The number one thing I wanted when I was simultaneously growing a business and a baby was balance.
I wanted to have it all.
I wanted to be the best, most present stay-at-home mama to nurture my brand new baby AND I wanted to continue growing in my career.
The problem was, I had no idea what that actually looked like or how to make it happen.
This is probably because if you ask ten different people what work-life balance is, you will get ten different answers including “work-life balance means having it all” and “work-life balance doesn’t exist”. Even if you narrow your pool down to the niche group of entrepreneur moms that roll in the same circles as me, you would likely get a handful of different answers.
I have the answer to what “having it all” means. And it involves pie.
Your life is like a pie. Each slice of the pie is a different part of your life – kids, marriage, family, business, hobbies, fitness, friends, etc – but there is a finite amount of the pie every day. You get to determine how big or small to cut each slice every single day.
Having it all, and achieving that prized balance, is all about being okay (satisfied…happy even!) with the size of each pie piece at any given point in time.
For the first year of my daughter’s life, I focused my time, energy, and attention on her and on my business. I didn’t want to send her to daycare AND my business was at a growth point so I focused on serving my clients and making sure my baby was well taken care of.
That meant that my pie had two giant slices (baby and business) and everything else got crammed into the remaining sliver. My health and fitness were put on the back burner and I didn’t make my friends or hobbies or marriage a top priority because all of my human energy was spent on clients and the baby. There was only so much of me to go around and I made the conscious choice to give that energy primarily to my business and my daughter.
While it worked for me during that season, it wasn’t sustainable and I knew it.
So I made a shift.
I’ve added several talented women to my team to help shoulder the client load and my precious newborn has grown into an active toddler who goes to gym class and preschool and doesn’t need me to snuggle her 24/7 (I wish!) so those pieces of the pie have gotten smaller.
As a result, I’ve had room to grow other important parts of my life while still feeling like I have balance. My husband and I have had more time and energy to focus on our marriage by going on date nights and even getting away for a weekend, I have regular girls’ nights with my friends, and I’ve regained all the fitness I lost during pregnancy by making OrangeTheory classes a huge priority.
Oh, and I sleep 8 hours a night, every night.
My life isn’t perfect, and I’m often riddled with guilt too. Are my three days in the office enough for my clients, my business, and my team? Does my daughter get enough quality time with me? Should my husband and I be doing more date nights?
But when I look at the big picture, I believe I have achieved my ideal balance for this season.
Practically speaking, the most important thing I’ve done for my sanity, inner peace, and leadership ability is to establish a morning and afternoon routine. Our days often start with a whirlwind of activity and before we know it, we’re closing the laptop completely exhausted and ready to drown the stress of the day in a big bowl of pasta. Or maybe that’s just me?
Earlier this year I established a solid morning routine and by starting my day calmly, in the same way, each day, I am more focused and joyful and have less anxiety, especially around balancing work and family.
Similarly, by closing out my day with a similar routine, I leave my (home) office feeling accomplished, calm, and ready to take on the next day with peace and ease.
- I get up at the same time each day, early, and before my daughter (Why early? Check this out.)
- I spend at least ten minutes quietly journaling, reading, or meditating
- I don’t touch my phone or computer until I’m done (most of the time!)
- I plan tomorrow’s priorities and ensure they’re aligned with my big picture goals
- I update my to-do list accordingly, then cross at least one thing off
- I clean off my desk. Remove empty cups, stray post-its, and put everything in its place
As busy leaders changing the world and mamas raising our kiddos, we think we don’t have time for luxurious self-care but all it takes is a few intentional actions each day to bring us closer to balance.
- Are you on the list? In our next email, I’m sharing the number one thing I did to build my business and achieve this balance. You can’t miss this one. (Click here to make sure you don’t!)
- Want to hear the story live? I shared tons more in several recent guest podcast episodes. Check them out!
- The 3 Day Workweek Podcast with Cailen Ascher
- The 6 Figure Mompreneur Podcast
- The Inspired Entrepreneur
- TL;DR? I’m launching something awesome, starting early August 2019. Find out everything here!