Finding a balance between motherhood and business is a unique challenge women entrepreneurs face and is, in my opinion, a really important challenge to talk about. As one of my friends has put it so beautifully, there is no such thing as balance in regards to running a business as a mom, only harmony. The way I understand that is, that one will always have to give so the other can take and vice versa. There is no true balance between the two. This morning as I sat down to journal, read my Bible, and read today’s passage in Simple Abundance, author, Sarah Ban Breathnach, wrote about harmony in life. A fitting precursor to today’s blog entry. She wrote, “Harmony is the inner cadence of contentment we feel when the melody of life is in tune.”
Today I want to share my best tips for finding harmony between motherhood and business. I hope that this article helps you tune the melody of your own life.
My Experience as a Mom and Business Owner
In case you’re unfamiliar with me or my story, I’ll give you a quick overview. I got pregnant with my daughter in 2021 at the age of 26 while my husband and I were still dating. We quickly got married (read more about the wedding I planned in less than three months here) and welcomed our little lady in October of 2021, right before my 27th birthday. At the time, I was working for my dad in graphic design and also as a contract designer for two branding agencies. I was also taking on my own branding clients on the side, growing what Poised Avenue is today. A few months into motherhood my contract with both agencies ended, I quit my job at my dad’s print shop, and with the support of my husband, I decided to stay home full-time with our daughter. But I knew I could never leave design behind, so I decided to turn my focus to my studio. Ultimately, I’ve raised both my daughter and my business simultaneously. However, both motherhood and entrepreneurship have been in my DNA since I was a little girl. I feel lucky to have everything I’ve ever wanted as both a full-time stay-at-home mom and a business owner, and I want you to know it’s possible to have both. I love talking about the two, sharing my experiences, and learning from and working alongside other moms in business.
5 Tips for Finding Balance Between Motherhood and Business
- Ask yourself, “What is most important to me right now?” and “What is most necessary to me right now?” I find that the answers to these two questions help shed light on the “right” path to take when it comes to navigating motherhood and business. It also helps soften the guilt or quiet the pesky “what ifs”, because you can make your decision with confidence knowing it aligns with what’s most important and most necessary to you right now.
- Come back to those two questions often. As moms, we know that things change fast. The things that are most important and necessary to you will probably change, too. Another reason to revisit those two questions often is to remind yourself why you’ve chosen to run your business a specific way or why you’ve chosen to approach motherhood a specific way. Mom guilt is real, and those reminders can help build your confidence in your choices back up a bit. I find it really powerful to remind myself why I’ve chosen the paths I have in motherhood and business.
- Reframe “I have to” as “I get to”. Another friend of mine once said, “You just have to choose your hard”, regarding the multiple different ways one can approach running a business as a mom. In other words, it’s hard whether you’re working during nap time as a SAHM or you’re dropping your baby off at daycare to work. But one thing we can do is reframe what’s hard, turning those things into things we get to do — things we’re lucky to do because they support the whys we defined above.
- Define what success is to you. Success is such a personal thing but for some reason, we often define success based on others’ versions of it. Rather than comparing your success to other women’s successes, define it based only on what’s most important and necessary to you in this season of life. For example, my studio doesn’t bring in a bragworthy amount of money and I don’t have the office space I always dreamt of, but I get to contribute financially to my family while staying home with my daughter during the most precious years of her life, all while doing something that I love to do. I get to be creative and work towards growing my business as a SAHM. And while those things may not define success for you, they define my version of success. I feel extremely fulfilled by that fact. And guess what? Those things may change again this year, and that’s okay too. That’s motherhood.
- Trim the fat in business and focus only on what’s important and necessary. (If you take anything from this blog post, let it be the words “important” and “necessary” lol). Doing this was the best thing I did for my business in 2023. Homing in on only the necessities in my studio has helped me fine-tune my services and streamline my processes. In doing so, I know that my time at my desk is moving the needle forward and not just time wasted on “fluff”. In return, I can spend more focused time away from my desk as a mom.
Overall, finding a balance between motherhood and business looks different for every woman. But there is so much we can relate to each other on, and I think sharing our individual wisdom is so powerful. Have something to add to the list? Drop your best tips for finding a balance between motherhood and business in the comments below, I would love to read them.
Want to join a community of other moms who professionally design? Visit my Instagram page and join our Channel, Motherhood by Design[er]!
This article was written by Amanda DeWoody of Poised Avenue Design Studio. Amanda is a professional brand designer located in the Temecula Valley area. She specializes in brand strategy, brand design, and print design for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It’s her design philosophy that every creative decision should be a strategic one, and she ensures each design decision she makes and project she works on is balanced in both artistic style and creative strategy.