Mother’s Day is this weekend and although I’m not a fan of what I think of as “Hallmark Holidays,” there’s something wonderful about a day that celebrates motherhood. Motherhood embodies so many vital things: nurturance, caring, kindness, giving, thoughtfulness, planning, preparation, and unconditional love, to name a few.
As a daughter, I am planning to spend time with the woman I’m lucky enough to still have in my life. But as an entrepreneur, I’m also thinking, “how does Mother’s Day relate to running a business or to me in the business?” (beyond the obvious sales and specials opportunities that greeting card companies push us to remember.)
Nurture What You Love
I think what it comes down to is asking the question, “Am I truly nurturing what I love? Am I doing all I can do to grow this baby/toddler/child/adolescent business into a full-fledged, independent, and successful adult?”
I think this is an important question to ask and it’s an interesting way to approach one’s business. In general, we start our businesses because we’re passionate about something. But, like most new parents, do we possess all the necessary skills right away? NO, we most certainly do not. Some things we learn along the way and we get good at them. But when it comes to some other things, we must quickly realize we need help or our businesses are in danger of perishing. (Just like the parent who realizes in the middle of the night that they need help caring for the child who has a fever of a 105.) When that business-might-perish situation occurs, it’s smart to look around and seek out the assistance you need: bookkeeper? admin? marketing? copywriting? social marketing? distribution? etc, etc.
That said, there’s still only one “Mom” (or “Dad”!) in the equation, and that’s YOU, the founder of your company. So, how do you continue to mother your business and nourish all its offerings without breaking down yourself?
Take Care of YOU and You Take Care of Your Business
In a world that sometimes seems like it rewards the slick, the vicious, and the greedily ambitious, it’s almost a revolutionary act to instead be kind and compassionate — to ourselves as well as others. We’re bombarded with so much negativity, that now more than ever it’s vitally important to take care of ourselves by consciously taking time to be kind, to be nice, to be thoughtful, and to be caring. These acts nourish us, which allows us to nourish our businesses, our families, and ourselves. We no longer can afford to think of taking time to exercise, eat right, sleep, play, and just BE as luxury acts. No, instead, these are vital, necessary acts that allow us to keep showing up as our best selves — in our personal lives and in our businesses.
Who Mothers You?
The bottom line is we ALL need mothering from time to time. As adults, we’re fortunate if we get any kind of mothering in our lives … especially from ourselves, so it’s important to cultivate nourishing relationships and support systems. Take a moment and think about …
- Who gives you a hug or wipes your tears when you’re struggling?
- Who picks you up when you’re too tired to do so?
- Who feeds you a meal when you’ve forgotten to take care of yourself?
- Who listens when you just need to vent?
- Who encourages and pushes you to do the thing you want but are afraid to do?
- Who gives you the pep talk that allows you to keep going?
All of these gifts of attention are mothering — and they’re crucial. Cultivate relationships that offer you mental and emotional support.
Mother Yourself, Too
You may have the best support system around, but if you don’t also take the time to nurture yourself, you’ll feel the lack at some point. Make it a priority to feed whatever it is that feeds you. Remember, self-care is an incredibly personal thing and it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are basics, eating right, getting enough sleep and exercise, but it can also be many other things large and small. Make sure at least some of these become a regular habit:
- Daily exercise of your choice — walks, yoga, running, the gym, dancing, rock climbing … the possibilities are endless.
- Meditation — 5 minutes or 50, a little mental quiet time can go a LONG way!
- Eat healthy food. Shop (try online and have groceries delivered to save time) and prepare it yourself, or find a local personal chef (they’re more affordable than you think!), or meal kit delivery service that makes this vital task easier for you.
- Sleep! Preferably at least 8 hours per night. Sleep deprivation is rampant in our country and it doesn’t do a body (or mind!) good.
- Play! What makes you laugh and feel happy? Do that … a lot!
- Make sure to add a “big” something you love into the mix. Something that feels like a treat, such as a weekly/monthly massage or a spa visit.
However you plan to spend Mother’s Day, I hope you enjoy it. And if you’re spending it alone, make sure you take some time to mother yourself.