I am constantly asked how I balance both running a business and being a mom. My answer is always, “I don’t.” If I am working on my business, I am ignoring laundry and dinner. If I am being present with my family, I am ignoring texts and business opportunities. It’s never ever balanced. All I can do is create the best blend possible. It isn’t easy to be a mompreneur and there is no one way to do it right. I have come to accept I will never be perfect when it comes to my business and family…and that’s okay!
Take today for example. I woke up, did scripture study and got the kids off to school. I received a text from a friend that needed help and knew immediately that it took vulnerable courage for her to ask me. I checked into my heart and it was a definite “Yes.” I spent 2 hours with her and it was the best place for me to be. I substituted a walk for my workout and showered. I handled a couple of business things and all of a sudden it was 1:15 and today is early release day at school. (Why??? I mean I know teachers need those moments but it seems to come on the most inconvenient day every week!)
Kids coming home meant time for homework, managing chores and feeding the masses. I slipped in a couple of work things but made very little progress because….. “Mooommmmmmmmmmmmmm?” “Can I have more time? Can I use this? What can I eat? Did I tell you what happened at school? What is for dinner?”
Time for driving carpools and getting dinner going.
Dinner isn’t complex – roasted veggies and salmon. I know one kid won’t like it but at least it will be hot and healthy.
Pick up another kid, turn on the oven, do a round of dishes, change the laundry, answer a few quick texts, and then run to Walmart because one child absolutely can’t wait to go and rarely asks for anything. I know he needs to feel seen and time is his love language, so obviously this quick trip to the store has to happen. We come into the house and I put groceries away and believe I have a quick minute to catch up before bath time.
I sit down and try to remember what the heck I was even going to do today. I start replying to messages and getting into a groove. And then the same child I just took to Walmart comes through the room and says, “Surprise! Mom’s working again.”
Excuse me? I may have snapped a tiny bit as I answered, “Do you want to know why I’m working right now? Because my time has needed to go to more important things all day long and this is the first time I have been able to even focus on something that actually matters to me!” He backed off which wasn’t my goal. But it did remind me how the blend of our efforts is a constant challenge. What needs our time and how do we balance building the dream while raising a family?
If you’re like me, the call to do both motherhood and business is ingrained and real. I care about my family and how I show up there. And I know I have big dreams to unfold that constantly drive me to pursue my goals. The truth is, I don’t know how to do it but I rely on these three truths:
I am definitely not going to be able to do it all. Nobody can. Working moms/stay at home moms/mompreneurs…nobody does it all and we don’t need to pretend we do. If today is a business day, Heavenly Father is simply going to have to smooth over the dinner hour when I present toast and leftovers!
If I am on a business trip, I focus on the people I am with. I know my kids are okay and it is better if I focus to get my work done while I am away so I can be present once I get home. I have to constantly claim business hours with my family and family hours with my business. If I treat work hours seriously, I do have the time for family that I value.
I love my business. And I love my family. And yet, if I only do those two things, I end up depleted and burnt out. I can’t afford to fall into burn out so I regularly schedule and prioritize joy! Joy can be anything that lights me up and helps “me” feel like “me!” This can mean yoga, reading a nonsense romance novel, cooking a special recipe, getting a pedicure, going to the movies, meeting someone for lunch, or simply taking a guilt-free nap. It doesn’t matter what I do, as long as I do something to fuels me and creates joy!
I’ve had to accept that I won’t have a perfect balance. Instead, I try to create a great blend of where my time and energy go. I make sure I’m connecting with my kids at critical moments during the day and also take care to listen to promptings that matter. I squeeze in business some days and other days I put my blinders on and really focus on work! It’s never the same and I’m praying it works out in the end. I’m also saving for any therapy my kids may need down the road! Perhaps the biggest lesson is that I recognize I must constantly give myself grace when it comes to creating a life I love.