by Candace Negm
Source: Island Parent Magazine
Originally Published: June 2019
I can say with certainty that mompreneurs have all experienced, at different times in our lives, the feeling of being overstretched, out of balance and moving on autopilot from one responsibility to the next. It can be overwhelming to feel that we may be living on the sidelines of our own lives without true joy and sometimes even wishing away time. Wishing for the next stage or the easier stage in life. Wishing for our babies to sleep through the night, the laundry to already be folded, wishing for our business to require less hands-on time. Wishing for there to be more hours in a day.
All of that unhelpful wishful thinking is a huge time suck and can feel exhausting. Having been on both ends of the balancing teeter totter I can say with confidence that feeling balanced is significantly better to the alternative. I have found that strategizing and planning for personal and professional balance is something I consider as part of my mompreneur job description. If I’m not balanced, my family and my business are negatively impacted.
Balance is a personal achievement and an intentional practice. Accepting that busy periods in our lives ebb and flow is central to knowing how to approach the daily mompreneur hustle. Balance doesn’t come simply or without challenges and it isn’t a reliable given. Finding equilibrium within the dynamics of work, family and friendships is entirely interdependent on personal resources such as: available time, a partner’s support, reliable childcare, finances, personal and family health, emotional well-being, inclination and proclivity. Naturally having all of these personal resources available during goal setting makes sustainable balance more likely to attain. That said, commonly one or more of these resources will be missing or unavailable. I believe that with clear goal setting, balance, at least on some level, is still achievable. Saying ‘yes’ to the important prospects or responsibilities and ‘no’ to the ambitions that are easier to let go of, will make finding balance exponentially more attainable.
When asked for advice on how to achieve balance, local mompreneur, Chantelle Bowden of Wild & Free Organics says to own your time and strip away the mom guilt that can happen when you work. For Bowden, it’s important to understand that her work is important and to allow distance between her home life and business so she is able to feel fully invested in the present moment—whether it be time with her family or time spent on her business.
I also appreciate the distinction between family time and work time. When it comes to creating balance and determining my priorities, I use personal goal setting. The questions that I ask myself are: Does saying yes to this task accomplish a direct goal? Does it fit with my ethical value system? Does it impact my family favourably? In answering these questions I feel better able to focus on the goal, and feel energized about the work I’m doing. Life is busy and managing family commitments and business responsibilities takes intentional work and planning.
Goal Setting can be as simple or extravagant as you choose. My goal setting consists of writing simple and manageable checklists. I write lists to prioritize my commitments and responsibilities and find it very fulfilling to cross them off as I accomplish the goals. I also set three monthly goals that guide my value system. For example, this month my top three personal goals are to streamline my website, make personal time for self care, and be in the moment and present for my children during family time. If checklists are not something that fit for your goal setting, another resource I have used is the Get To Work Book from organization expert and mompreneur Elise Joy, of the Elise Gets Crafty podcast and elisejoy.com.
Regardless of what system you use, find one that works for you and feels authentic. Consistency and time management are integral pieces of the balance puzzle. In the words of The Fringe Hours author and goal setting expert, Jessica N. Turner, “Give yourself permission to be you. You are not a robot without feelings. Life impacts you. Giving yourself permission to be your truest self, to pursue your career and to miss things from time to time provides freedom from the shoudas, couldas, and wouldas.”
Candace Negm is a mother of two who finds passion and purpose in supporting Canadian entrepreneurs and curating the slow fashion movement at her boutique in Fernwood square, Thistle and Wren.
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