I remember those moments I’ve had throughout almost a decade of being a work-from-home, homeschooling mom, trying to find a balance between my career as an entrepreneur and my responsibilities as a parent. Achieving work-life balance as a mompreneur can be a challenge, but I’ve learned to prioritize and set boundaries to ensure that I’m able to give my best to both my business and my family.
The Challenge of Achieving Work-Life Balance as a Mompreneur
My baby was screaming, the house was a mess, all of my kids were fighting, loads of laundry were waiting to be done and it was the third day in a row we’d eaten whatever we could find for dinner.
I would sit there almost in a daze like I was watching as life was happening TO me and wondering how in the world other moms did it?
How did one of my friends always look so put together with FOUR kids that she also homeschooled, she was the pillar of calm confidence and never had a hair out of place. She always remembered what days my kids were competing in sports and would text me, or she’d volunteer to make sweatshirts for our kid’s softball team. She’s AMAZING.
Or another one of my friends, she’s in college and works full-time while taking care of her 3 kids. Every time I come over to her house – it’s pristine, smells amazing, everything is in place and even when there are toys out – it still looks organized. She home-cooks every single meal for dinner and each kid gets something a little different if they need it. She’s such an inspiration.
There’s this other mom I know on Instagram and she unschooled her kids. She thinks of amazing, off-the-cuff fun things to do with her kids, and they are studying biology & french on their own accord. They’re always doing fun artsy things and her older daughters have their own Etsy store. I love scrolling her feed and getting inspired.
But to circle back to that feeling of…” what am I not doing that they are doing?”.
The Truth About Work-Life Balance As A Mompreneur
The biggest disservice I’ve ever done to myself was by allowing myself to define what work/life balance ultimately looked like to me.
The truth is: Our circumstances are completely different and I can’t compare my circumstance to someone else’s with different goals, priorities, strengths, and support.
That is probably the singular most important advice I can give to anyone else feeling like they aren’t able to do it all.
Stop defining “it all” by what that looks like to others around you and instead, define what work-life balance looks like to YOU and your family.
With that being said: I wanted to share some tips that have really helped me after almost a decade of working from home with 3 kiddos.
How I Balanced My Life As A Mompreneur
Everyone’s idea of work/life balance is different. The circumstances are different. It’s so easy to get inspired by another Mom. Then entangle your true vision with what they are doing because they look like they are killing it (and probably are!).
But what happens when you begin to emulate something you were never meant to, is it exhausts you and have you continuously working on things that aren’t what’s actually important to you.
You’ll find yourself working really hard to get to what feels like nowhere.
Instead…write out a vision for your OWN family and what work/life balance looks like to you.
For some moms, work-life balance looks like working 40 hours per week and having their kids go to a private school full time. For me, that looks like capping my work hours at 16 hours max and leaving the rest of the time for being a mom.
EVERYONE’S work/life balance ideal looks different. You have to really put your blinders on and define what it is that YOU want.
MY KIDS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK
Every single time I feel myself getting resentful because my son is supposed to be napping and I had work planned during his naptime that I can’t do anymore because he’s screaming and needs me at that moment. I repeat this to myself over and over:
My kids are not stopping me from my important work, my kids ARE my important work.
I’m not kidding when I say sometimes my kids need me at the WORST times for my business – and it is truly one of the most frustrating things to have something planned for your job and not be able to complete it.
Just last week I blocked out an entire week to film Youtube videos for myself and my assistant for the first time ever. I kid you not, the day I was supposed to start, my son came over and started throwing up everywhere. Then my daughter next, then my other daughter…then me, then my husband. The entire week I had blocked out was poof gone!
But I honestly believe that those moments when you are the most frustrated and feeling like “ugh!”- are the moments you are being tested between what your true priorities are.
Now, to be clear there’s a difference between prioritizing your family and still being dedicated to your business or saying you’re prioritizing your family as an excuse for being a half-ass entrepreneur. Sorry!
This I know firsthand can feel really like “How am I supposed to afford/get help?” because that’s exactly how I felt when I was first told to get help. All I could think of was how I couldn’t afford a babysitter. But instead, I was invited by this amazing book I read, to think bigger.
What other things was I constantly doing that I could pay for someone else to do?
For example, right now I pay a contractor to help me with my business part-time, I also recently signed up for Hello Fresh four times a week so I can still get home-cooked meals on the table and I divided the daily cooking between our entire household.
Meaning my family and I sat down and divided the breakfasts and dinner cooks between me, my husband, and my two older girls.
Instead of needing to cook dinner 7 times a week – now I’m only responsible for 2 times a week.
My question to you is – what in your home can you outsource? What is in your home can you give to other members to contribute as well?
SET A LIMIT AND STICK TO IT
I looked at the amount of time I would be willing to dedicate to my business every week and still be proud of how I was showing up as a mom. That number to me looks like 16 hours and that’s running two businesses – my photography business and my coaching/education business.
That means I work from 4-8 pm 3 days a week on the weekdays when my husband gets home and then if needed, another few hours on the weekend if I couldn’t get to everything during the week.
I really feel like you will continuously find more work to fit more and more hours – so in order to truly have that work/life balance, you have to find your “number” and stick to it.
The beautiful thing is – once you’ve chosen your number, you see really clearly that you can’t dedicate hours and hours to fluff work. For me – I had to get really lasered in on what is moving the needle for my business and leave out the other things that weren’t.
It keeps my business simple, and will I grow slower than someone who can put it in 40+ hours a week?
But I don’t want my business to blow up in a year and have so much work to catch up with that I’m not showing up as who I want to be as a mom.
WOMEN CAN HAVE IT ALL
To sum it up – The truth? I do believe women can “have it all” and that work/life balance is a real thing. However, it really takes lots of introspection and planning. A lot of getting really granular on what you will and won’t do in your business. A lot of blinders on, instead of comparing yourself to other moms and their strengths.
Let me know in the comments. What’s something you’re willing to let go of today, in order to give yourself the gift of work/life balance?
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