Throughout my career, I have been asked about my mompreneur secrets to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It’s not an unsurprising question. I’m an entrepreneur, wife, university board member, and mother to two (now teenage) sons. Everything about my life, for nearly two decades, has truly been a juggling act.
I work hard, but I will admit sometimes I struggle to maintain my go, go, go. Whenever that happens, I pause to regroup and take a moment to myself. I use the time to exercise, read, meditate, or chat with friends. In short, this helps me regain my work-life balance, and get back on track.
Now you know how I maintain my work-life balance, how do other working moms do it? In honor of Mother’s Day, I asked female professionals for the scoop on their mompreneur secrets for healthy work-life balance. Here’s a glimpse at their strategies for success.
1. Compartmentalize and prepare.
“I live by compartmentalization. I separate my day and days of the week by what ‘hat’ I’m wearing — mom versus CEO — and go from there. If it’s mom time, I don’t have my phone or computer, and am in the moment. When it’s CEO time, I take a deep breath and dive in without guilt.” — Lisa Mastela, Founder and CEO, Bumpin Blends
“I work in the finance industry and therefore always prepare in advance. Being prepared and ahead of everyone’s needs is key to healthy work-life balance. That covers everything, for example, from packing school lunches and outfits the night before to building in prep time in my work calendar.” — Courtney Horn, Financial Advisor and Business Partner, Minkoff & Associates
2. See days as a series of activities.
“One of my secrets to maintaining healthy work-life balance is to allow myself to consider the day as a series of activities. I am able to see it as an exchange of multiple hats rather than a strict regime.” — Susan Gold, Executive, Susan Gold Consulting
“I unapologetically prioritize boundaries and time management. When I contemplate taking on a new project, I always ask myself two questions. If I take this on, what will be taken away? How does this make me feel? If the answer is it makes me feel alive, abundant, and free, I know I’m headed in the right direction. If it feels constrictive, heavy, or like a chore, it’s usually not the right fit for me at the time.” — Kathryn Vigness, Speaker and Writer
3. Have a transparent conversation with your partner.
“Let go of the idea that homefront activities are yours alone to manage. Tell your partner exactly what you expect them to do. Talk often about it. Some days, one of you will carry a heavier load. When that person is you, recognize that it’s temporary. But, that it’s okay.” — Caryn Alagno, Founder, Send-Say
“The biggest key to healthy work-life balance is to have a supportive partner. If you view yourselves as a team and work together, you can’t fail.” — Jené Luciani, Author and Brapreneur, The Bra Book
4. Go on dates.
“Date yourself, your spouse, and your friends. For example, make sure to include routine meetups, even for coffee or grocery shopping. This helps clear your mind and keep your relationships healthy.” — Charlotte Risch Shaff, Founder, The Media Push
“I run a sports and entertainment firm in Los Angeles. I have a great group of girlfriends who are like sisters to me. My best friend from college lives minutes away from me. She is an attorney and also works hectic hours. We keep each other accountable to our friendship, from grabbing a last minute bite to eat to chatting on the phone on the way to meetings. My girlfriends and I all work towards making our friendship a priority. Your circle is important and should encourage and enforce a lifestyle not solely about work.” — Shawn Zanotti, CEO, Exact Publicity
5. Ask for help.
“Do not be ashamed to ask for help, whether it’s from family members, friends, or trusted childcare providers. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to hire a full-time nanny. Our nanny has been a tremendous help in helping me raise my two children and I consider her to be family. Women often feel a ton of guilt for being a mom. They may be afraid to ask for help or always feel they must take on everything. Women should feel empowered, not guilty, as mothers knowing that all of the responsibility shouldn’t fall on them. Asking for help is the best way to maintain a healthy balance between work and your personal life.” — Sarah Gordon, CEO and Co-Founder, Square Organics
“Even though my children think I’m a real superhero, the truth is I’m not. I can’t do everything. Therefore, after 11 years in business and as a recovering Type A, I’ve learned when to hire someone to help me. Hiring help ultimately frees up time that I can invest with my family. That’s where my heart is.” — Robin Rucinsky, President, Thrive Advertising
6. Give yourself grace.
“When people ask me about healthy work-life balance, I always answer that it’s relative. What I consider to be balance may not be what someone else considers balance. Figure out what level of workload and mom duties you can reasonably take on as a mompreneur. Don’t beat yourself up if you are not the mom that makes everything at school.” — Cindy Y. Lo, President and Events Strategist, Red Velvet Events, Inc.
“I’m a therapist in Minnesota with two kids, ages eight and nine. I make my work-life balance work with grace. Above all, I give myself so much grace.
Some days, we will eat a homemade and healthy dinner at the table as a family. Other days, we eat McDonald’s in the car on the way to a choir concert. No matter what is happening, I give myself grace as a mom. I never beat myself up about what we need to do to make it all work. I often think about the awesome benefits being an entrepreneur teaches my children. They get to see their mom work and own her amazing career that she built herself. My children see that I set goals, achieve them, and celebrate with our family. Giving myself grace for sometimes being a kickass mom and sometimes being a mom that goes with the flow and gets things done is how I make this all work.” — Corrin Voeller, MA, Owner and Therapist, Prosper Therapy