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  • Kelsea Koenreich

Navigating Boundaries and Hard Conversations as a Mompreneur

Sometimes it feels easier in the moment to say yes, without thinking about what you just signed up for.

I’ve seen it countless times with myself and with clients, being the yes woman because in the moment it feels like the right thing to do. Boundaries are the single-most known but ignored action and intention that we have as business owners. We know we have to say no, but many times we don’t. We know that we are working too much and want to be with our families more, but we are afraid to fail. We know that our kids are growing rapidly before our eyes and we are missing it, but we also want to provide financially for them. So we say yes, again and again.  

Many times we don’t set boundaries because we don’t know how to have the conversations, so today we are talking about the boundaries you need to have to succeed and how to have these conversations you are skipping… leading you to more stress and overwhelm.

Why Boundaries Matter

It's easy to blur the lines between work and family life.

When you don’t set clear boundaries, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and overworked. I’ve caught myself saying yes “just one more time” and before I know it, my business commitments are running into my family and personal time. It takes several days of rearranging my other “just one more time yesses” to try to get my schedule back on track. When I set boundaries and honor my time blocks, I’m back in control. I’m able to structure where and when I’m putting my time and energy. I can be fully engaged during my work time and also be present with my family without sacrificing either.

Key Boundaries to Consider

Time Management: Define specific work hours and family time to ensure you're fully present in each role, any responsibility that you have should have a dedicated time/space so you don’t get overwhelmed. With using time blocking techniques and allotting time for everything you say yes to, you’ll easily be able to see when you are at capacity and see what needs to be taken off.  

Physical Space: Designate a workspace where you can focus on your business without distractions, we are making millions from home in this day and age which is amazing but the accessibility is killing us. Our brains recognize environments so the more we are structured in where we work, the better we can focus.

Technology Use: Set guidelines for when and how you use your phone and computer. I recently saved my old phone when I upgraded and made it my “work phone” that holds all of my work apps so that I can leave it in my office and not tempt myself with the accessibility that we have at our fingertips to always be working. Set clear boundaries around checking emails or taking work calls during family time so you can be fully present, this separation pays you back 10x.

Saying No: Learn to say no to commitments or opportunities that don't align with your priorities or values. The only reason we don’t say no is that we are afraid of failing or missing out, and we don’t want to disappoint anyone. Overcommitting yourself creates imbalance and stress.When you are selective about where you invest your time you are in the driver's seat.

Having Difficult Conversations to Set Boundaries

Communication is the foundation of thriving businesses and relationships. With this, difficult conversations are inevitable. Many leaders have the best intentions of setting boundaries to work less, spend more time with their families and do things differently but the conversations that need to happen to get that result… Just. Aren’t. Happening.

While having uncomfortable conversations around change isn’t anyone’s favorite, they also allow you the opportunity to grow and strengthen the relationships inside and outside your business. The same conversations you are shying away from are the ones that create connection and understanding.

If you want to hold your intentions and follow through with your promises to yourself, you’ll have to learn how to approach and  have conversations that feel uncertain and scary.

How My Clients Navigate Boundary Setting

Transparency: Clearly communicate your expectations, needs, and boundaries. State what you will and won’t do moving forward. Transparency builds trust and keeps you on the same page. Don’t assume that people know or understand what you don’t tell them, it’s better to over communicate than to leave people unclear. Let them know why you are changing, setting a boundary or doing something differently. Generally when people understand the why behind the choice, they are more willing to accept it.

Vulnerability: Take ownership and accountability for your part in the miscommunication or overstepping, know that you are where you are by choice and there’s nobody to blame. The key is to let them know that you want to do things differently moving forward without putting them down or making them feel small. We learn from our past and you are no different.

Ask & Listen: During conversations, give your full attention and ask clarifying questions so you can fully understand the person or people on the other side of the conversation. Leaders know how to listen, gaining this intel and building understanding creates connection. Don’t get defensive, if you notice that you are getting into a back and forth - call for a pause.

Give Clear Next Steps: Now that you’ve expressed what you want to change, how it will be different and why - to make sure everyone is on the same page discuss next steps to implement the changes.

Remember, it's okay to re-evaluate and adjust your boundaries as much as you need to to align with your changing circumstances and priorities. As humans we are supposed to evolve, and as leaders it’s important for us to continuously refine our priorities.

With practice and perseverance, you can navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship while nurturing your family and yourself. Setting clear boundaries, managing your time effectively, and having open communication can give you the freedom and flexibility you are seeking as a mom founder or entrepreneur.

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