with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
I recently co-wrote a post for CarolRoth.com with Danielle Smith, my co-author (of the book Mom, Incorporated) and an accomplished vlogger and video correspondent who, like me, runs a business from home. We expounded on our premise that “balance is a myth” and that what we really do as moms and businesswomen is juggle.
We’re trying to eliminate the pressure we all put on ourselves of “finding balance.” We want to remove it from our vocabularies because with everything on our plates that we want on our plates and in our lives, it simply does not add up to balance. It can’t.
As we said in the piece:
Rare is the individual who can say “I give 50% of my time and attention to my company and the other 50% to my family.” It just doesn’t happen in the real world for most of us. Instead, our days often consist of 85% work and 15% personal life if we’re working outside of the home. And that 15% is further divided between family time and actual “me-based” interests.
Our thinking is that we set the bar way too high around “balance” - or listen to society’s bar setting - and then feel guilty or inadequate when we don’t attain that nirvana of mommydom and businesshood. We need to break ourselves out of the constant striving to be everything to everyone at once. And we have to stop giving lip service to the idea of making sure we take care of ourselves and making our self-care a part of the equation of our daily lives.
If we learn how to allot our time, shift focus, and then maintain that singular focus so we can excel at what we’re doing, we’ll get closer to getting things right and not feeling like we’re doing something wrong. This isn’t easy. I know for myself, shifting gears from client/business mode to mommy mode is a stretch and a struggle. I’m still far more comfortable in my working woman skin than my mom role.
I can’t say I’m practicing what I preach either, at least not consistently. It is a day-to-day effort, and as you know, each day inevitably brings something new and unexpected. Another thing to juggle. And at some point, like any juggler, you have to put something down. If not, you’ll drop something and that crash is far more upsetting than just saying “no” or putting something aside so you can devote your time and attention to something else.
There is no right or wrong in terms of how much work or how much play or how much family time or how much self time you juggle. Only you and those close to you can say what works. When it doesn’t work, someone will feel the pain. To complicate matters, the juggle is continuously changing: what you juggle, how you juggle it, who is happy with the current juggle. So be it.
There will even be times when you just can’t juggle any more. Try not to reach that breaking point. Give yourself some breathing room. You’ll have more energy and even time once the juggle starts up again.
How do you manage your juggle?
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