My husband and I are full-time entrepreneurs. We started our business seven years ago while still working our very demanding careers and raising our four kids. It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice to turn what started out as our passion into the purpose and mission for our thriving business that not only employs the two of us full-time, but two other full-time employees as well as 40 freelance writers for our website. We like to say, we followed our passion that turned into our purpose, and by doing so we are making a profit.
Because of our success, people are always asking me, in particular, how are you able to balance it all and handle raising four kids while pursing your passions as a full-time entrepreneur? (No one ever asks my husband that question…go figure.) And my answer to that question is typically not what they expect. When answering the question, I try not to sugarcoat it. Being an entrepreneur may look glamourous because “I set my own rules, I’m my own boss, and I am living out my dreams.” (Picture me saying that like a reality show housewife…LOL.) But, it takes a tremendous amount of work and sacrifice in order to be able to say those things. And when you add raising kids into that equation and being a wife, then you have to be very intentional about everything that you do so that you don’t negatively impact the very family that you’re working so hard to build a legacy for.
So, here are a few things that I share, when I’m asked how do you balance being a mother and pursuing your passions.
1) There is no such thing as balance. That is the first thing I say. And what I mean by that is balance does not mean equal. I had to come to a realization that everything is not going to be equal between my kids, my marriage and my career. Sometimes, I may have to focus more on one area than the others. And that’s okay.
2) I have to be intentional about everything that I do for my family and business. Yes, we are busy building a business and it takes a lot of time. So when we are spending time with our kids, we make sure that we are present and not distracted or focused on other things. When we get home from our office each day, our kids have our undivided attention until they go to bed. And at least one, if not both of us, are focused on them on the weekends. But we are growing a business. So yes, we are working after 9 pm in the evenings. And we put in hours on the weekend too.
3) All of this takes a certain amount of awareness on my part. So if I find myself working too much and not focusing on the kids, then I take a time-out and spend more time with them. Likewise, I have to do the same for my marriage because I have to make sure that I’m putting in the effort to ensure our relationship is healthy. People are always asking us: “How are you two able to work together?” And one thing I always tell them is that a healthy working relationship starts with a healthy marital relationship.
Following your dreams and being a great parent are not mutually exclusive. Yes, it takes a lot of work and sacrifice to do both, but I can attest that the benefits to you personally as an individual who has your own personal goals and passions and the benefits to your family, far exceed any work that you have to put in.