Is work/life balance a lie?
Building a business and raising young kids at the same time isn’t easy. It’s kind of ironic that I started my business as a way to make money from home while taking care of the kids and sometimes those two things seem to sabotage each other. To be honest, sometimes it is a mess.
What I’m discovering in my own life and with my clients is this: the balance is more of a cumulative effect, NOT a daily thing. Some days I am in my office all day seeing huge growth and progress in my business. Some days are all about the family and I don’t even check my email. Some days are magical unicorn days where I block my time super effectively and am fully present for the family part of the day and kicking ass in the business the other part of the day.
This is totally ok.
Intentionally schedule no-phone time to be present with your family.
Intentionally schedule business focus time regardless of if you have clients, or feel discouraged.
And don’t beat yourself up over the fact that it doesn’t always feel really balanced.
Here are a few secrets to how I keep it all together:
A supportive partner. This can take a lot of forms – for me it is a husband who picks up the slack around the house and is my cheerleader. It could also be a business partner with a complimentary skill, enlisting help from grandparents, having a neighbor you split childcare or meal prep with, and more. Get creative.
Paying for household help. For me, this is a babysitter and preschool, hiring a virtual assistant to handle a few duties that take me too much time, and having my house professionally cleaned twice a month. Another way to tap into this is signing up for a meal subscription or delivery service, or even having groceries delivered. These all might seem frivolous, but if it frees up an extra hour to connect with your family or focus on income producing activities in your business, it’s worth it.
Paying for help in your business. I have hired a virtual assistant to handle some duties that take me way too long. Trust me, hire someone before you feel ready. Mine just works a few hours a month, mostly because she is way faster at these tasks than I would be and she is a genius! It’s also really helpful to have other eyes on the inner workings of your business for motivation, ideas, and accountability.
Schedule it out. Ew, I hated the idea of this one so much because I’m a free spirit. I like to do what I want – that’s why I started my own business! I don’t want to report to someone or something else! But when I actually tried planning my day – really simply, a lot of it is just blocks of time and I write a few tasks in there – it transformed my work/life mess. I felt like I could really get a lot done during the work blocks, and like my family blocks were more fun and I was more mentally present.
Singing “Let It Go!!” at the top of your lungs. Every mom’s favorite song, right? But it’s pretty much become a mantra for me because there are so many things we expect of ourselves that aren’t necessary. Focus on what is most important and let the rest go. Let.It.Go.