In Business and Family, Something Has to Give In the race to maximize all the hours in the day, entrepreneurial moms have to make difficult choices.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
No matter what your stage in motherhood, it really is a full-time job. I don't know a single stay-at-home mom who feels she has extra hours in the day. Now, add running a business to that never-ending job, and it's easy to see how it's a formula for becoming overwhelmed. Nevertheless, so many of us hit the trenches each day as both mom and entrepreneur. Personally, I'm on a never-ending journey to make the formula work.
You've heard it before. We all have the same 24 hours. So, if we are filling those hours with business and motherhood, something has to give. I asked women all over the country what they have given up in order to be a mom in business, and here's a sampling of what they said:
- Sleep, time with husband, housecleaning (Marianne S.)
- I have given up all extra time commitments that don't pass a very simple test: How is this benefitting:
1. my kids
2. my husband
No extra committees or commitments. (Carey F.)
- I don't give up anything. I just prioritize and focus on what's most important. (Mindy C.)
- I have given up TV, and I don't miss it a bit. (Lindsey S.)
- I think the biggest thing I realize I have given up is daydreaming time. However, my life is a wonderful dream with kids adding happiness and joy all of the time that I almost feel that I am living the daydream. (Jamie F.)
- I have given up time with friends. At the end of the day, I want to be with my family. I hope my friends are still around later. (Teresa R.)
- I have given up trying to do it all. My husband is having to step it up. (Amy T.)
- I have given up long exercise sessions. I still get them in, but they are more intense to make up for lost time. (Anne S.)
- I have given up book club. Too much pressure. (Susan K.)
In conversing with these women, I heard guilty confessions of watching too much television, getting lost in Facebook or spending too much time chatting on the phone with friends. Life is supposed to be fun and rewarding, but make sure those things are truly energizing you and not just sapping your time. If our time is so valuable, we should spend it wisely.
Instead of feeling like I've given something up, I feel like I'm maximizing my time. I am very focused on the best use of every day. I am very careful not to schedule in-person meetings, especially if I have to travel to them. I use e-mail first and phone second. I delegate anything I don't have to do myself. And every day I focus on getting done what will make the biggest difference for my business or my family vs. what just seems urgent.
So, when you say that something has to give, realize that you may be giving yourself a very purposeful life.