The juggle is real: how to manage a new venture and parenthood

Jill and Mark Henderson offer their advice on how to go about balancing a newborn baby with a newborn business.

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Parenthood and entrepreneurship are the juggling act of a lifetime. Long after your maternity leave or paternity leave has ended and you're fully back at work, how do you manage the demands of nurturing both your actual children and your business with limited time, financial resources, and childcare? 

Here, we'll delve into the intricacies of juggling babies and business without dropping any balls, sharing insights and tips from our own experience as founders of BUSHBABY, whilst raising our children, aged 3 and 6.

The parallels between entrepreneurship and parenthood

When you embark on the journey of parenthood and entrepreneurship, it's easy to see these as two entirely separate entities. However, you’ll soon realise that they share a remarkable array of similarities.

At their core, both parenting and running a business involve the profound act of nurturing. Parents tend to their children by providing love, advice, and guidance, all in the hope of fostering personal growth, development and independence. 

Similarly, entrepreneurs pour their energy and resources into their businesses, supporting their growth and helping them flourish. This nurturing process often involves making tough decisions, weathering challenges, and providing the necessary resources and attention for success.

The problems facing parents in the workplace

Everyone is familiar with the term work-life balance but it’s nearly impossible to achieve perfect equilibrium, especially as a parent. We feel strongly that the current culture of work has to change. 

No parent should be expected to put their toddler into childcare for nine hours a day, five days a week. Too often this is the only option available. Many workplaces still don’t offer adequate leave, equal opportunities and flexible working arrangements

Though the pandemic shone a light on the last point, it seems that some employers are clawing back their teams into the office. Too often this impacts mothers who may feel forced to leave employment to take care of their children and counter the rising costs of childcare in the UK. 

It was this childcare crisis that started us on a side hustle journey. We recognised how hard it was to find the perfect gift for new mothers and babies, so we took matters into our own hands and created unique thoughtful hampers to offer an alternative to mass-produced gifts.

BUSHBABY launched in 2020 with just £350 from our personal savings which quickly grew and turned over £100,000 in the first year. As we go into our third year 35,000 new mums and babies have received BUSHBABY gifts, with 95% of sales placed on our Amazon store.

As our business grows, we’re getting closer to our ultimate goal of financial independence and flexibility. In the meantime, we’ve learnt four key lessons about how to juggle running a business as a parent:

1. Set boundaries

Setting clear boundaries is an essential aspect of managing both your business and parenthood effectively. By delineating specific work hours and family time, you create a structured framework that allows you to be fully present in each role. For example, designating certain hours for focused work and others for quality family moments can help prevent burnout and maintain a healthier balance.

2. Ask for help

One of the most important lessons we've learned on this journey is that it's perfectly acceptable to ask for help. Whether it's seeking assistance with childcare, outsourcing tasks in your business, or simply sharing responsibilities with your partner, reaching out to your support network is a sign of strength, not weakness.

3. Plan your time effectively

Effective time management is a skill that becomes paramount when navigating parenthood and entrepreneurship. Embrace time management tools and techniques that help you prioritise tasks, delegate responsibilities, and maintain a structured daily routine. Balancing the demands of family and business is much more manageable when you allocate time wisely and make the most of every moment.

It’s also important to look for ways to optimise your business to work smarter but not harder. Thanks to the flexibility that Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) provides, we are able to balance our business with family commitments and full-time jobs. 

Therefore not only has Amazon given us access to a huge audience but has also removed a huge burden by dealing with all the logistics, helping us to automate that part of the business. 

4. Embrace flexibility

Flexibility is a superpower when it comes to juggling the responsibilities of parenthood and entrepreneurship. Recognise that both your children and your business may have unpredictable moments, and adaptability is the key to weathering any storm. 

Being flexible in your approach allows you to roll with the punches, adjust to changing circumstances, and find creative solutions when challenges arise.

Final thoughts

Running a business as a parent is not for the faint of heart and certainly comes with challenges. However, by embracing these tips it’s possible to find a balance that feels right for you and your family. It may not always be possible or perfect but the opportunity to find financial freedom and independence is a powerful driving force. 

With determination, support, and the right strategies in place, the juggle between parenthood and entrepreneurship can become a fulfilling and rewarding adventure.

Jill and Mark Henderson, co-founders of BUSHBABY

A husband and wife team, the Hendersons established BUSHBABY in 2020 with the aim of crafting unique and sustainable gifts for new mothers and babies. Motivated by a strong desire to achieve an improved work-life balance for their family, BUSHBABY rapidly expanded, leveraging an initial investment of just £350 from their personal savings, ultimately achieving a remarkable turnover of £100,000 within the first year. Now in their third year, 35,000 new mums and babies have received BUSHBABY gifts, with 95% of sales placed on their Amazon store.

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