By Sara Clarke
Being a mompreneur during the holiday season can be tough; the craziness starts in November, as the planning and preparation that goes into the month of December can be exhausting. We often make sure to plan out our holidays plan way in advance, but as mompreneurs, we don’t tend to plan out the work-life-balance portion for ourselves in preparation for likely the busiest month of the year.
In my home, not only do we celebrate Christmas four times due to my parents being divorced, but we also have 3 birthdays to celebrate. That’s right, 3 of our sons have birthdays before Christmas. During the month of December, we also support our eldest son in high school basketball as his schedule is full, with mainly only having Sundays off. Oh, and did I mention that I want to decorate the house? And we put up many trees in my home, three that are fully decorated (my choice and I would not choose differently). I still need to do all the Christmas shopping for 11 people, clients and friends, and I must wrap all the presents. I always bake up a storm and deliver goodies to our neighbours. Lastly, I may be an anomaly here, but I also mail over 200 Christmas cards. Are you exhausted yet? I know I am, and I haven’t even gotten to the regular household chores and duties, along with running our businesses. No wonder I don’t host dinner during the holidays!
In all this hustle and bustle, where is the business development? Where is working on the business as well as working in the business? Where is the family time? Where is the ‘me time’? In all honesty, it took me about 7 years to figure all this out and I am continually getting better at this every year. I have this down to a science and it does start in early November. Here are 5 of my tips and tricks that have gotten me through this crazy, yet fulfilling, season.
Planning is key.
Whether you are a planner or not, planning for the month of December in your home and business is what will set you up for success. First, make a list of everything that needs to be done in all areas of your life. Then, sit down with a monthly, weekly and daily calendar and plan out. Start by booking the most important dates and tasks into your schedule. Next, fill in your secondary items. Lastly, add those items which, even if they weren’t done, Christmas would still happen and you would be happy regardless if they were still on your to-do list.
Make sure to schedule in business activities.
December may not be a month where you are looking to grow your business, however maintaining your business flow and connecting with your clients is very important. The items and tasks that help you to do so, these should be some of the most important activities on your calendar.
Meal prep is key.
I’m not suggestion you pre-cook your turkey! I’m talking about the meals that you need to make the other 30 days of the month. Invest time into meal prepping weekly so that you can invest more time into those items that need to get done, or invest the time into your family instead of standing at the fridge wondering what you are going to make for dinner, hoping that something will jump out of the fridge ready-made. (I know I can’t be the only who has done this!)
Get as much out of the way in November.
This comes back to planning and doing so in November. My goal this year is to host one of the birthday parties; book and organize the other two parties; decorate our home for the holidays; create, order, complete and mail the Christmas cards; have my business plan laid out; have my home schedule complete; and have the meal schedule for the month complete all before December hits. This takes such a load off my shoulders in December, and I must say that as I write this, I am well on my way to hitting this goal.
Take time for you.
If there is one thing I know, it’s this. You cannot pour into another’s cup if your cup isn’t overflowing. Self-care is so important to enjoying and succeeding in the month of December. For you, maybe it’s relaxing in a bubble bath or enjoying a Christmas movie and popcorn, maybe it is reading a book or going out with the girls. Whatever it is, schedule time each week for you and only you. This way you can be your best you for everyone else. Please, fill your cup first.
These are just a few of the steps that I take to ensure that I have a happy and harmonious December. If I don’t use the above to create a well-executed December, all my family will get is a frumpy, exhausted, overbearing woman who doesn’t want to see the light of day in December. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want ‘that’ woman to be here during this amazing, fun, loving and beautiful season! Decide to do things differently this year. I promise, you will be more fulfilled, and the happiness and joy will radiate off you this year.
Life is a gift, be brave and unwrap it.
Happy Holiday Planning!
Sara Clarke is not only our Mompreneurs COO, she is a wife and a mom of four boys, and has over 20 years’ experience in the accounting field. She carries degrees in Business Management and Bookkeeping, and is now working towards an Accounting Degree. She founded Martin Clarke & Associates in 2001, and has since processed over 33,000 hours of bookkeeping. She works alongside Roger, her husband of 15 years, where their firm works with multiple accountants and agencies across Canada. Sara has been a guest speaker and workshop presenter at the London Small Business Centre, Western University, and The Ivey School of Business, and also speaks throughout North America teaching business owners about bookkeeping, taxes, business development, money mindset and her favourite topic, mompreneurs. Sara is the recipient of the 2014 ‘20 under 40 Business Award’ with Business London Magazine, and 2014’s ‘Who’s Who Among Women in Eommerce’ with WE Magazine.
featured image via Shutterstock