How Hiring a Virtual Assistant Can Help Keep Working Mums Happy….And Sane
“I’m so glad I waited so long before hiring a virtual assistant.” Said no working mum ever.
I’m not a mother myself, but I have mad respect for them. When carrying a growing baby in you for nine months and then bringing it forth in pain is the easiest part of the job, how can anyone not admire these women? All the more so if they happen to continue on in their careers or businesses after giving birth.
But here’s an unpopular opinion. I don’t think women SHOULD have to do it all. No one can successfully fight a battle on two fronts. Yet, too many of us expect working mums to deliver perfection at home and at the office. All the effing time, as though they aren’t human beings with needs of their own.
The point is, there is no shame in seeking help. For all the working mums or mums-to-be reading this, you don’t have to do everything on your own. Furthermore, you should do what you think is best for you and your family, regardless of all the unsolicited advice from your relatives or in-laws.
Enter the virtual assistant. We’ve gone on and on about how they’re great for businesses. But did you know that they can be godsends for mumpreneurs too?
Think about it. What’s the one thing that most working mums could benefit from? An extra set of hands. VA’s provide that and then some, and often at reasonable rates too.
Here’s how a virtual assistant can support all the mumpreneurs out there in the different early stages of motherhood:
You’re growing an actual human being inside you, so your body’s devoting much of your energy to that endeavour. Thus, you might feel tired, drained, or sleepy all the time. Some women also experience hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, and these can sometimes destabilise your mood. When that happens, it’ll be harder to overcome days when you don’t feel like working at all.
Then there are those scheduled or emergency check-ups. They can definitely interrupt your work routines and disrupt your momentum, especially if your doctor advises prolonged bed rest afterwards.
The bottomline is, your productivity will likely fluctuate this early, but that’s perfectly normal. This is actually where a good virtual assistant comes in. Provided that you train or trained them well beforehand, they can take over the following tasks for you:
Need to keep your company’s social media feed updated? How about scheduling key blog posts appearing in different platforms throughout the day? Data entry tasks?
You might not have enough energy or focus to keep going like you used to while pregnant, so it’s best if you assign such tasks to a capable and trusted VA instead. It would certainly give you some much-needed peace of mind.
Tedious activities that might require sustained focus.
Mood swings and this phenomenon called “pregnancy brain” can make it difficult to focus. You may find your attention constantly drifting, and it may be difficult for you to remember details.
Therefore, leave the research and other such activities to an assistant. You can simply go over their findings when you’re feeling up to it.
Tasks that need to run like clockwork but can also be delegated.
These include payroll management, filing taxes, and other such back-end office concerns. They’re tedious enough as it is, and they’re the last thing you want to be preoccupied with while grappling with the changes in your body.
Best of all, if you hire the right VA, they can just keep doing this for you even after you’ve given birth and beyond.
As we mentioned earlier, the hormonal fluctuations that pregnancy sometimes brings can result in certain mood swings.This could mean that you won’t be as patient, and that can be disastrous if you had to deal with difficult customers.
So, for your business’ (and your sanity’s sake), delegate customer support tasks to your VA.
Anything that needs scheduling or following up.
Remember pregnancy brain? That stuff can make you forget even the most basic things like your next doctor’s appointment, an upcoming meeting, or even your friend’s birthday that’s right around the corner.
Save yourself the aggravation and the stress from possibly missing these by letting your VA handle your calendar.
New Mothers/Mothers with Toddlers
Congratulations on giving birth to your newborn! I’m sure you feel a wide range of emotions right now. You might even be a little overwhelmed with all that lies ahead, and having to get up several times a night to feed a crying baby doesn’t really help your headspace, does it?
People tend to underestimate the costs of motherhood. The next 24-36 months will be both fulfilling and exhausting, for sure. You’ll have a tiny human that’s entirely dependent on you, for one. Add the responsibilities of running a company to the mix, and it’s all too easy to lose yourself.
