As busy women, we have multiple responsibilities. You have your work life and you are probably running a household, shopping and cooking and cleaning up, maybe taking care of kids or elderly parents, and might even have a spouse thrown into the mix! Your life is most likely a merry go round, right? You never stop.
And I understand this. Been there myself. I remember the days when I was teaching, and going to school at the same time, looking after my invalid mother, my kids and my husband. So yeah, I know what it is to be busy. Finding balance between home and business can be quite a challenge. Your family might have expectations of you which may seem unrealistic. Of course to them, they seem obvious and necessary, so there could be a little bit of a rub there.
So let’s discuss the issues that might be going on in your family as a result of being a very busy and stressed out woman. In this series about Abundance Mentality I’ve spoken about childhood issues and how they can greatly affect how you perceive yourself and how well you succeed in your business and your personal life. They can hold you back and you don’t even realize it.
Since i’ve already discussed that topic, let’s look at your current situation with your family from a different angle to understand how it can impact your success and your self confidence, your ability to be happy, to be joyful, to be creative. Creativity is extremely important as a business person. I’m sure you would agree with that!
Do your kids have a negative attitude about your business? This is an important question because if they are 100% behind you, well, that makes it much easier. If they’re not, if they’re feeling neglected, that’s something to look at. Maybe they’re right, and maybe you need to see what you can do about that. Maybe they’re wrong and if they’re wrong, there may be reasons why they are feeling that way, even though it doesn’t seem to make sense. Perhaps further investigation is necessary!
Another troubling issue besides the kids is your spouse. Your spouse may feel neglected or left out. A very important part of a relationship is sharing your life with your significant other; what’s important to you, what your work is about, how you’re doing things, and especially when you are having a rough time.
It’s easy to forget to tell details when you are really busy. You don’t stop to think, “Gee, did I tell (your loved ones) about this?” You may not have done that, and not because you didn’t want to. In the grand scheme of things, it was not top priority on your list.
Sometimes you have to shuffle your priorities around in order to make changes that are going to be beneficial to all of you, and this is definitely something to consider.
Question #1. Does your spouse and/or kids understand the work you do?
Maybe part of the problem is that you really haven’t explained what you do in a way that they can get on board and say, “Wow, this is great. Maybe I can help you in some way or support you at least!” That would change everything in your relationship, don’t you think so?
Make sure you sit down and explain the ins and outs of your work life, what your goals are, what your vision is for your career or business. Then you might find you have an unsuspected partner to help you. So definitely consider that.
In my early years as an Interfaith minister, I was often gone most of the weekends performing weddings. I would tell my family I’d be home right after the ceremony but then the couple would invite me to stay for dinner. How could I say no? This was the time before cell phones so it was a hassle to find a phone to call home. When I finally got home, I was annoyed at the cool reception I received from my family! I was totally clueless for quite a while about how much I had disappointed them.
Question #2. Do you keep your word?
Be honest. Don’t say, “I’ll be home at 6 for dinner when you know you’re not going to make it till 8. Don’t do that to your kids. Don’t do that to your husband or wife. Don’t do that because you’re setting up a situation of failing to keep your promises. It’s a shortcut to destroying your relationships and it’s debilitating to you because you’re not being honest with yourself.
Question #3 Have you been upfront with your family about the time you need for yourself?
You know me, the “take care of yourself” nag! You must take care of yourself first so that you can be in top form at work, so that you can be a good parent, and a loving mate. Therefore, be totally honest about how much time you need for yourself to do what you love, what relaxes you or reinvigorates you. In your quiet time alone, you might realize, “I don’t need to spend so much time on that project.” Or maybe, “I can hand this item over to someone else to do so that I don’t have to do it.” And that frees you up to spend a couple of hours with your family.
It’s exciting when you find a better way to prioritize your time, when you suddenly have a new awareness of how your actions affect others, when you discover a new way to do something. For many years I’ve been practicing Meditative Contemplation for a few minutes (almost) every morning before my day starts, because that’s the time when those creative juices can find free rein. I am often surprised at what happens as a result. I realize things or discover things, or invent things that i never would have thought of before. It is my ‘sacred time’ to open myself up to new ideas that I can’t wait to implement.
So, please consider some form of morning practice where you can allow yourself the space to let your creativity fly!
Question #4 Are you spending quality time with your spouse and/or kids?
It’s not enough to be in the house with them while you are doing your own thing! Quality time means engaged time, playing a game together, having a conversation about something important to them, going to their event and cheering them on. Your family doesn’t need ALL your time. They just need a bit of immersive time with you and then there won’t be any resentment when you go off to do your thing.
Question #5 Do you let your family know what’s going on in your thoughts, what you are planning to do?
You’ve got to be transparent, to clue them in so that they’re not standing around wondering what is going to happen next. “What’s she up now?” So let’s look at some things that you can put into practice to make these shifts. Perhaps the first thing is to have a family powwow. Just get the family together, maybe after a nice dinner, and just talk with them. Of course, it depends on how much you’ve actually shared with them previously, and maybe you have. Or there are things that you could definitely tell them about depending on the age of the kids.
* So have that little talk and tell them why you decided to do the work you do. I bet you’ve never told that to your kids. Granted, it’s not a normal topic of conversation for most people but maybe I’m wrong. (It’s been known to happen!) But anyway, if you haven’t, then tell them, what was your vision? What was your dream? What got you started in this direction? and get them excited. If you are an entrepreneur, wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring up the next generation of entrepreneurs? Everything I’ve been reading about business is that more of us are going that route.
* As you’re talking, leave space for questions. Let them express how they feel and honor their feelings.
* Set up a time frame for being together with your family. Whether it’s the dinner hour or some other time, whatever works for you. This is the time that you’re all going to spend together. Then they can look forward to it, then they know “we’re going to hang out together and share whatever it is we need to share.”. Don’t disappoint unless it’s an emergency.
* If you’re working from home now, which so many people are, or have a project to do, it’s so easy for a child to just come into your office. Or if you’re working in the kitchen, they come up and start talking to you, interrupting you right in the middle of a brilliant idea you just had. (As a writer, I know how frustrating that is!) Put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the table or door until X hour and let them know that you mean it! Kids need boundaries in order to feel secure. Any child psychologist will tell you that.
* Another thing that will really help your family understand you better is to share your successes with them. Tell them you made a big sale. Show them the garment you created. Share your new idea for a project. Let them share your happiness. It’s about sharing the good stuff together, right?
* You are not an island! Celebrate with your support system. You want to find that balance, that place where your work and your family have the quality time necessary for success. Then you’re going to find that your head is clearer, that you are more able to go about your work meaningfully without guilt.
* An Abundant Mentality comes from gratitude and gratitude produces peace, which produces calm and creativity. All those things work together so that you can be the most successful woman possible, right? That’s your goal. And that’s my goal for you!
Peace and Love Always,
I always tell you that I’m here for you because I want you to know that you have all the answers that you need within you, even if the answer you get is, “Go get help from so and so.” That answer will send you in the right direction so you can be the calm, creative, joyful and successful businesswoman you are meant to be!
By now I hope you know that I teach busy businesswomen how to start the day with intention and an Abundant Mentality. If you would like to have a 30-minute chat with me to uncover some of the blocks that are keeping you from the success that an abundant mentality will offer you, you will find my calendar here to set up a time.
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