Celebrating Motherhood in Business
The first part of our 4 part Celebrating Motherhood in Business series addresses one of the most crucial challenge that working-moms face: balancing their time and resources. If you haven't already met our 5 leading ladies, check out their introduction piece on the blog here. We asked these successful business-moms just how they do it (because they seriously do it all), and we compiled their best tips and tricks right here for you on A Savvy Lifestyle.
Balancing time between your business and time with your family can be one of the hardest parts of being a mom-trepreneur. What tips do you have for other moms trying to find that mom-life and work-life balance?
Well, my kids are both in High School now so I definitely have it easier than moms with younger children….it’s just a different kind of busy as the kids get older. The most important thing I try to do is get all of the extra curricular activities on the calendar as soon as possible. They are both in sports and volunteer programs, and I would hate to miss any of their games or events, so I get those things on the calendar asap, and I schedule work events around my kids' schedules. I also try not to leave for work in the morning until they leave for school. Of course for some many years I drove and picked them up (that was always a must for me) but now their high school is right down the street so they are able to walk. I love that brief amount of time in the morning that I am able to ask what they have going on during that day at school, are they prepared for everything…what’s the plan after school, all that kind of stuff. We all have such busy lives, I like to feel like we at least know where we all are and what we are all doing on any given day. I also really try to be home by 6pm everyday. They are usually still doing their homework, but it gives me time to make dinner and have everything ready when they are done so that we can eat together as a family and catch up on the day. This is my favorite…it is time that we can never get back. My kids know how busy I am and that I work a ton, but I hope in the future they remember the little things like eating together every night as a family. It may sound silly, but I talk to so many people who don’t do this, so I definitely made it a priority. And then I can get back to emails in the evening….thankfully there is so much that can be done in the comfort of pajamas with my laptop on my lap :)
I can’t agree more! I have found that keeping boss time and mom time completely separate is the only way to go for my family. When I try to get business done while with my littles, I end up feeling like both suffer which doesn’t make anyone feel good! It’s not always possible to keep these two completely separate, but I structure my schedule and childcare to allow for some separation so that I am either giving 100% to my business or 100% to my kids.
Every day is a new challenge. The key thing that allows me to balance both is to have great help. I have a wonderful nanny, a very supportive and hands-on husband and a great staff at the office. I also do my best to keep my focus on wherever I am. If I'm working, I try to be fully present and attentive to my staff, clients, inbox, etc. When I'm at home, the laptop and iphone get put away and I spend that time dedicated to my kids. It's not always perfect, so it's also important to recognize you can't do it all.
1. Avoid the guilt. As a mother, I have felt guilty I am not spending enough time with my kids. As a boss/business owner, I have felt guilty that I am not spending as much time with work as I “should” be or used to do. When you choose to have children, life changes, processes change, your journey changes. I learned to removed the guilt and change my own expectations of myself, and set realistic ones that make sense for me, my family and my team.
2. Be Present. From the beginning, I found out quickly I couldn’t wear both hats at the same time successfully. Half-assing my way through two separate roles as a mother and business owner was making me miserable. My advice that works for me, if you decide to work until 3 pm, to then pick up your kids from school, do just that. Try to stay off email, phone calls, and focus on your children. And it works the same in reverse. The more focused you are at work to get the job done (without kid distractions in the background), you will feel more accomplished.
3. Know your limits. We all have them. Lets be honest, the struggle (and juggle) is real! And don’t be afraid to ask for help!
4. Keep consistent mindfulness. Meditation, yoga, spending 10 minutes in silence, or petting your dog……. whatever mindfulness is for you, these are key moments for me each day.
I always make sure to schedule time for my kids and my family. Because of technology it is all too easy to take my work home with me, so I create strict business hours for myself and my clients. Only taking after hour meetings or calls with clients once a week, and trying to put my work aside until my girls are in bed at night are a couple of ways that I accomplish that work and mom-life balance. Now that my daughters are in school and after-school activities or sports, I also make sure that either I or my husband are able to be at all games, performances, and events so that the girls feel supported by us no matter what!
Balancing time as a mom and business owner is a huge challenge, but these ladies have taken it by storm. We would love to hear how YOU ensure you have a mom-life and work-life balance! Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned for three ore parts of Celebrating Motherhood in Business!