As a woman who has had a career, and worked as an entrepreneur, I have learned a little about this elusive and much sought unicorn… Balance.
Balancing your life as a Mother, Worker, Wife, and You. Can it really be done?
This really depends on your definition of balance.
1 – What are your priorities and dreams?
Be clear with yourself about your expectations. Be realistic.
2 – What are your daily routines and where is time wasted?
Look over what you do daily, and write this down. Then assess where you are wasting time.
3 – What are the options available for you to change?
If you work in an office, is there an option to work from home, and would you have the space to do this? If you do, what do you need to do to make this apply to you.
More employers than ever today have these arrangements as it saves them the cost of office space, and they can monitor your work through your computer.
4 – What is the financial impact of these changes?
Are you looking to add work, or to reduce? What compromise, investment, or adjustments may you need to make to accomplish these changes?
Reality Vs. Balance
As a young woman I had dreams and goals. To be a Mom, and balance work, in some capacity.
Most work arrangements are full or part time. And the income you earn helps to maintain the lifestyle and routines that you have as a person, or family.
When you do not have kids, it can still be a struggle to balance your life with a full-time job. You may want to travel, or spend time on a passion or hobby.
You may also wish to pursue personal improvement or schooling to improve your work options.
Now, add a family (kids, husband, or kids & husband) into the mix, and things start to become more complicated.
As a woman, this adds a lot of stress into our lives. We constantly try to be Superwoman. To get the chores done at home (with or without help), make sure our kids are well fed and homework is completed, work our 9 – 5 jobs, and now try to give our kids what we may not have had. This may include sports, arts, or other tools to help them be better rounded for their future opportunities. The result is that our heads hit the pillow and we fall to sleep already stressing about tomorrow.
If our decision is to be a stay at home mom, we still have many pressures. In some cases this will mean some compromise on activities which carry a cost, or are considered luxury items.
Finding My Balance
As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to be a Mom, and to work, and I wanted this illusive balance.
After University I took a full time job in banking. This was an office job from 8:15 – 5pm. It was about 40 minutes from my home by car. Had I used public transit, it would have been much longer.
When we had our first daughter, I knew within a few weeks that I was not made to stay at home full time. That I needed to exercise my brain in a way that I loved for 4 – 6 hours per day, and that I was a much happier person when I did this.
So, my definition of balance was to find a way to be able to work with a more flexible schedule.
I took a risk on a new commission based role in my company, but which required me to find new outside clients. I had no idea how much I would make, but knew that I could control my own schedule. I worried that my income would be less than my salary had been, and my boss discouraged me.
Within the first year I made 4 times my annual base salary from my previous position. Working 4 – 6 hours during the day, and 2 – 3 hours at night (after my daughter went to sleep). Suddenly I could do what I loved on my terms. Spending time with my daughter, and not feeling guilty about leaving her in daycare for short days. I even registered for painting classes once a week and joined a gym. Something I could not have done if I was working in my prior position. And proving my old boss wrong.
This worked great for the next 7 years, and we added two more daughters, yes, I have 3.
In the spring of 2007 my husband was hospitalized for 7 months. Our balance was suddenly off again.
My role was also changing, and now certain expectations, the market, the pressure of being the only financial support, while managing 3 kids and a chronic illness in our house, was devastating to me.
Slowly my husband improved, and eventually was able to do something new from home, but I was still the primary in the house for everything.
How do you balance that?
And when I lost my passion for my work due to the changes, and pressures, how do you risk making a change?
In Aug. of 2014 our lives changed for the better. My husband started to get better, and this eased the pressure a lot.
In Jan. 2015 we decided to start working a Home Based Business with the company which had created the products that changed our lives. So, we added more work. You would think that this would up the pressure, but it didn’t.
As a banker earning 6 digits, I assessed my options, and seeing what was going on in the marketplace, and with employers, I decided to start to replace my income, and follow my heart and logic.
Within the year I should be able to walk away from the bank, and work my Home Business Full Time. I am not allowing our circumstances to define us, or our destination.
It fits within my balance, and allows me to follow something that I am passionate about. I am taking courses, helping to empower other people to start their own business. Helping people to take charge of their Health and Financial situation. Working the hours I want, and getting an opportunity to work Internationally. Most importantly, I have found me again. I Love it!
Plus I am teaching my children to not live in a box. To not accept. To find solutions and options. To take action and risks.
Balance and You!
Many people seek this same route to find balance. Whether in their employer, or Home Business in – cosmetics, jewelry, weight loss, nutrition, or other opportunities.
Success is not a guarantee in anything that you may pursue. Whether a job or as an entrepreneur.
Your balance is unique to you. You can control whether you will find it or not. There are risks, but life is made for believing in yourself, and living on your terms.