When you work at home and you are a mom, you are bound to get stressed. But the stress does not have to impair your ability to be productive and get your job done. Trust me… I have been there and done that! Using my experiences and the lessons I learned, I have created this series to help you manage WAHM life and the stress that comes with it.
To recap, in part 1 of this series, we discussed the importance of organizing your schedule / time (click here to read the post). In part 2, we discussed defining your work space (click here to read the post). Part 3 was about investing in yourself and in your business (click here to read the post). This post will discuss the importance of finding your tribe… finding your support system. Why? Because when you work from home, whether you’re a mom or not, it can be very lonely.
Studies have shown…
Studies have shown that when you compare someone that has a tribe with someone that is more of a loner… the person that has their tribe and has that social interaction actually outlives the other person. That’s a jaw-dropping fact, right? But it makes sense! While it took me 2.5 years to see it, finding a group of people that you can call your tribe and be your support system is essential for your mental health. It helps you feel like you are a part of something bigger and empowers you while making you feel strong.
I find that when you work from home (with or without little ones running around), the majority of your time is spent alone and with not much social interaction. Having a tribe / support system and social interaction (even if it is just a little) makes a world of difference. When I first started as an entrepreneur, I tried to do everything myself and it was HARD. I went through periods of time where my self esteem and my confidence suffered because I didn’t have a support system or much adult interactions. I was struggling with learning how work from home and care for my little ones at the same time. It wasn’t getting easier so I decided that I needed to do something to change my situation.
The first step…
My first step was to find other women that were trying to run their business and manage mom life at the same time. To do this, I attended a local women’s networking event. Attending the event was just what I needed. I met a group of amazing women doing amazing things which was SOOOO inspiring. However, to be a part of that networking event group, you had to pay an arm and both legs, which is something that I could not (and cannot) afford.
Feeling frustrated, I called a friend who was also working on starting her own business to vent. As we talked, we noticed we had the same frustrations. I then asked her… why can’t we do this ourselves? Why can’t we start our own support / networking group? And that is how the Collaborative Woman’s Network was born. We reached out to all of the women entrepreneurs we knew and invited them to join our networking group.
Through this group, we created three different ways to support each other. First, A Facebook group where we could connect with each other, post opportunities, questions, motivation and more. The second was a monthly accountability / mastermind meeting (in person or through video conferencing) where we could bounce ideas off of each other to solve a concern/problem for the business. Lastly, we meet monthly in a social setting / less formal environment to network.
Let me tell you… creating this group was life changing!!! I met amazing women that did not judge me and who truly wanted to support me. The feeling of being alone went away as skid some of my stress.
The second step…
Another way I found my tribe / support group was through social media. This was personally a big step for me. Why? Because prior to being an entrepreneur, I was completely against social media (like I didn’t even have a personal account). I associated it with everything negative because that’s all you heard about in the news. But I quickly learned that social media is so much more than the negative things you hear about. I’ve met so many women who support me in different ways such as by liking or sharing a social media post, starting a conversation through DM just to see how I am doing, discussing ideas, suggesting resources, providing feedback, and more. And while I have never met the majority of them in person, I feel like I now have friends that truly understand what I am doing.
The best part about finding a tribe / support group of women I have found is that we are like-minded and positive. We believe in each other even when we don’t believe in ourselves… which is SO empowering. Most importantly, it’s about community over competition and I do not feel alone. This support helps reduce stress levels dramatically.
Finding your tribe requires you to be fearless and to take action.
This week I challenge you to look for your tribe / support group. Go to a networking event; if you are at the library or a local coffee shop and see someone that looks like they are working, don’t be afraid to smile, say hi or start a conversation; if you’re in a grocery store, talk to the person in line with you… you never know what interests you may have in common… the point is be fearless! Also, do not be afraid to use social media… there are so many people / groups that you can go join and follow to get support. I guarantee you that there are other work at home women who lonely and looking for that interaction and support… I know I was one of them! Comment below and let me know what you’re doing and/or what you did to find your tribe.
My name is Michelle and I am the wife of the hardest working man I know, the Mami of 3 beautiful and AMAZING girls and a Pathologists’ Assistant turned Stay at Home Mami turned Mompreneur of not one… or two… but three businesses! I am super excited to share my experiences and learn from you. As women/moms/entrepreneurs, we must stick together and support each other!