Trapped in Chaos: The Struggle to Separate Business and Motherhood
Updated: Aug 3
Everything blurs together.
With the advancement of technology and the pandemic, many CEOs are leading teams out of their homes with their kids just a room over.
Even with dedicated work space or an office location, very few companies have returned full-time to the office.
In many ways it seems as if it would make life easier, with no commute to the office and access to everything you need from the comfort of your home.
And in other ways it’s made the boss moms running businesses unable to separate themselves at all. Working anytime and any place is easier than ever causing them to work more and be present less.
The accessibility of work has hindered their ability to recharge, relax and engage in activities that aren’t related to work.
How Accessibility is Preventing Growth
With the world of work, motherhood and all the other hats we wear as women blending together we are doing our best to handle it all and the lines between our responsibilities are blurred or non-existent.
And women everywhere feel guilty, ashamed and like they are trying to hold it all together.
Many women will multitask, thinking that it will help them manage all the areas well, but what actually happens is higher stress, more frustration and sometimes even the opposite effect of what they are trying to do - reduced productivity.
They are sacrificing personal time, promising that it will only be temporary and moving the things that are vital for them to succeed. Most of my clients prior to starting with me don’t have self-care routines, hobbies or frequent dates with their partners. All that actually happens is resentment and burn out.
An “Always-on” mentality is built, making sure they are constantly available for work and completely ignoring the boundaries they need. This creates chronic stress, a strain on all the relationships they care most about and a diminished quality of life.
With the belief that they need to be always available, being willing to sacrifice personal time and trying to multitask - overworking becomes a habit. They have so much fear of failing or falling behind that they continue to push forward, working more hours and telling the story that it won’t always be this way.
Between that and not asking for the help they need or effectively delegating, the pressure and mental load continues to get heavier.
Asking for help is ringing in their ears but they never want to seem like they can't hold it all together or as if they aren’t good leaders.
Not only are these issues wearing on the mental and physical health of these women, it’s preventing them from their leadership potential and slowing down business growth.
Instead of trying to blur the boundaries or sacrificing personal well-being, it is crucial to establish clear boundaries, prioritize self-care, delegate tasks, and communicate expectations to create a healthier work-life balance.
Creating Separation to Thrive in Life and Business
When you run a business, it’s going to be a part of your reality - but you have to make changes to ensure that the business isn’t running YOU.
Here’s how to create healthy separation:
Set clear boundaries: Define specific boundaries between work and personal life. Establish designated work hours and create a schedule that includes dedicated personal time. Communicate these boundaries to colleagues, clients, and family members to set expectations.
Create a designated workspace: Set up a physical workspace that is separate from your personal living area. This can be a dedicated room or a specific area in your home where you can focus on work. When you're in this space, it signals to yourself and others that you are in work mode.
Prioritize self-care: Make self-care a priority by scheduling regular breaks, exercise, relaxation, and leisure activities. Treat personal time as non-negotiable and ensure that you engage in activities that rejuvenate and recharge you.
Delegate and outsource: Identify tasks that can be delegated or outsourced to free up your time and reduce your workload. Surround yourself with a capable team or consider hiring assistance for personal tasks, such as household chores or childcare, to create more space for focusing on work.
Practice time management techniques: Adopt effective time management techniques, such as setting priorities, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, and utilizing productivity tools. This allows you to make the most of your work hours and avoid the tendency to let work spill into personal time.
Establish digital boundaries: Limit your use of technology and establish boundaries around checking emails and work-related notifications outside of designated work hours. Consider turning off work-related notifications or utilizing "Do Not Disturb" settings on your devices to minimize distractions during personal time.
Communicate expectations: Clearly communicate your availability and boundaries to your team, clients, and stakeholders. Let them know your preferred methods of communication, response times, and when you are not available. By setting expectations upfront, you can manage others' expectations and reduce interruptions during personal time.
Foster a supportive work culture: Advocate for a work culture that values work-life balance and respects boundaries. Encourage open conversations about work-life integration and support policies that promote flexibility, remote work, and family-friendly practices.
Remember that establishing work-life separation is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and adjustment. Be flexible and adaptable as you find the strategies that work best for you and your specific circumstances.
All of my clients learn how to manage their schedules and responsibilities within the times and days that work for them, giving them more time with their families and contributing to better leadership.
Prioritizing your well-being and maintaining a healthy balance will ensure your long-term success and satisfaction as a founder or CEO.
If you are stretched thin trying to manage all your responsibilities and you want more freedom as you continue to build your empire - let’s talk.