If someone would have told me two years ago that I would own my own business, I would have rolled my eyes, laughed and told them all the reasons I could never be an entrepreneur. Now, here I am, just over a year into my journey as the owner of Chasing Sleep. What changed, you ask?
I truly believe our experiences and struggles shape the people we become and the paths we choose. I was inspired by my own motherhood journey, and the highs and lows that have come with it.
I became a mom in spring 2014.
For me, becoming a mother felt natural. I appreciate that everyone has a very different journey, but for me, I took it in stride. I went back to work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as a nurse a year later and balanced the roles of mom, friend, wife and nurse. In late 2015, my husband and I decided to try for another little one.
My second daughter was born in the fall of 2016 and that changed everything.
I had good space between the girls. My first was two-and-a-half and potty-trained when my second arrived. Although I had lots of family and friends to help with the girls, I crashed and burned. The transition to two kids was harder than I expected. The sleepless nights and being out numbered during the day had me in a tailspin. It took me a good eight months to find my groove again. My second daughter challenged everything I thought I knew. When I discovered sleep training, it was like coming up for air. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and this is where my sleep consulting business began.
Confession… I am a bit of an “A-Type” personality and work very hard to be a “perfect.” The reality is sleep is not perfect, parenting is not perfect, and owning a business is not going to be perfect, but you can have it all. I have found some great tips over the last year that have allowed me to be the best I can be for my business and the wonderful people in my life.
My 3 Top Tips for Mompreneurs
1. Strike a Balance
Dedicate time where you can exclusively be a mom and time where you can exclusively work on your business. This is something I struggled with initially and this isn’t something that is exclusive to business owners. Many of us will sneak a peek at our work email the second we hear that “bing.” A small business with a vision for growth becomes our “other baby” and it requires a lot of care and attention. Of course, our kids then demand more time and attention when we are busy and don’t have the time to give.
One of the best tips I tell parents when we are talking about bedtime battles is to make sure you have one-on-one time with your child every day – even if it is 20 minutes. It makes a world of a difference with behaviour and listening. So, put down your phone and just be a mom.
Give your business that exclusive time as well. That means some days the kids are in daycare, or you dedicate time in the morning during naps or after bedtime. We are all WAY MORE productive when we are focused on one task at a time rather than having thirty tabs open and kids climbing on your lap.
2. Put Yourself First
We hear it over and over again and yet making ourselves a priority is one of the hardest things to do. There is a sense of guilt associated with putting yourself first, but you can’t be the best version of yourself if you’re not taking care of your own physical and mental health. Self-care is a hot topic in the motherhood community and even more so in the mompreneur world. I am not necessarily talking about breakfast in bed, facemasks or a long bubble bath (unless those are your things). I am talking about taking time for yourself to do the things you love.
3. Make Your Sleep a Priority
I wouldn’t be a true sleep consultant if I didn’t tell you the most important fact… you need to get sleep to maintain your sanity.
It’s great to get those little ones sleeping. They need it for their growth and development, but you need to make your sleep a priority too. For six months after I started my business, I dedicated every extra minute I had into my passion of helping other families with their child’s sleep. I soon realized I was not sleeping. I was working so hard to get my kids sleeping and advocating for sleep for my clients, but I forgot to listen to my own advice.
The average adult needs 7-9 hours of consolidated sleep every night according to the National Sleep Foundation. As humans we all need food, water and SLEEP to survive. Not getting adequate sleep can wreak havoc on your immune system, hormones, emotional wellbeing and your overall wellness. Some great simple ideas to help you promote good sleep in your life are to maintain a schedule (protect that body clock), get daily exercise, turn off your screens before bed and create a comfortable sleep environment.
For more information about any of these tips or any of my services I would love to chat, I offer free 15 minute evaluation calls to get to know each other!
Amanda Wallace is a mom to two girls, wife to one husband, coffee addict and lover of sleep. Born a raised a YYC girl, she now works as a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care at Foothills Medical Centre. Amanda spends her free time writing sleep plans and supporting tired families across Canada.