Rachel Allan has been a business owner for 14 years, and a mum for 7 years. On her business-and-baby journey she has learned a lot about life, business and herself. While it has not always been an easy ride, it has definitely been fulfilling. She feels a strong calling to share her discoveries (and the wisdom of other parents and experts) with you in her book, When Business Meets Baby.
Mums in business often believe they cannot achieve balance. With ongoing struggles managing conflicting priorities in business, life and self.
Here is the key to achieving balance – find your own meaning. One that suits you and your family. Then implement that into all aspects of your life. Do not adhere to society’s expectations, these are often unachievable. True balance comes when you understand what it means for you.
Here are some tips that have been taken from my latest book that will help you to find balance in your life, within your house, family and relationships:
CREATE PERSONAL GOALS
What do you want to achieve in your life? Just like in business, if you have no direction, nothing to aim for, you will find clarity and focus difficult. If you can’t see the big picture then the day-to-day stresses of life will wear you down.
Your personal goals may be related to your business goals – if you are also a mum, I am sure they will also be much bigger than your business. Your personal goals may direct your business goals. These are your goals so there are no right or wrong answers. Do think big, think about your future, your partner’s future and your children’s future. What do you want from life and business?
Once you have personal goals, put them somewhere you see every day – your fridge, bathroom mirror, back of the toilet door, computer desktop -– wherever you will see them and be reminded of them daily.
SORT OUT YOUR HOUSE
No one enjoys having to clean, cook, shop and wash day in and day out. It is boring, rarely fulfilling and time consuming. All of this is essential – we need to have a clean house and clothes and we need to eat. You don’t have to actually do these tasks, and they certainly don’t need to be as time consuming as you make them.
Plan systems in your house and outsource tasks.
Any task in your house that you repeat over and over again can have a system set-up to accommodate it. Involve your whole family in this system. Better still, consider getting someone else to do it.
Use this time for family time or you time instead.
GET ON THE SAME PAGE AS YOUR PARTNER
Communicate, listen, talk.
Share your goals and dreams. Help each other to achieve them. Give each other support.
When our lives gets busier and busier, it is easy to take our stress out on our partner. Don’t. I have learned when no one else is around he is. Make them the most important person and they will support you through anything.
TAKE FAMILY HOLIDAYS
Going away as a family is a great time to re-connect. In the busyness of life we often get caught up in the day-to-day tasks. A family holiday gives you all space to breath. To have a rest from routines. To recharge, ground and de-stress everyone.
You don’t need to do long overseas holidays – a long weekend camping in the bush an hour from home will achieve the same family connectedness.
It is easy to feel that family holidays are too stressful to organise and plan – we all have been there dragging entire nurseries around. Make it as easy as you can and know that as your children get older, they need less ‘stuff’.
Become a stronger family for time out together.
GIVE YOURSELF GUILT FREE ‘ME TIME’
It is so easy to put yourself last. Neglecting the most important person in this balance equation – you!
How many people rely on you? Employees, contractors, your partner, children to name a few. What happens when you are not able to give to these people? What happens to areas of your life that need you to contribute – like your house – when you are sick?
Could you find time in your busy schedule to do something for you. Can you squeeze 30 minutes a week or 5 minutes a day to do something that brings you peace and rejuvenates you? Daily meditations or walks. Weekly yoga or singing. Time for a book club or photography club. Massage, hair or nails. Anything that allows you to be someone outside of business owner, mum or partner.
Having me time makes you more present at home and in your business. It will give you more energy to keep giving to everyone you need to.
Give one of these tips a try. Implement your favourite into your life and see how things change for you.