TODAY, IN 3 MINUTES OR LESS, YOU’LL LEARN:
- How planning for the unpredictable can radically reduce your stress.
- Why it’s essential to zero in on the tasks that drive progress.
- Why I’ve moved away from chasing work/life balance, and the powerful mindset I’ve adopted instead.
Before I had my daughter, I had a vision in my head of what it would look and feel like to be both a mama and a business owner.
But the reality? Well, let’s just say it was very different to how I imagined!
Figuring out how to navigate the dance between motherhood and business has been a steep learning curve.
While I certainly don’t have all the answers, I’ve gathered some powerful lessons along the way that have been hugely transformative for me and have ultimately helped me become both a better entrepreneur AND a better mama.
Here are 7 things I’ve learned…
1. Your work output might change — and that’s okay!
A few months after I came back from maternity leave, I started beating myself up for not getting as much done as I used to — even though I was only working 4 hours a day, not the 8 hours I used to work!
Although I knew, on an intellectual level, that it was perfectly natural for my work output to decrease, I had to accept and integrate that knowledge on a somatic level.
Once I did, everything felt so much easier and more joy-filled.
Hot tip: Your self worth is *not* dependent on your productivity or your work output.
2. Your business vision might shift.
Motherhood changed my perspective on so many things — including my vision for my business.
Some of the biz goals that had once felt super important to me now felt entirely NOT.
Meanwhile, things that I’d previously overlooked suddenly grew in importance.
The big takeaway?
Allow your identity as an entrepreneur to evolve and shift as you go through different life seasons — and allow your business to reflect those shifts.
3. You cannot do everything yourself.
I honestly don’t know how I would have survived these past two years of business without my team around me.
So if you’re used to wearing all the hats in your biz, now is the time to start delegating.
Not sure where to start?
Ask yourself: What tasks aren’t in your zone of genius? What activities could someone else do faster or better than you? What do I not love doing? Your answers will reveal the ideal place to start delegating.
4. Make space for the unpredictable.
The truth about life as a mama is that sometimes things happen that are outside your control — maybe your kid gets the flu, or they stop sleeping in the day, or your childcare unexpectedly falls through.
If you’re running on tight timeframes in your biz, these unexpected events can be incredibly stressful.
To sidestep this trap, I build in extra buffer-time to my business timeframes, as a way to ‘plan’ for the unpredictable.
I’ve also accepted that although I’ll always do my best, there are going to be instances where I can’t meet deadlines and I may disappoint others because my daughter needs me.
Instead of beating myself up in those times, I focus on how grateful I am that I have the option to drop everything for my child if she needs me.
Not everyone has that privilege, and I’m immensely grateful that I do.
5. Prioritize like a pro.
With just a few hours to work each day, I’ve learned that it’s essential to pinpoint which tasks truly matter and which ones don’t.
By zeroing in on activities that truly drive progress (aka the needle movers), I ensure that every minute counts and I’m continually moving my business forward.
6. Embrace flexibility.
I used to have some pretty clear preferences about how I liked to work — for example, I liked to have long, uninterrupted stretches of time to write, and I pretty much only ever worked from my home office.
These days, I’ve gotten good at working in whatever time and space is available to me.
If my daughter is sleeping in the car or the pram, I’m happy to whip out my phone, do as much work as I can from my phone, and tick off a bunch of tasks.
7. The perfect ‘work/life balance’ doesn’t exist.
The final lesson — and it’s a biggie!
For me, the concept of ‘balance’ isn’t overly helpful.
The truth is, sometimes your child will need 100% of your love and attention. Other times, your business will demand an outsized proportion of your energy.
Is that bad? Should we be made to feel like we’re “failing” because one part of our life needs us more than the other at that moment? Of course not!
Instead of worrying about whether I’m giving equal parts of myself to both spheres of my life, I find it more helpful to aim to be fully present with whichever part of my life I’m currently focused on.
So if I’m with my daughter, I’m all in. Likewise, if I’m working, I’m laser focused on my business.
I’ve found that it’s when I’m trying to do BOTH things at once that the wheels fall off and I end up doing a crappy job.
But when I aim for presence, I’m able to bring the best of myself to both my life *and* my work.
The Big Picture
Navigating motherhood and business isn’t about perfection or fitting into preconceived notions of what “balance” looks like.
It’s a dance — fluid, dynamic and ever-changing.
Some days it will feel like a waltz, some days a cha-cha, and others wild jive. But whatever steps you’re doing, it’s the sweetest dance of your life.
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Til next time, sending so much love,