How Working-Mom Business Owners Strive for Balance

In honor of Mother’s Day we’re tipping our hats to all working moms. From juggling nursing sessions and client meetings to meal prep and strategy sessions, many women do it all with aplomb, and it’s not an easy feat. We checked in with a few of our mom editors to discover how they’ve been able to achieve their small- business ownership dreams while still raising their families and not missing a beat.

The Scout Guide Bergen County, New Jersey, co-editor/owner Eileen Sweeney with her husband and five children.

Eileen Sweeney, co-editor/owner of The Scout Guide Bergen County

TSG: What are some of the perks of owning your own business as a mom?
Eileen Sweeney: Being a business owner has allowed me to lead by example and my children are truly proud of what my co-editor/owner Chris Doherty and I have created. They know how hard it is to manage not only our business but feel the responsibility for promoting the businesses in our network. I’ve seen them use our entrepreneurial spirit as a source for school projects and as talking points in interviews. At our first official launch party, they were thrilled for our success and enjoyed meeting the members we talk about on a daily basis—our new friends! There is nothing better than celebrating success with the ones you love the most.

TSG: In your experience, what has made balancing work and family easier?
ES: Flexibility is key to managing a family and a career. Loving what you do makes for a happy life. Owning The Scout Guide fulfills both. As the mother of five children ages 18 to 24, my life is always busy. On a daily basis, I like to be home for swim meets, lacrosse games and school volunteering. On the one-offs, I am able to take a few days to move my oldest from one apartment to the next, go on some fun college visits with my high schoolers and everything in between. Life with a family is always changing and being able to manage my own schedule is imperative. Whether I work 9 to 5 or take a break in the middle of the day and finish up in the evening, I know what it takes to make my business a success and am able to arrange my days to get things done!

TSG: Please share a small hack that’s made your working-mom life easier?
ES: When my children were younger I would cook dinner before they got home from school and I’d be able to multitask work and meal prep without distraction. This made my after-school hours much easier. Probably more important than meal prep, is learning that sometimes you simply need to slow down and take a deep breath. Everything will eventually get done. Prioritize what is most important in your family life and then your business life is easier.

The Scout Guide Memphis, Tennessee, editor/owner Stephanie Stephens with her husband and son Walter.

Stephanie Stephens, editor/owner of The Scout Guide Memphis

TSG: What are some of the perks of owning your own business as a mom?
Stephanie Stephens: The flexibility it brings for my family! Being both a business owner and a mom is not easy, but being able to create my own schedule is a HUGE plus. This job is also very rewarding. It’s nice knowing that when I do need to leave my baby to go “scout” or go to a photo shoot, I am having fun while working!

TSG: Do you like to incorporate your kids in some of the day-to-day tasks of your job?
SS: Walter is only 10 months old, but from the time he was born, I was baby-wearing while working on my laptop, and I know he will be attending some photo shoots this season! 

TSG: Please share a small hack that’s made your working-mom life easier?
SS: Meal prep has really helped me lately. I will make two to three easy things for the baby to eat so it’s one less thing for me to worry about. There are a lot of meatballs and pancakes in his life these days! 

TSG: What do you do to destress/take time for yourself?
SS: I make sure I have at least one fun, non-work related night planned a week—whether it’s a date night or going to an event with friends!

The Scout Guide Lexington, Kentucky, editor/owner Jennifer Mueller and her two sons, Nash and Parker.

Jennifer Mueller, editor/owner of The Scout Guide Lexington

TSG: What are some of the perks of owning your own business as a mom?
Jennifer Mueller: I’m my own boss, which offers a flexibility other careers do not offer. I love the ability to manage my time/schedule. It allows me to attend field trips, be there when my two boys, Nash and Parker, are sick, and more. The ability to be physically present in their lives as often as I can is the best part.

TSG: Do you incorporate your kids into your work?
JM: Yes! When we have events they always attend and help with set-up, too. And they love inviting their friends! They also enjoy the delivery day when all the guides show up at the storage unit, and they are a huge help in organizing the unit and distributing guides throughout Lexington. My youngest, Parker, also begged me to select the cover colors this year! 

TSG: What have your kids learned from observing you own your own business?
JM: They are getting a boots-on-the-ground view of  the pros and cons of being a small business owner. They see that it’s hard work, that it takes considerable effort, but see the pride and satisfaction I have in my business and that the hard work pays off! 

TSG: What’s your hack for making working mom life easier?
JM: Juggling it all isn’t possible. But if I am organized, it does make things flow more smoothly. And I am never afraid to ask for help. It takes a village and the struggle is real!

The Scout Guide Bergen County, New Jersey, co-editor/owner Christine Doherty with her husband and three children.

Christine Doherty, co-editor/owner of The Scout Guide Bergen County

TSG: What are some of the perks of owning your own business as a mom?
Christine Doherty: I’m able to maintain some of my own identity and my family realizes I’m more than just their caretaker. Watching me interact with clients, problem solve, and cheer on the small businesses in our community has given my children positive examples that will help them both professionally and personally. 

TSG: Do you incorporate your kids in some of your day-to-day tasks?
CD: Both Eileen and I love getting our kids involved in The Scout Guide, and quite honestly we couldn’t do it without their help. Our four daughters keep us on our toes with what is trending in social media and are great at helping us Scout new businesses…especially restaurants and boutiques. And our four sons provide the muscle and manpower whenever we have to set up events, load our storage facility with guides, or make bulk distributions. All of our kids are very involved in our annual launch parties and we love celebrating our shared accomplishments together.

TSG: What’s your hack for making working-mom life easier?
CD: Honestly, coffee! My husband delivers me a coffee in bed every morning because he knows that caffeine is my boost.

TSG: What do you do to destress/take time for yourself?
CD: Morning walks with my youngest ‘child,’ my very affectionate, highly clingy pandemic goldendoodle, Finn are my medicine. It’s a great pocket of “me time” to start my day. And often, that’s where some of my best ideas come from.

Does being your own boss and the lifestyle of an owner/editor of The Scout Guide appeal to you? Let’s start the conversation about bringing The Scout Guide to your town. Start the journey here.