Family. Career. Personal Fulfillment. For moms who work outside of the home, it can be tough to find balance. GalTime caught up with Rachel Blaufeld, a successful Mompreneur and founder of the popular blog Back'nGroove Mom to get her take on motherhood, work and how to stay relevant in your career while you're raising your kids.
GalTime: Tell us about Back'nGroove Mom...
Rachel Blaufeld: Back'nGrooveMom was originally my personal account/blog about transitioning to a mom of school-age kids and looking for a deeper identity for myself. As my kids gained tiny pieces of independence and more of their own identity, I wanted the same for myself. After a number of years on a career break raising my family while my husband traveled extensively for work, I found myself with a few extra hours on hand and a HUGE desire for something more. I interviewed for a number of positions in my original field - social work - but quickly realized I wanted something with greater ownership and flexibility.
I set out to take an idea I had for a line of products in my head to market without knowing what a LONG and arduous process it would be, otherwise, I don't think that I would have jumped in so quickly. I am almost there I hope, but in the middle of this journey, I realized that I could use the listening and communicating skills of my Master's in Social Work Degree combined with my early marketing background and turn Back'nGrooveMom into its own entity. With that in mind, Back'nGrooveMom became an outpost for women at the intersection of raising a family and wanting to or currently running a business.
I love that I spend my days writing on my own blog, freelancing for other sites around the web, speaking to groups, or skyping one-on-one all on and to women, namely moms looking to rebrand, step things up a notch, and diving into new settings.
GalTime: Do you think a lot of Moms feel nervous about re-entering the work force after having kids?
Rachel Blaufeld: I do. Absolutely do. I think many moms worry about the 'what-ifs.' What-if I cannot get this or that done? What-if we eat Subway one night? Especially, moms who have been home for some period of time, they worry about how everything will 'get done' if they go back to work. All I can say is this: It does get done, pretty much, and what does not get done is OK. I don't sweat the small stuff anymore. My kids have grown a little more independent, like they know where to find clean socks (in the laundry room).
Every now and again, I get a case of the 'What-ifs' and I just talk myself out of it. It usually means that I am trying to do way too much and I try to peel back a little bit.
GalTime: Can you share some ways for Moms to Stay Relevant while raising their families?
5 Ways for Moms to Stay Relevant in their Careers
1. Computer skills are a must. Stay up to date on computer skills and new applications. This is easy for moms. We utilize our technology so well because we want to share our kids' photos, find reviews and deals, and bottom line - we are pressed for time (all the time).
2. Read, Read, Read. Follow your former field and/or a new interest. Read what is new out there and keep your mind rolling on the subject.
3. Leave Regret Outside. Do not ever feel bad or regret any decision you made or make to stay at home, work here and there, or whatever your choice may be. Owning it breeds confidence.
4. Stay in touch with oldies but goodies. Make time to chat from time to time with former co-workers. It does not have to be all them time, but you never know how these connections may play out at a later date.
5. GNO, Date Night, manicure anyone? Escape now and again for some adults-only time whether it be with the 'girls,' your husband/partner, or simply by yourself. Be an adult for a brief snippet in time, it will do wonders for your spirit and mind!
GalTime: Is it possible to be a good Mom and an effective entrepreneur?
Rachel Blaufeld: Of course! Some days, I think I am a better mom and others a more effective entrepreneur, but more days than not, I can be both. I realized recently that multi-tasking usually comes back to haunt me. I used to think that it was productive to try and do something work-related while I was doing something relatively mindless for the kids. Now, I think differently. I am into chunking everything these days. There is work time and family/mom time and errands time, and I try to avoid overlap. Sometimes, it cannot be avoided, but I strive to keep better hours and close the home office door for time with the family.
I also find huge motivation in my family. Fear of disappointing them keeps me on the straight and narrow.
GalTime: Do you think having experience as a Mom enhances your skill set in the business world?
Rachel Blaufeld: Without a doubt, us moms, we learn to think quickly and make decisions with little time on our hands. We also learn to assess situations and read people's feelings. Not to mention, we are pros at scheduling and calendar making.
These skills really translate to the business world and help us manage our calendars, employees, co-workers or other business providers, and be concise. These are all skills and factors that moms must consider when creating a linked-in profile or resume.
GalTime: What does it take to be a successful "mompreneur"?
Rachel Blaufeld: Passion, perseverance, patience, coffee and a supportive family (and not necessarily in that order).
How do/did you stay on top of your game?
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