Do you struggle to keep your family first while you’re trying to grow a new business? You’re not alone! This is a major challenge with busy moms who bravely enter the entrepreneurial and blogging world.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of business it is – a blog, a brick and mortar store, an online shop, a ministry – the struggle’s all the same.
I know that it’s been hands-down one of my biggest challenges since having children. Probably since I’ve been working for myself since I had my first child. It was a bumpy ride trying to learn how to be my own boss and be a new mom at the same time. I was barely getting through the days back then!
I struggled with the tug of war in my heart and mind where the love for my family AND my business fought for my attention… CONSTANTLY. Relate much?
The battle was downright exhausting! And this mindset (left unchecked) can lead a mom with a life-plate that’s already overflowing… barreling straight into to burnout mode.
And that’s something everyone wants us to avoid… especially our family!
Being a mom in today’s world is tough enough, but living in this mental space where you never feel like you never quite measure up in any area is crazy. And that’s exactly where I lived for so many years.
It took me a few years to figure it out. I know… I’m a little slow.
What Does Family First Really Mean?
To keep my family close, I first had to start by making a quality decision – to keep my family in the first place position no matter what. Once I did that, I was able to create simple ways to help me do just that.
But the decision had to come first. And as crazy as it sounds, that decision didn’t just happen. I had to do some work. I first needed to understand what family first even meant.
Does my family always come before my business?
What if there’s an emergency in the business and I’m needed?
Is there a more balanced approach instead of all or nothing?
Placing your family first means to honor both your spouse and children by placing them inside the vision for my business at the creation stage; deciding upfront how I’ll spend quality time, meet their needs, and include them in my process where ever possible. Regardless of the expectations of others. There will always be those!
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Running a family is complicated. You’re not just taking care of people and meeting their physical and emotional needs… you’re also running a home. That means cooking, cleaning, and straightening up a 100 times a day! Um… that last one may be just for toddler moms! 😉
And running a business or blog is complicated too. That’s because when you’re a Mompreneur, your business never closes. Your business will try to stay open 24/7 if you let it… like in your mind while you’re trying to sleep!
So, how do I may it work?
Creating Boundaries is Essential to Having Balance
I have a confession to make, I didn’t necessarily add my family into my business vision at the beginning. I thought I did, but the evidence proved otherwise. And I was running myself ragged.
As a means of survival, I had to set some boundaries and create some rules to live by. This list is what I look to everyday to measure how I’m doing, and remind me when I need to refocus and course correct.
When things get out of whack, and they do, I go right back to this list.
The funny thing is, I thought there was something wrong with me… like I was the only one struggling with this issue. That’s because I didn’t know too many any women who were doing what I was doing.
I felt very isolated. Until I met a ton of fabulous women like me online in my Business and Blogging Facebook groups and I realized that I wasn’t alone. #Winning
And neither are you!
Let me also be super clear on this, it doesn’t matter if you have a successful business that’s been established for years, you’re just in the infancy stage, or your business in still living in your brain. These feelings are legit and affect us all. So, here are the 4 ways I keep my family a priority while running my business.
4 ways I keep my family a priority while running my business
Decide What You Want Up Front
We all know what goals are and how to use them to achieve what we want in life and our business. But goals are really only manageable pieces to a much bigger plan. This bigger plan is really our organized picture of what we want. AKA – our vision.
In this vision, we need to be super clear on what we want. Are you trying to create a good side income? Do you want to make a positive impact in the lives of others through teaching and sharing your personal story? Do you want to build a brand that’s positioned for world-domination?
Knowing what you want and where you’re going up front is key because once the ball gets rolling it’s easy to get distracted and end up going places and chasing goals that don’t line up with what you really wanted in the first place.
This can cause you to adjust your priorities – having a negative impact on your family life. Making sure your family is smack dab in the middle of your vision first, is key.
Mom-guilt is a given… all moms have it. Or least, have it presented to them on a daily basis. It’s up to us whether we take the bait. Guilt is a funny emotion, it’s only purpose is to screw up your day, special moment, life… it doesn’t really seem to care.
Once you’ve established your clear vision and you know exactly where your family is in that vision… you’ve just gotta live it. And when the mom-guilt rises, treat it like the enemy it is and send it packing.
Pro Biz Mom Tip: Build provisions in your plan for unusual circumstances or seasons in your life and business. Every season in your life and business isn’t going to look perfect or will always match up with your vision plan.
So, decide how you’ll handle business emergencies or major “time-sucking events” like launches, in advance. This way you won’t feel guilty while you’re in the midst of some serious crazy!
This one is my favorite! Listen, if you think you can DO IT ALL… think again. You’re only one person and you need help. In your business and your home. Start by making a list of all the things in your business that can be delegated. It doesn’t matter how “difficult” those tasks are (people can be trained) as long as they aren’t part of your creative process. Do the same thing for stuff you do in your home.
Now it’s time to make a strategic plan to find people to help with those tasks. It could be hiring a VA or an intern to help with those tasks, paying your kids to do certain things in your business or home (depending on their age/abilities), or paying for a software that can simply automate certain processes.
This will look different for everyone depending on your budget, especially. I’m still at the bootstrapping phase but I’ve already got a plan I’m working towards. I’m so ready to start x’ing things off my to-do list permanently!
Plan for your Family Dates
The final way I keep my family a priority is to plan for my family dates in advance. This means putting my dates with my husband and my kids on a calendar. My husband does the same!
Do we always keep these dates? Honestly, no. I wish I could say otherwise, but life gets busy sometimes and things need to be shifted around. But those dates are right there in black and white, and when they do need to be changed – there’s a conscience thought behind that decision. And that makes a huge difference.
Waiting for the perfect time to magically appear is a bad move. It’ll never happen!
If you’re looking for super creative and fun ideas to start your own Family Dates, Grab my FREE Family Dates Checklist HERE – full of date ideas for your family categorized by your children’s ages!
Making your family a priority isn’t hard but it does need to be intentional. How do you keep your family first? Share in the comments below!