Finding Work/Life Balance as a Mom and an Entrepreneur
Let’s Talk about “Balance”
I automatically think of a scale balance when it comes to the word “balance”. You have work on one end, life on the other, and when they are given the same weight they are in Balance. Seems easy enough, right?
Not quite (as we all are well aware). What balance really looks like, especially for us moms, is a person (us) trying to balance our homes, our jobs, our kids, our relationships, etc., etc., etc. on ourselves without hypothetically dropping any of the balls.
How I Found Work/Life Balance as a Mom
When I had my first child I became a wedding photographer. I had my second child very soon after. With two kids AND a business all under 2 years of age, you can imagine that chaos was ensuing on all ends.
I struggled to get things accomplished with so much on my plate. Late nights turned to early mornings it was taking a toll. I knew something had to change, so I worked incredibly hard to create systems and boundaries within my business so that I was efficient with my work, leaving me to spend quality time with my kids.
But even with this new system, a successful business, and QT with the kiddos, I still felt strangely off. I will even go as far to say that I was pretty unhappy. I had so much frustration and anger about so many things ranging from housework to not having time to exercise. I would be mad if I had to stay up late to get work done, especially when my husband would be sound asleep. Nothing seemed fair and I felt like I was drowning. I felt so stuck in the work, kids, clean, sleep, repeat routine and it was driving me crazy.
One day I was having a little pity party for myself and something just clicked with me: Nobody was forcing me to work from home as a mom. It was 100% my choice, and if I wanted to quit and go back to a normal 9-5 I could absolutely do so. And if I wanted to continue on with my business? Well, I needed to figure things out.
So I did.
I went straight to my desk and sat down and wrote down a huge list, that I broke down in 4 categories:
- What tasks need to be done to run my business successfully
- What are my household responsibilities
- What do I need for me to be happy
- What relationships do I need to keep up with
This was a completely eye-opening task. Even though I thought I had a work system down, I saw there were so many tasks that were being neglected (talking to you newsletter).
I cringed when I looked at the “household” portion of my list. It was clearly time to talk to my husband about sharing the responsibilities (which is a whole other topic), but we discussed at length because something needed to change!
Let’s talk about the relationship status. I had let so much time go between seeing my friends that this was a serious part of my life where I was lacking. My husband and I are very different. He craves his alone time and I crave my social time. He cannot be 100% responsible for filling this craving for me, but I wasn’t taking the time to make plans with my friends. Instead, I constantly blamed him for not wanting to do anything, or even worse-resented him when he needed some time to veg out.
I could honestly go on and on, but the moral of the story is that I am the only one who knows what is needed in my life to make me happy, and I am also THE ONLY ONE responsible for making sure that these things that I need are in my life.
Making a Plan to Achieve Balance
Now we all know that lists are great, but they are also pointless unless action steps are put in place. What I did is I sat down and made a plan.
6:30-7 Schedule social media
7-9 Breakfast with the kids and get them ready for school. Household tasks such as laundry and dishes.
11:45-12:45 Social Media (posts, engagement)
1:00-1:30 Plan networking/partnering with vendors
2:00-3:00 Household tasks (bills, grocery list, meal prep for dinner)
3:00-Pick up kids
Monthly: Make sure I am getting together with friends at least once a month, date night at least once a month, kid outings once a month. Something for myself once a month
I also have a very loose evening “to do” list each day as well, and an evening routine to get me ready for the next day.
The key to success here is that you actually follow the schedule. From that time that I am working on household tasks, I’m not checking email if I hear it ding. If I am editing, I’m ONLY editing with all other distractions aside. Time Blocking like this is a great way to be productive and make the most out of your day!
Work/Life Balance as a Mom is Never Perfectly Achieved
Just to be clear, we are using the word balance loosely here. Work/Life balance as a mom is never perfectly achieved, but BEING AWARE of what needs to be done and making AND STICKING TO a plan is a great place to start.
Of course there are days where I’m away for meetings and work doesn’t get done, or I miss breakfast with the kids. But I feel fine about it now because I know that nothing is going to be completely forgotten. If I don’t work on the blog on Monday because there is a deadline, it’s OK, because I know I am going to hit on it again on Tuesday during its scheduled time. Being firm but flexible is necessary when trying to achieve any sort of balance! Bend but don’t break is key!
I am happy to report that although my days aren’t perfect and my schedule does change with the seasons, I have achieved a level of balance that has made me feel whole again!
Please share any tips you have when it comes to work life balance in the comments below!
Disclaimer: I write from the heart. Typos and grammar errors may be present. AKA, I dislike proofreading 😉 To learn more about me, visit my INTRO POST or follow me on Instagram at @mommingwithmimosas!