One hundred years ago, family was a woman’s career. She got the job from the moment she said “I do.” Her duties were many, ranging from cooking and cleaning to crafting and child rearing. Her payments came in the form of “Thank you’s” and “Wow, this tastes delicious!” And her promotions often meant a new addition to the family.
Now that family and career exist as two separate entities, it’s a daily struggle for many women to give enough attention to each. Your spouse and children deserve the best of you, not what’s left of you after a long day at the office. Yet those long days you spend at your desk building your business from the ground up are putting food on the table and giving your family the quality of life they deserve.
Work/life zen isn’t impossible, but achieving it can sometimes feel like a job in itself. Instead, think of it as an essential new skill that will help you succeed as both a supermom and career wonder woman. Your training starts now:
Earn the support from your family
Behind every great entrepreneur (or mompreneur) is a strong network of support that helps her achieve what she’s capable of. Your spouse and children’s support of your career can ultimately decide your career success.
Whether you’re starting your own business venture or putting in extra hours for a promotion, it’s important to include your family in your personal career goals. Let your children know why you work, and show them the fruits of your labors. When you visit the zoo or enjoy a trip to the ice cream shop, tell your children you’re able to do these things because of your job. Show your spouse how you both benefit from your efforts.
With understanding comes support, and that support will carry you to your career finish line.
Master the art of scheduling
It sounds logical to focus on work while you’re at work and home life while you’re at home. But business doesn’t end when you walk out of the office, nor will your family cease to need you until you walk through your front door. Even the most focused career women find themselves taking care of family matters during business hours or responding to client emails over dinner.
There’s a time and place for business and family, and the two shouldn’t often overlap. To divide and conquer the battle for attention, practice these quick tips daily to dominate the art of scheduling:
- Determine the number of hours to devote to work and family each day. If work interferes with family time, make it a point to make up that time, and vice versa.
- Take personal time for yourself, even if it’s a quick lunch at your favorite cafe laptop-free. Balancing work and family can leave little or no time for the things you enjoy. Remember: before you were a mom, before you had a career, you were you.
- During business hours, set small goals throughout the day to help you maximize your time.
- Don’t bring your family business to work. However, you should keep a little piece of your family nearby, such as a photo or special memento, to inspire you throughout the workday and remind you why you’re working so hard.
- While at home, allow yourself to check your phone or email once (twice max), ideally after your children go to bed. There can be exceptions in special circumstances, but make sure your norm is kept to a minimum.
- Don’t bring your work problems home. However, do feel obliged to share your success stories.
Set your sights on long term goals
Think about the projects and tasks you accept in your job. If you can determine that any of those are not helping you achieve your goals, drop them. This helps free up your time to work on only those things that are meaningful to your career.
The same thought process can be applied to your family life, though it’s a bit more complicated. Begin by asking yourself what do you want for your family:
- Do you want your children to go to college?
- Do you want your family to develop healthier eating habits?
- Do you want to travel to another country for a week each year?
Whatever your family goals, incorporate them into your daily lives. Focusing on your family’s real needs (not just quality time) while you’re away from work can help you develop stronger bonds and show you’re as dedicated to their success as you are to your own.
Just because you have a family doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your own dreams to help them achieve theirs. However, you can’t spend all your time building a name for yourself that you don’t make time for the people you’re working for. Work/life balance doesn’t come naturally, but with daily practice you can have your cake and eat it, too – 100% guilt-free.
Author: Alli Hill is a content writer for NoStop Content with experience in SEO, marketing, and social media. A longtime daydreamer, wordsmith, and creative, Alli thrives on good books, Pinterest, fresh stationary, and plenty of caffeine. Originally from South Carolina, she now resides in Georgia with her husband, two children, and golden retriever.