As of the beginning of 2018, I have been an entrepreneur for six years, wife for five years and mother for four years. It seems like my entrepreneurial, marriage and motherhood journey all started at the same time. While they are all the most amazing gifts, balancing the three can be challenging.
As I type this blog post at 5:00am, my daughter woke up wanting to be held and nursed. So as I type with one hand, I hope to encourage you no matter what season of life you are in on how to balance marriage, motherhood and/or entrepreneurship.
1. Start the Day in Prayer
This sounds cliche but it is so easy to allow the day to start before you. I’ve rushed out of bed in the morning to respond to emails (because it’s nice and quiet in the house, right?) only to have found that the rest of my day was equally as rushed. Slow down! Grab your favorite devotional, pray and listen to what what God has to say for this day! He will literally speak to you on what is priority for the day. A few scriptures that speak to this are:
“But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.”
In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will prepare [a prayer and a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].
This brings me to point #2.
2. Plan Your Day with the Top Three Priority Items
Like most women I have a running mental to do list. I previously would write down 10+ items I wanted to complete only to find myself frustrated when I only completed two maybe three tasks!
Fast forward to now, I make a medium sized list but highlight the top 2-3 priority items that actually need to be completed based on what God has led me to do in my quiet time. Now this doesn’t mean you have to hear a word from God for every single task but He provides wisdom for the day so you won’t get overwhelmed.
3. Scale Your Energy
Years ago one of my business mentors shared a priceless suggestion: Scale your energy.
Simply put, use your time of high energy for activities that require your most creative and mental energy. This changed my life! I had no idea prior to this that I was using my most energized time of the day (5:00am - 7:00am and 10:00am - 2:00pm) on activities that didn't require much thought or creativity such as paying bills, social media, making personal phone calls, etc.
Once I became intentional on using my energy wisely, my productivity skyrocketed! What used to take me hours to complete took 30 minutes solely because I had the right type of energy to complete the task effectively.
4. Time Blocking
Over the years I have become pretty good at time blocking. When I am at the office I am working, communicating with clients, creating new business concepts, etc. I rarely have personal conversations unless with my mother when she is caring for my children because again I am using my most energized part of the day doing activities that require creativity thus creating more revenue.
On the other hand, when I am home I’m playing with my children, spending time with with my husband and not allowing any outside distractions to disrupt our family time.
I want my family to know that when I am home, I am home.
5. Get a Support System & Cherish Them
As your life grows, you will need support to handle your increased workload at home, in business and in marriage. As an entrepreneur with small children, my desire was and is to keep our children in a safe, Christian based environment and we found two perfect schools that were in line with our family’s values. One even offers a monthly parent’s night out so my hubby and I can have a dedicated date night!
My mom also helps us tremendously during the week with after school care. Find a place or person you can trust with your children that will instill the same values as your faith. Even if it’s a couple hours a week, you will benefit greatly by being able to focus without a child screaming in the background to keep you balanced.
6. Outsource, Outsource, Outsource!
Technology has made life so convenient and easy so use it! Formerly personal assistants and chefs were exclusive to the very wealthy due to pricing. With technology you can have your groceries delivered and food prepped all within a few hours. Instacart is one of my BFFs. Don’t worry about the added service fee as you will make it up by not being physically present in the store buying random items you don’t need.
As your life grows, you will be in high demand so spend time doing what you love to do and outsource the rest! Get the maid, grocery service and/or food prep service to make your life easier.
7. Get Comfortable Saying No
There is only so much of you to go around.
Although the intentions are great, you can easily over dedicate yourself to activities that God never intended for you to participate in. This is why #1 of this post is so important. In order to truly know what season you are in you must communicate daily with the Father who knows all. If He says "Yes", it's a definite "Yes". If He says say “No”, then say “No”.
You have nothing to prove except obedience to the Lord.
I hope these tips help you balance the wonderful gift of being a mother, wife and/or entrepreneur!