3 Things I've Learned While Balancing Business and Motherhood
Just when I think I've struck a decent rhythm with the mom/business owner balance, I get knocked back down by some unexpected curveball. The most recent one came this morning as I was getting close to leaving for work. I was downstairs making breakfast and goofing around with my daughter (2 yrs) for most of the morning. When I began to gather my things, slip on my shoes, etc. she suddenly blurted out the words, "mommy no work".
MAN - that got me. I've dealt with "mom guilt" off and on since becoming a mom two years ago, but this was a different feeling. I didn't feel a sense of remorse, obligation, shame or anything like that in the moment - just a strong desire to to drop everything and be with my daughter.
We played and cuddled and hung out for a little while longer, and then I left. As a disclaimer, I have to say that June LOVES her babysitter. Most mornings, she is more than happy to say goodbye to me the minute she arrives. But nevertheless, those words kept echoing in my thoughts until I finally got home that evening and squeezed my little girl once again.
This is one example of the sorts of emotionally tough situations that sometimes come with being a #momboss. I'm passionate about the work I'm doing for so many reasons and feel that being in this position truly is the best thing for our family. That doesn't mean it's been easy or that I'm not making LOADS of mistakes all of the time (I definitely am) but I'm doing my best to learn from every experience, trial and difficulty that comes my way.
Here are three big things I've learned while balancing motherhood and a business.
SCHEDULE UNINTERRUPTED TIME AWAY WITH FAMILY.
As a business owner and new mom, finding balance on a daily basis has been a huge struggle. No day is the same, and the challenges that come with growing a company and leading a large team sometimes take away from quality time with my family.
In order to truly escape from these challenges and live in the moment, it’s been necessary for us to schedule time away as often as possible. This allows us to unplug and truly enjoy one another, something that we can’t always do when we’re home. (Did I mention that my husband owns two businesses? Another reason why time away is so important to us!)
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL.
Health, wellness, sleep, exercise, etc. are hugely important to me. But for the past two years since my daughter was born, I haven’t done a great job of getting 8 hours of sleep per night or exercising regularly like I usually did in the past.
Instead of guilting myself about it, I’ve decided to care for myself in ways that are easier for me to control at this point in my life. I stay away from processed foods 100% of the time. I use non-toxic cleaning products in our home. I take supplements that support my health in various ways. I go on walks with my daughter. I take baths with epsom salt and organic essential oils a few times a week.
I do what I can and I don’t stress about all of the things I’m doing wrong, because I know life won’t be this way forever. There will come a time when I’ll be able to sleep longer, exercise more and do all of the other things I haven’t been doing lately. But until then, I’m making the best of my current circumstances.
DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT GETTING HELP.
For the first several months of my daughter’s life, I was convinced that I could be a “stay at home” mom and run a business at the same time. I was able to take a month almost completely off after June was born, and then started taking her into work with me when she was about 6 weeks old.
This worked out fine in the beginning because she slept so dang much! But at about 3 months, I was struggling big time. I felt torn constantly. When I was with my daughter, I felt guilty for not being at work, getting things done and supporting my team. When I was working, I felt guilty for not being with my baby.
This struggle continued until my daughter was about 6 months old. At that point, I decided to spend 3 full days at work while my mother-in-law watched June (and not feel guilty about it). This allowed me to fully focus on work when I was at work, and focus 100% of my attention on my daughter when we were together.
Now that June is two, I’m spending an increased amount of time away from her at work - and most days I'm okay with that. I wish I would have known sooner that it’s alright to make decisions like these based on what works best for you and your family, even if it’s different from what other moms are doing! I’ll never be the perfect mother or business owner, but I'm doing the best I can. We all are, #momboss or not. And that's all that I, or you, or anyone can ask of ourselves.