Before you had children, if you were lucky enough to be in business, you would work the huge hours that a business requires. Juggling staff, accounting, marketing – all the functions of a business owner. Networking events, breakfast events, dinners, Friday night drinks. Doing what convention tells us to do to grow a business.
Then you had a baby or babies and the way that you have always been a business owner had to change.
Maybe before you had a business, you had a baby. You gave your baby everything. Tummy time, day sleeps in a quiet house. Be responsive to their every needs. Do all the development things you are supposed to. Breastfeed, cuddles, tummy time. Doing everything the ‘experts’ tell you is needed of a newborn, baby and toddler.
Then you chose to start a business and the way that you had always mothered had to change.
Most people are in business for freedom and flexibility. Mums, and Dads, who are also business owners are especially looking for this, so that they can also be present in their babies lives.
At the point When Business Meets Baby, if not managed carefully, can see you step straight into a pressure cooker of conflicting demands. The feeling that you are not giving enough to your business nor your baby and you are feeling overwhelmed.
Instead of your business providing freedom and flexibility it starts to feel like it is taking more and more time from your children. You miss milestones. You use TV as a babysitter so that you can get some work done. You then start to feel guilty. You start to get angry at your business and your children – mostly you get angry at yourself.
You find that you are giving to your business and taking from your children. You need balance.
Here are some tips to ensure that you work towards balance in your business, life and self:
- Understand your ‘why’ in business. From this you will gain daily motivation and be able to prioritise
- Schedule your time – schedule everything – business commitments, family needs – everything!
- Separate business and family time. Give yourself dedicated work time where your children are looked after. Be present with your family when you are with them.
- If you are feeling stress in your business and guilty that you are not spending time with your children – ask if the business demands are short term or do you need to get assistance in the business?
- Take time for yourself to do something you enjoy. Regularly.
There is no rule that says that you have to always be growing a business, in fact you always have a choice to grow it or simply maintain it – doing what you can in the time that is available to you. Time with your children is fleeting, the changes happen hourly and daily. You will never get that time back. You can pause or slow your business and then pick it up again. You simply need to make smart decisions that are the best for you and your family.
You are not alone in your desire to have a successful business and happy children. Many many other women have achieved balance in their business, life and self. They have made the hard decisions, Made sacrifices and most importantly they have understood why they are in business and put their children first. You can too.
About Your Guest Blogger: Rachel Allan has been a business owner for 12 years, and a mum for 5½ years. On her business-and-baby journey she has learned a lot about life, business and herself. She shares her discoveries (and the wisdom of other parents and experts) with you in her new book, When Business Meets Baby. Rachel is honoured to be Sophie’s mum, and she is also an author, integrated marketer, entrepreneur and property investor. From 2007 she has shared her journey with her business and life partner Craig. If you would like to discover more about Rachel and the services she offers, visit her at www.rachelallan.com.au