I’m in several groups on LinkedIn, one of my recent absolute favorites is the Citi Sponsored Connect: Professional Women’s Network. In this group there are daily honest, encouraging, and helpful stories and discussions. Most recently I answered a question that I wanted to share. I’ll post the actual question posted by a fellow group member and my response below.
“I’m curious to hear from women of all backgrounds and cultures on how they have managed to balance their lives between work, family, play and sanity?! What were the top three things you all did to walk that fine line? Comments, suggestions, moans… all welcome!”
My response: “This is seemingly an age old question commonly asked time and time again. It appears that there is either no “best” answer or there are a multitude of answers. Its the same very question I ask myself and other “Mompreneurs” in my networks whether once an entrepreneur or considering. Balance is a tricky thing for any women with a family PERIOD. Whether you are the CEO of your home as a stay at home mom or walking the tight rope as dual CEO (or employee) to a company as well. The beauty and horror is the BALANCE. Its a beautiful struggle of sorts that adds variety to our lives (you know the “spice of life”) and has us pulling our hair out during those long nights.
I recall bouncing my daughter on my knee to get her to go to sleep at night while reading her a bedtime story and as soon as her little eyes closed I would begin working on various projects for my business (research) or for clients until the cracking of dawn. Given, at the time I was living with my mom (God bless her) who believed in me, sometimes a help and other times an encourager teaching me that moms have to make sacrifices, but I digress. Most nights I got just enough sleep to be able to get up and do breakfast and prepare for the day as a stay at home mom attempting my own consulting biz with humble beginnings.
Things did get easier as my daughter now 6 reached school age, in that example she was only 3 and very demanding of mommy’s time and attention. Throw in the mix of life, marriage, trials and triumphs and you ask yourself balance “who” balance “what”??? You just do what you can, while you can, for as long as you can, until you CAN’T any longer! All while hoping and praying you can hold it all down and no one, project, chore, or responsibility is neglected.
As I am now revamping that same business I let go of just a year ago for many reasons, I am again asking myself this question. I know the answer is different for everyone. The answer also varies for every period in a woman’s life. I’d say just start where you are, understand you can’t do everything, get some women in your circle that understand and if nothing else can listen to your rants and cries (because yes there will be tears) and work hard at making your dreams come true while prioritizing your family life. This time around as I do in my home life I’ll be keeping as tight a schedule as I can, rotating routines, using every resource I have, and moving at MY pace not the trend. I’m also trying to surround myself with like-minded women in Chicago (where I live) and surrounding areas that understand the blood, sweat, and tears of Mompreneurship in the new group I started on LinkedIn (for right now) called “Mompreneurs Chicago”. I hate shameless plugs but I’d love to continue the conversation here and for those in my area there as well. I hope 2013 is kind to all your families and endeavors!”
If YOU are on LinkedIN please connect via my new Group “Mompreneurs Chicago” its my desire to connect with like-minded Mompreneurs in Chicago and everywhere to use our trials and triumphs to uplift and encourage.