Balancing Business Leadership and Family Life: How to “Have it All” as a Mother and Executive in the Modern Age

If you’re anything like me, you grew up believing you can’t have it all. You either kill it in your career and your family suffers or you are a present mother who sacrifices her career outside of the home. And honestly I think this is one of the biggest lies our generation has been sold and is actively working to overcome (shoutout to the ladies feeding their sourdough starters after running the board meeting, please teach me how to not kill said starter).

Contrary to what you’ve been told, you can totally have it all.

Whether that means running a successful business or company, you can absolutely pursue your dreams while still enjoying the gift of motherhood. Except the witching hour. That hour is not a gift. It is a trial. S/o to the backyard and friends who come to co-regulate during these trying times.

So if you’re interested in finding balance between work and family life, keep reading. I’m going to give you 5 tactical tips you can start utilizing today to bring some calm to your overwhelm.

Tip #1: Prioritize What Matters Most

If you’re already running a business then you have probably mastered the art of defining what matters the most and lists are you’re best friend. However, most of my clients in executive and business coaching fail to generalize this skillset into the home. So here’s what I want you to do.

Sit and think about what your values are. Not as an executive and not as a mother, but you as a person. What are your top 3 values. From this list you will be able to start grouping your to-do list into categories that will support you putting your values at the top of the list. For example, one of my top values is integrity. Therefore, I am very honest within my business about the number of hours I’m able to work and still maintain a high level of quality while also being honest that in the season of life that I’m in (with 2 under 2) my priority is my children. My client’s know that my hours and rate reflect a business that put’s the family who runs it first. That’s integrity and it greatly drives my to-do lists.

Goal setting is also incredibly helpful when getting your priorities straight. What goals do you have for your family and what goals do you have for your career? Here I want you to think both short-term and long-term goals. Sit down and write them out so that you can see them while you’re moving onto the next tip.

Tip #2: Effective Time Management Strategies

The first way to employ effective time management into your life is to time block. If you’re a corporate girlie then you’re probably familiar with time blocking and if you’re anything like my type-a soul then it’s probably you’re best friend. But just in case, let’s talk about it.

In order to time block you need to get your calendar out, preferably a google calendar that shows hourly break down of hours. Here I want you to designate the hours you’re sleeping by blocking them out. After this I want you to write a list of all of the things you need to get done that day including picking the kids up after school and working out. This even includes time to get ready and eat. Yes, you need time to eat (Looking at you if you’re sitting behind a screen multi-tasking right now. Go taste your food.) From here you’re just going to plug it all in. If you run out of time that’s ok because the items toward the bottom of your list should be low-priority anyway.

And this brings me to the second strategy to enhance time management. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. Whether you’re at work or at home, you aren’t meant to do it all on your own. Quickly take a look at your list of things to do and identify which items you absolutely must do, which you can give to someone else, and which are somewhere in the middle. For example, maybe you enjoy cooking dinner but technically you can hire a private chef who can help with cooking 2-3x a week. Bam, you just got 2 hours back in your day 2-3x a week and made space for whatever other items you need to get done.

Tip #3: Make Time for Self-Care and Mental Health

If you’ve made it this far I can just tell you you need to have therapy and some sort of movement practice on your list of tasks that you’re making time for. Juggling all the things at this stage of life is a lot and is going to come with stress even during the best of times. Setting an hour aside for yourself once a week (which honestly isn’t enough) is so important to tend to yourself.

I’ll be honest with you. Money is important. It’s a resource that allows us to buy time and time allows us to do so much. But it’s not everything. I’m a tremendous believer that the true measure of success is a regulated nervous system and living a life of freedom. So ensuring that you aren’t spending all your time focusing on work and motherhood is a good is important. A few ideas to prioritize your mental health:

  • Bodywork (massage, myofascial release, acupuncture etc)
  • Therapy
  • Walking
  • Lifting weights
  • Coloring
  • Some good old fashioned trash tv (anyone else following the Summerhouse chaos on Bravo right now?)
  • Getting your nails done
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Rock climbing (can you tell I enjoy being outside?)

The list goes on. The point is, build time into your day and week to ensure you are taking care of your body and mind and your family and career will thank you.

Tip #4: Build Strong Support Systems

Systems are so important. In business. In life. In the entryway command center. All of it. It brings a soothing order to an otherwise overwhelming situation. We build these systems to strong communication of our wants and needs, especially within our family. If you’re looking for support on healthier communication I highly recommend therapy but if you’re looking for something more immediate I encourage you to start with, do you know what it is that you need and are you talking about these things at ideal times? Deciding to tell your partner that you need a 3 day vacation as the toddler just had his 4th blowout and the baby needs a bottle isn’t ideal and doesn’t bode well for success.

From here, identifying who is in your network both at home and at work is critical. At work it tends to be a little more straightforward. You have colleagues, peers, assistants, folks who refer to you, all of these areas consist of your network and are there for you to lean on. At home, your network consists of friends, family, and neighbors. They’re all apart of the team when it comes to raising babies and building businesses. And if you can master asking for help, identifying your needs, and delegating you’re going to be able to thrive with the support of your networks.

Tip #5: Embrace the Mess and Let Go of Perfectionism

If you’re used to being in control in the boardroom and being seen as having it all together then chances are you may be getting your butt kicked by motherhood. I don’t care how prepared you are or how well you’re managing it, parenting humans is hard and messy work. You will get messy in the process and there’s no way around it.

Embracing flexibility and managing your expectations is an invaluable way to roll with the punches rather than having a meltdown because things haven’t gone your way. Now yes, letting go of perfectionism is much easier said than done but you can start with adding “and that’s ok” to a sentence when you’re feeling critical of yourself. “I can’t believe I forgot to grab pasta on the way home for dinner….and that’s ok.” It’s one small step toward bringing more compassion to your corner and if you can master it it’ll counteract a lot of self-criticism.

Obviously (and you knew this was coming) the most effective way to let go of our self-criticism and internalized perfectionism is to go to therapy and figure out where it came from in the first place. I’m a big proponent of getting to the root issue and solving it there, rather than just putting a bandaid on things. For former results in needing way less bandaids and being able to experience motherhood as a gift (most of the time).

If you’re ready to stop reading content online and actually make these changes in real life, I encourage you to consider working with a coach and/or a therapist. Because we are inundated with information. And chances are that you already know what you need to be doing. It’s the follow-through and accountability that most people need, which is where coaching is so useful and effective. A solid coach will meet you where you’re at and encourage you through seasons of transition and chaos by bringing some encouragement and accountability into your space. If you’re interested in a coach who is going to help you not only expand your business by helping you to unleash your authenticity and creativity into it but also challenge you to overcome your generational trauma in the process I highly encourage you to reach out. Let’s chat and see if we’re a good fit.

Wishing you the best on your journey,

Dr. B