Why I Stopped Striving for Work-Life Balance

October 23, 2022

Vanessa Leveille

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Image of Black Mompreneur and daughter doing tasks alongside one another
Mother and child doing tasks alongside one another; Haute Stock Images

What is Work-Life Balance

According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine, work-life balance was first conceived in the 1800s by manufacturing laws established regulations for working mothers and children. In the 1980s, with the Women’s Liberation Movement, work-life balance was revisited and further defined to include work and life satisfaction concepts. The conversations, then, were geared toward helping people balance their personal and professional lives.

Today, we continue to talk about work-life balance, but as we do so, we get closer and closer to recognizing that work-life balance is challenging to accomplish. And for Mompreneurs, it is damn near impossible. Before we dive deeper, I want you to know this: all of this is not your fault; blame the U.S’s poor structures, systems, and culture currently in place for working Mothers.

Now, what if there was another way for Mompreneurs to reframe work-life balance so they can make it possible in their life?

How, Sway?

Traditionally work-life balance asks one to create equal time and energy in compartmentalizing work and your life outside work.

But what is life outside of work? Think about it…it entails; family, friends, lifestyle obligations, after-hours happenings, household tasks, interests, sleeping, nourishing yourself, date nights with your partner, and moving your body. Life is packed with so many things constantly happening, and we’re being told to strive to balance everything at once. No. Nope. 

As an entrepreneur, separating work from our life is challenging. Our entrepreneurial endeavors, at times, can take up our entire life. As a Mother, Motherhood can take up so much of your time, energy, and attention, rendering it also challenging to manage. Balance, then, for Mompreneurs sounds like a daring feat.

When we do try to find balance, in the traditional sense, we are ridden with guilt because we sadly realize that depending on the season you are in your business or the season you are in your Motherhood, giving a little to everything is hard. Additionally, striving for “balance,” with an outdated and inapplicable view of work-life balance as Mompreneurs, may only add to your stress and anxiety.

Reframing Work-Life Balance; Less Balance, More Harmony

Many times your business and your life outside your business demand you go all in. One doesn’t ask you to put in less than the other. The thing with Mompreneurship is that these two seemingly opposing things are not mutually exclusive. The truth is it all blends in. When you’re a Mom and an entrepreneur, it’s challenging to keep your life out of your business and vice versa. Your business is a massive part of your life.

How much your business is a part of your life is evident when your baby is in your arms, and you’re rocking them to sleep while simultaneously sending an email to a client. It’s obvious when you’re in the middle of a client meeting, and the school calls you to pick up your sick kid. It’s evident when you’re experiencing life during a pandemic, your children are doing remote schooling, your partner is in another room trying to figure out how to work from home, and you’re now having to figure out a whole new schedule for everyone. There is no line of delineation; the sooner we accept this and blend work with the rest our our life, the better we can fare.

Work-life Harmony

Blending your work and life is much easier than it seems, mostly because it’s already happening. The real work is in our mindset, and how we stop resisting the competition between the two in our approach. Now, this is not a concept I came up with, in fact, it’s been floating around for a while. In a Forbes piece I read recently, the author does a beautiful job of breaking down work-life harmony and making it easier to digest.

Implementing work-life harmony instead encourages us to find the joy in what we do, and not focus solely on how and when things are getting done. Getting things done is only part of the equation, and not the whole picture. Identifying the why, the passion, and the joy around all the things that we do, increase our vitality to keep going. Afterall, it is more energy that we want when we live busy lives as Mompreneurs.

The sooner, we as Mompreneurs can get on board with reframing work-life balance, the sooner we can begin to shift into spaces that feel more harmonious and bring us overall life satisfaction. If you’re wanting more support around work-life harmony, and feel you need a community to back you up consider joining our next group coaching cohort by clicking here.

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Why I Stopped Striving for Work-Life Balance

When work-life balance feels impossible for Mompreneurs, implementing work-life harmony might be the answer.

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