrepreneurs; we’re really committed to providing all the necessary resources to help women start, grow and expand their business.

    We just wrapped up a women’s entrepreneurial tour across the US called “Vision To Venture;” the response and turn-out was great!

    I’d really love your take on these offerings we have right now; I would have contacted you via email but I didn’t know which was the best way to reach you.

    Thank you so much, I hope I didn’t overstep my bounds by directly contacting you. Definitely get back to me if I’ve piqued your interest– I’d love to share more info with you.

    Best,
    Kimberly
    Official Microsoft Ambassador
    k-rosenberg@live.com

  2. Darla

    I’m with you, I love to work. I can’t help myself. I know what you mean about your work week never being over. Mine is also perpetual.

    I’ve never had to work in our entire marriage and yet I keep on keepin on.

    I love new ideas and adventures.

  3. Katja of skimbaco.com

    Re: Naomi
    Well, thanks, but you haven’t visited my house. There is nothing graceful about this mess :)

    Re: Sansku
    I wish I could at least say I work for the extra income, that would make more sense.

    The fact is though that we’ve never been financially as tight as we have been since I started my business – my husband is still investing money to my li’ venture every month, and my paycheck isn’t gonna happen for a few years, if ever.

    I am doing this because “I have to work”. I have been a stay at home mom for ten years. Yes, and my oldest one is 8 :) But doggy-momma counts, right? I just needed something else for myself, and I am passionate about my work. And I just keep praying that someday I’ll even make money. Actually, I’d love to take a part-time job when Kris starts school this fall – to be able to afford my business :)

    Re: sugar and sprouts
    Thank you so much – I feel honored that I am able to inspire and at the same time, I couldn’t do this without friends like you and all my mommy-blogging-internet-friends. You keep inspiring me and keep me wanting to do my best.

    And yes, we are moving, but I can’t blog about it yet.

  4. Sugar and Sprouts

    You know, I realize I just met you in the last few weeks, but I have been amazed at your accomplishments. And I don’t just mean the business – although, WOW! I mean the fact that your family is involved in your business, all in different ways I’m sure, but each one has an integral role in making sure “Mom” complete her primary role.

    Honestly, you and your dedication to both family and business has given ME the courage to truly go forth and make a go of this thing.

    I’m glad you had a nice vacation, and I know sometimes (especially when there isn’t vacation pay coming in like at a “regular” job) it is really hard to catch up when you return. But you can do it. And for those of us out there watching and learning from you, we say GO FOR IT!

    By the way, are you really moving??

  5. s a n s k u :)

    I don’t know how the working moms do it. I really don’t. I would die if I had to work. I think I could handle VERY part-time work, doing something at home when Sienna’s napping or in the evening. But even then, my housework suffers. We try to manage with the income we have. Others who have two working parents, take vacations, buy lots of clothes, have newer homes, etc. We just manage with lot less so I can concentrate on being a mom/homekeeper. I think our stubborness for me to be a homemom is due to the fact that we waited for kids FOREVER and now there’s no way I’d miss all the precous daily moments with Sienna. I worked for years prior to becoming a mom so I don’t have that “I want to work” attitude anymore. I’m happy to be home. I’m sure I’ll add some very part-time work when time seems right but until then… It’s amazing what you can live with when you decide that has to be enough. All this being said… Everyone has to follow their own path and make their own decisions about what’s good for their family. I just hope people always remember that their kids won’t be young forever and they do find the time somehow to enjoy their kids and to really be there for them. Quality time is great but you do have to have some quantity time too. I think cooking supper with your kids can be quality time. It’s a great time to bond as a family. I think the thing is to really be there with your kids when you are (no business) and then work when you have to. Keep it separate. As much as you can. :)

  6. Naomi

    I think you’re handling it very gracefully!

    Looks like it was an amazing wedding. I haven’t been back to Austin since I left in ’94. Crazy that the same restaurants are popular…

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