Again, don’t be a martyr. It’s perfectly fine to not know everything moving forward. Quite frankly, it’s better that you don’t have all the answers because then you’ll stay humble and curious. Regardless of what clueless and/or callous relatives or in-laws might say, you can and SHOULD ask for help. You’re more likely to end up finding even better solutions to problems both at home and at work if you do.
That said, how can a virtual assistant help you at this stage? Well, in pretty much the same ways as they did during pregnancy, but with a few tweaks:
You’d be surprised at how much time taking care of a baby eats up. So, if you had little time or patience for routine and repetitive tasks when you were pregnant, you’ll have even less now.
Sure, your baby’s growth takes precedence over everything at this point, but you don’t have to abandon your business dreams entirely either. So, you can continue to delegate repetitive tasks to your VA and simply check their output occasionally. Think social media posts, payroll, and other key back-end functions.
This way, your business keeps moving and you won’t miss out on your baby’s precious milestones either.
Tedious and time-consuming activities.
The next few months or even the next year might revolve around your baby’s sleeping and feeding schedule. Thus, leave tasks like doing market or client research to your virtual assistant/s. And then simply look over them while the baby or tollder naps so you can take your time deciding what direction your company will take next.
But not before you take your own naps, of course.
The sheer amount of sleep deprivation during the early years of a child’s life can make anyone cranky. However, that’s not the only reason why it’s not ideal for you to be handling customers at this point.
Great customer support is highly responsive, which means someone needs to reply promptly whenever a client reaches out. And, well, let’s just say a newborn’s schedule isn’t exactly compatible with typical working hours.
Yep, best leave this to customer support VA’s. You can always open up your social media page’s dm’s or pm’s to check if they’re doing a good job anyway. Better yet, you can get your head VA to do it and just have them report to you.
Anything that needs scheduling or following up.
One of the best things about having a VA is they’re not just for your business. You can also have them schedule your doctor’s appointments, your baby’s vaccinations and check-ups, your toddler’s play dates, and so on.
Guess what? You can even have your VA do the layout for your child’s birthday party invitations. They could also do things like book venues, draw up a gift registry at your kid’s favorite toy store, and order food for the party. If you’ve got more than one VA, you can assign one to keep track of all the parents and kids RSVP’ing to your little one’s party as well.
Mothers with School-Age Children
Too often, the conversation about developing a good work-life balance for working mums tends to stop once the kids start going to school. Unfortunately, while school-age children are usually more independent, they still need looking after.
By the way, you should know that working mothers present unique advantages to school-age children. Having a career will increase your confidence as a parent (and vice versa), and it sets you up as a role model for your children. You might also find comfort in knowing that the children of working mothers tend to be more independent than their peers. The sons of working mums, in particular, are more likely to share chores with their eventual partners too.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. At this point, you probably have a better grasp of your ideal work-life flow. Your VA’s job would be to help you achieve that as regularly as possible.
For instance, let’s say your VA already takes care of your schedule. They can sync that with your child’s school calendar and alert you to any upcoming activities like PTA meetings or recitals. You can then work with your VA to move things around as needed, should you opt to attend. (Children are more resilient than you think. You won’t be less of a parent if you miss a few occasional events so long as they aren’t major milestones.)
Your VA’s can also keep taking care of several tedious yet necessary tasks. These are the ones that don’t require your decision-making or unique talents. Heck, you can even choose to delegate tasks that aren’t playing to your strengths at all, such as bookkeeping. (That’s best left to the experts.)
Basically, if it’s not going to bring in more customers or grow your company, you should probably delegate it. That way, you can spend more time with your kids. Don’t forget to squeeze in some much-needed me time while you’re at it, okay?
Should you like to know more about hiring virtual assistants, here’s our definitive guide. And if you’ve decided to stay home, but would still like to hire a VA, we’ve got a guide for that too.
But if you’re ready to get some much-needed assistance, click here and let Remote Staff lead you to a virtual assistant that will surely change your life for the better.
Because you, momma, are worth it. Hang in there.
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