How to not lose your mind while running both a business and a household

Feb 2, 2017

I was joking today with my Program Manager Ashley that there are days I’m lucky that I haven’t lost my mind.

Because let’s be real – my life is pretty nutty. I’m a single mom of 2 young girls (8 & 10) and am running a business that is the sole provider for our family. It’s a busy life, to say the least.

Here’s what I find helpful when it comes to juggling everything and keeping myself sane:

Delegate at Home Too!

Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week. Why? It’s the day my cleaning lady Patty comes over, and there is a brief window of about an hour where my house is gloriously clean (then my kids get home from school…) As business owners we talk a lot about the importance of delegation, but what about our lives?

I’d like to challenge you at home with the same question I would in your business – What are the things that you can do, but that others can do just as well as you? Could be cleaning. Cooking. Laundry. Yard Work. Shoveling. And what would it look like to get help in those areas?

Put Your Self Care First

Last year was a tough year for me. There were a lot of challenges I was dealing with and I found myself feeling surprisingly blah on a very regular basis. After reading Dan Harris’s book 10% Happier (which I highly recommend!) I decided to give meditation a try. Just 15 minutes in the morning – sitting quietly and being mindful, nothing fancy. In a matter of days my energy and mood changed dramatically, and to be honest I was surprised that such a simple thing made such a difference! And on the days I don’t do it I can feel myself slipping back into the blahs.

Self care comes in many forms. What are you doing to put yourself first on a DAILY basis?

Rely on the Power of 3

I have a little mind-trick that I like to use whenever I feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff that needs to get done both on the home-front and in the business. I call it ‘the next 3 things’. Whenever I feel that ARGHH moment of too much on my plate, I pause and ask myself:

What are the next 3 things I need to do?

Then I focus on doing only those 3 things and forget the rest. For example, last night I could feel one of those ARG moments coming on so I paused, asked myself that question and decided that all I had to do was 1) Make the kids lunch for tomorrow, 2) Clean the litter boxes and 3) Pack Lexi’s bag for gymnastics. I did those things, felt accomplished and avoided a potentially grumpy night for me and the girls (You know what they say… if momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy!)

Unplug baby!

My friend Tara has been my bestie now for 39 years. When I need an evening of ‘whine &  wine’ she’s my gal. We have a lifetime of inside jokes in our arsenal, so that all it takes is a quick comment or sideways glance to get us laughing. And laughing. And laughing. (From the outside looking in I’m sure people think we are crazy. 😉

Unplugging is necessary for our sanity. I need to unplug from being mom every once in a while, as much as I need to unplug from being CEO. Go out for dinner. Get to the gym. See a movie. Give yourself permission to unplug from the responsibilities of your life at least once a week, so that you can bring the best of who you are the rest of the time!

How about you? I’m curious what keeps you sane in the craziness of running a business and running your life – post your tips in the comments.


  1. Ally E. Machate

    Hiring a house cleaner is one of the BEST things I’ve ever done for myself and my home life. So worth it. I also recently started subscribing to two services that help a lot with keeping food in the house so I don’t have to resort to crappy take-out when I’m busy…HelloFresh 3x every two weeks and a box of “ugly produce” from Hungry Harvest every other week opposite the HelloFresh. I loved Dan Harris’ book and used to meditate regularly but am so far off that wagon I can’t even see the dust anymore LOL. Great reminder to get back into it, though, thanks Tina!

  2. Renate

    I meal plan…and at times cook Sunday nights for the week. DH is not the best cook, he tries but somehow just has a hard time not over cooking or under cooking things. Just knowing what is for supper and being able to give directions so its ready when I get in or ready to start is a huge weight off of me since everyone has different schedules and activities

  3. Deborah Davis

    When it comes to self care, I put exercise FIRST in my day. I go to the gym/wellness center M-F before I start working. I always feel refreshed and ready for the day. If I leave exercise until later, it will go to the bottom of my list and not happen. Between exercise and Weight Watchers I’ve lost 50 lbs in the last 2 years and FEEL magnificent!

    Also, I have a home office. I don’t work in the kitchen, bedroom, livingroom, etc… as my mindset is different in my office and distractions are minimized. Although I would love to venture out more to coffee shops, etc… to mix it up more.

    • tinaforsyth

      I’m SOOO with you Deborah – if I don’t do it in the morning then it is not going to happen later!! And congrats on the weight loss, that is an amazing accomplishment. 🙂

      I do have an outside office now as well that I use probably half the time – but I still like my home office too 🙂


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