Today’s woman faces more challenges that women in past generations didn’t face.
These challenges include balancing children and work, making time for yourself, making time for your partner, dealing with the responsibilities of running a household… The list goes on an on. And even though today’s partner may contribute money and time to getting things done, for some reason women tend to carry a heavy weight on their shoulders, especially when we have children. And if we don’t have a husband, wife or significant other we may still find it difficult to juggle so many responsibilities.
That often results in women feeling that they’re falling short at all times, which in turn can lead to unhappiness and even poor health.
So how do we take back control as women entrepreneurs and stop ourselves from coming up “short” all the time?
Here are a few tips to help you stay sane and avoid these negative feelings:
#1 – Avoid Supermom Syndrome – There’s a negative trend in our society for women to be “supermoms” – you know, the do it all types who juggle a thriving business with baking cookies, being active in charities, being active on the school PTA AND still have time to work out and look great. You may be surprised to hear the word “negative” when the description listed sounds so positive, but the reality is that people weren’t really cut out to handle so much at any one time.
Many moms are stressed and overworked as a result. They end up feeling depressed when they can’t meet an ideal which quite frankly set them up for failure in the first place. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a different trend? One where moms are cut a bit of slack and not expected to achieve this image of “perfection” at all times.
You can start this trend within yourself. Give yourself a break and realize your situation is unique to you and your family. Don’t compare yourself to your best friend’s family or the family next door – no two families are the same. Do the best with what you’ve got and stamp out the guilt. Guilt used inappropriately is a negative emotion that stops us from moving forwards by keeping us cemented in the past.
#2 – Say NO – No is not a dirty word; in fact, it’s a word that can help you stay sane and feeling more human. You couldn’t possibly do it all if you tried. The more you say “no” the more empowered you’ll feel. Don’t worry about what people will think, instead prioritize what’s important to you and say not to anything that does not fit the bill.
#3 – Guilt is a dirty word – Used properly, guilt helps us to do the right thing and be productive, rule-following members of society. But if you don’t have a sociopath issue to deal with then over-use of guilt becomes a negative emotion. And many of us, particularly moms, get too caught up in the guilt trap.
Although some guilt does come as standard with the package of being a mom, avoid feeling too guilty at all times. You’re juggling a lot of balls which means you’re going to drop some once in a while; don’t feel guilty and instead see this as a fact of life – what goes up must come down. If you juggle too much, some things will come thumping down once in a while.
#4 – Don’t compare – This is one of the worst things you can do. We don’t really know what goes on behind the closed doors of anyone’s life. The “perfect” mom who seems to breezily get through her days while doing it all, may in reality be struggling or having a really hard time keeping up. Whatever the case, comparison only leads to feeling inadequate – particularly when we compare ourselves to the unrealistic.
Instead, be happy with yourself and don’t worry about anything else going on around you. Perhaps Jane can do it all, great for her, but you’d prefer to only do ten things instead of twenty. It doesn’t really matter who does what; what matters most is that you don’t compare yourself to anyone else because no two situations are ever the same. And who knows, Jane may have a gardener or part-time nanny you’re unaware of.
Juggling a family and being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but these strategies can help you overcome the feelings of having to do it all and help you stay sane in the process. These are things that emotionally you can do right now to change your situation. Couple these tips with good organizational skills, getting your family to pitch in and help, building a support structure around you, and having a clear routine. This will go a long, long way to helping you achieve that ever-important balance between life and work. Good luck!