Motherhood is a beautiful, fulfilling, and expansive experience, but it’s also challenging, tiring, and overwhelming. Add into the mix being self-employed as a solopreneur and you’ve got a potential recipe for a business flop or even burnout. 

If you’re curious about how I manage this juggling act—balancing the demands of motherhood with the responsibilities of being a business owner— I invite you to read on as I share more about my journey, my working hours, how I stay grounded and strategies to maintain success. 

Whether you’re managing one baby or six, side-hustling or running a £150k/year business, I’m confident that my journey and the tips I share can support you.

Juggling Motherhood with Business Life

So my personal situation right now (I’m writing this in June 2024) is that I have four babies: my two little humans and my two businesses (not to mention my dog)! As a business coach for women, my business coaching practice focuses on delivering mindset and strategy coaching to service-based female solopreneurs aiming for £5k months. My business coaching practice was my first “baby” – my OG business. My second business, Alt Collective, was co-founded with my great friend Claudia during Covid.

Returning to work part-time, I love balancing being a present mum while also getting to wear my CEO hat, doing work I love and making money. One of the huge benefits of being self-employed is having complete control over our schedule. There was no set date for my return from maternity leave—I got to choose. I started back gradually, with a couple of hours here and there, increasing to around 15 hours when my baby was 4-6 months, and aiming for 25 hours by September/October.

Loving my work so much, this gradual return felt natural and right for me. This is my version of balance and success, which is unique to everyone. I experienced so much more mum guilt with my first child, but with Monty, I’ve stopped caring so much about what others think. I focus on what works for my family and me. I’m wondering if this resonates with you?

Figuring out your personal definition of balance and success right now will help you to be able to make the required decisions and take the necessary action to turn it into a reality. I say ‘right now’ as with kids, especially when they are super young, their routines and what they need from you shifts quite quickly so it’s imperative you keep adjusting. Your version of balance as a mum to a 6-month old will be different when your baby is 1 year, versus 5 years and so on. 

The Juggling Act

While the flexibility of self-employment is amazing, it does come with its own set of challenges. As a mum and business owner, life can often become quite the juggling act ! The kids and their needs naturally take priority but you’ve also got a business to run, clients to deliver to and an income to generate.

For example, I rely on family for a chunk of my childcare support, and when they have things come up, I have to switch back to full-time mum mode. This requires me to think on my feet, ask for help more (I’ve learned how to get better at this!) and adjust my schedule in a fluid way – whilst still delivering for my clients. 

Making It Work

I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way which have supported me in being able to be a great mum (if I don’t say so myself) and running my business successfully. 

How am I defining this ‘success’ – well along with the less tangible aspects of fulfilment, joy and living a life of alignment, from a financial perspective year on year for the past 4 years I’ve matched if not increased my earnings – whilst also significantly reducing my working hours. 

And to paint the picture, 4 years ago I had no kids and I was working between 35 – 50 hour weeks. At this current point, I am working between 10-15 hours a week, have two kids and I am earning the same amount I did when I worked full time. 

Here are the top 5 strategies that have helped me to juggle my current roles: 

    1. Embracing the identity of being a business owner AND a mother: I’ve stopped apologising for loving work and instead I lean into the belief that I can be both a great mum and run a successful business. This was a biggie and really helped me let go of mum guilt which is SUCH a massive time waster!
    2. Setting Realistic Business Goals: Understanding that my time and energy are limited, I constantly work on setting (and often re-setting) goals that are achievable within my current capacity.
    3. Self-Compassion: Being kind to myself has proven to be crucial. I have to consciously remind myself that I’m doing my best, and that’s enough. 
    4. Prioritising Client Support: My clients are my top priority. As I’m working with a number of clients 1:1, delivering their sessions and supporting them is where I focus most of my work hours.
    5. Quitting the Comparison: It is all too easy to flick through Instagram and get pulled into a negative cycle; ‘why is she able to manage so well’, ‘how come she is so successful and I’m not?!’. You have absolutely no idea what support others have behind the scenes and social media is a highlight reel – very rarely do you get real insights behind the actual goings on of someone else’s business. Stay in your own lane. Focus on your dreams. Send love and abundance out there to anyone you think looks like they’re doing great. 


What I Still Struggle With and Am Still Working On

I’ll be honest, I don’t always get it right. There are definitely times when I feel like I’m getting more wrong than right. I’m constantly learning, adjusting, ‘failing,’ and figuring out new things. Here are some real truths about the challenges I still face:

  1. Mum Guilt Yep, it still rears its head. I’ve started to see it as a good sign; a nudge to course correct or dedicate time for introspection. I ask myself: Is this a truth or an assumption? How can I be more compassionate to myself? Am I worrying too much about what others think?
  2. Fear of Failure With my time being more precious than ever, I can get stuck in analysis paralysis. I fear making the wrong decision and wasting my precious time. Ironically, this makes me procrastinate and waste even more time. The antidote? JFDI (just fucking do it!). Taking action, even if it means failing, is better than staying still.
  3. Self-Criticism Sometimes, I criticize myself with thoughts like, “How are you not getting this right? You’re a business coach for women, you should know how to do this!” My top tip: Anytime you hear “should,” it’s a signal to be kinder to yourself. Notice if your inner narrative is harsh and consciously switch to your inner cheerleader. For example, I replace the critical thought with, “Hey, this is hard, but you’re doing great. This challenge will enrich your ability to support others.”

I hope you find some of this helpful. Above all, remember that wherever you’re at and whatever you’re doing, you’re doing AMAZING! Enjoy these precious moments. Building a business (and family) is challenging, but that tension can also be fun and rewarding – it’s all about perception.

What Next?

As a business coach, I emphasise turning theory into action. What are your top learnings from this blog? What will you take away and implement? Reap the real-life benefits by turning words into wisdom.

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With love, 

Sophie – your virtual business coach and biggest cheerleader xx