Why Work Life Balance Is A Time Waster For Mompreneurs (and What To Do Instead)
If you are a mom you have most likely come across an article or two about how to achieve more balance and if you are a mompreneur, you have probably most definitely read numerous work-life balance resources and even tried to implement some of the advice. I would also safely venture to guess though that all the tips and resources didn't bring you any closer to feeling like you had mastered the whole "work-life balance" thing.
Am I right?
I figured as much because I have been there myself, striving for this sweet sounding thing called balance while beating myself up that I just can't quite achieve it so here's what I want you to do: throw all the previous advice and the work-life balance concept right out of your mind. Yep, you read that right, I want you to stop trying to balance the many demands that come with being a driven and high performing mompreneur because honestly, it's a waste of your valuable time.
Work-life balance is a huge myth and here's a couple of reasons why:
Balance Is Subjective
By definition work-life balance is defined as "a concept including the proper prioritization between work (career and ambition) and lifestyle (health, pleasure, leisure, family)."
So work-life balance is specific to each person based on their priorities and lifestyle. So what is considered balance for you is going to look a lot different for your friend Tabitha who lives down the street and full time stay at home mom and what is working for Tabitha will look differently for her friend Jennifer who has a thriving career outside the home. What works for you is not going to work for someone else so balance is a "to each their own" concept.
Factors Vary Day To Day
As moms and women with creativity and ambition, it would be ideal to sit down and write out a daily schedule that we could follow consistently but let's be honest and real with ourselves. Our lives as women and moms change not only daily but on the hour depending on our mood, the amount of sleep we get (or don't get), interest level in the work being done, the energy in our environment (is it contributing to our creative space or is it sucking the life out of us) and not to mention the unpredictable variables our children throw into the mix. With illnesses, school functions, sports and life issues that come up, our days can veer off into another direction at any given moment throwing a wrench in our well laid out plan and all of this plays a huge role in how much we can take on day to day. All the apps and tools in the world can't manage unpredictability.
Are you starting to feel a shift in how you view the whole work-life balance thing? I hope so because it's less about trying to find balance between work and life and more about how you integrate your work into your busy, crazy life as a mompreneuer.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
• Give yourself permission to go with the flow knowing that hiccups are going to happen and when they do, it's not the end of the world. Progress over perfection.
• Quickly check emails while the kids are playing at the park and then unplug to enjoy some play time yourself. It's great for them to see you handle your responsibilities but they need to see that being an adult doesn't mean you don't know how to let loose and have fun too.
• Take one quick call while they are jumping around at an indoor trampoline park working out some of their energy and then be present with them the rest of the time you are there. You can work in some exercise time playing around with them too.
• Drop some packages off at FedEx on your way to take them to a movie or lunch date.
When you stop trying to make your life fit into a rigid schedule (this is my work time and this is my family time), it makes life much easier for you and them and you will find that you are actually able to spend quality time doing both.
As moms who love what they do and never feel like they are working, it's important to feel like these two halves of yourself can co-exist. It's about knowing that you don't have to sacrifice peace for progress.
I hope this blog post has inspired you to view your journey differently and to stop trying to kill yourself to find balance between your life and your work. With everything that you have going on in your life, you don't need that kind of added pressure.
What are your thoughts on work-life balance? Come join the conversation on my Facebook fan page! Would love to hear from you!
Kendra Dahlstrom is a mom of two, author, keynote speaker, organizational leadership expert and business strategist coach for driven female entrepreneurs who helps clients transform from ordinary to extraordinary by unearthing their natural-born leadership so they can live to their full potential in life and at work, all while scaling their business and balancing their lives so faith and family can come first. She is also the founder and CEO of Aspire to Be International, a global platform for female entrepreneurs to connect, share, learn and grow.