When we asked our community about finding balance in work and motherhood, one answer kept coming up: Forget balance, find harmony. Because a perfectly balanced life is a bit “like trying to find a magical unicorn,” says Geomyra Pollard.
Harmony, on the other hand, is about finding what works for you and your family. Harmony can change from one moment to the next. Harmony is accepting that you might not have it all figured out—and that’s okay.
Because chances are that many other business-owning moms have been there, too. And thank goodness for that because we can learn so much from them.
Here, twelve moms share the unexpected lessons that taught them how to find and embrace their harmony.
I figured out how to charge 2-5x more so I could reduce my workload to 20 hours a week.
When I became a mom, I suddenly knew my time was more valuable than it had ever been! So I made a really, really intentional choice. I decided that if I was going to have a business I was proud of yet still maintain a lot of space to just be “mom” (what I so desire!), I needed to up-level my brand immediately and start charging more for my service.
I went through a painful year of transition (it was so discouraging, I almost quit multiple times!), but after that, I began reaping an incredible reward for my efforts. I successfully managed to command pricing that was 2-5x the amount of my original cost, and cut down my work hours to just 20 hours a week. (You can read all about how I did it here.)
HoneyBook made my life EASY! I tried other small business management platforms previously, but they were all confusing and the time investment it took to learn them wasn’t something I had with just 20 hours to work per week. I needed that time spent in more important ways in my business (like building strategic vendor relationships-crucial to building a high-end brand!). I tried HoneyBook, had immediate support to get my business set up on the platform, and I’ve never looked back.
So my advice to moms? Don’t settle. Pre-determine what you want and chase it relentlessly. You and your kids deserve it!
Charity Mauer, Charity Maurer Photography
I stopped chasing balance.
Trying to find constant balance between work and family is like trying to find a magical unicorn. Years ago, I stopped chasing balance and started focusing on what matters most to me in a particular moment and/or season.
If my kids need more attention than usual, I have set up my business so that I may love on them and be present. If I’m preparing for a launch or working on a project, I have put systems in place in my home business using tools like HoneyBook and have outsourced components that allow me to serve my clients well. By putting systems in place, I was able to run a profitable business without spending countless hours at my desk reinventing the wheel.
My podcast, A Well-Rounded Life, speaks directly to the point of embracing the season you’re in and finding what works best for you, your family and your business in order to ensure everything is handled without sacrificing your sanity! 🙂
Geomyra L. Pollard, Coaching for Creatives
I learned to walk away from the internet.
According to my Instagram feed, normal moms nest in the traditional ways—nursery decor, folding new baby clothes, painting the walls. As an entrepreneur, nesting meant preparing my business to walk away. It was worth every bit of hard work and every penny spent in preparation: flying two members of my team in to get set on a maternity plan, working like crazy the months before … all worth it to be able to peace out and quietly learn motherhood.
I worked so hard on that and was able to take paid leave for three whole months pretty much entirely offline. Maternity leave was a sweet time of focus on my baby and learning how to be a mom—I even took a whole month off social media during those three months.
HoneyBook’s client workflow automation software was integral because my team continued to service clients in my absence—we plugged in new templates and even used my “off time” to tweak our process.
Ashlyn Carter, Ashlyn Writes
I had to change the way I made decisions for my business.
With every inquiry and opportunity, I have to run it through the filter of: Does this serve my family’s needs from me at this moment? Do they need me as a mom? Do we as a family need me to bring in more income? What will serve my family best right now? And whatever that is, it’s ok! Whether that be turning down weddings to spend more time with them or taking on more shoots because we need that financially. Both are ok, and it’s ok that the answer changes from day to day!
One of those decisions for me was choosing to use HoneyBook. I ran the decision through that filter and realized it allowed me to both be with my kids physically because I wasn’t spending as much time running the office side of things, AND it helps me to bring in more income because it allows me to be more professional and organized.
Thinking through things that way has given me so much freedom from mom guilt. Now I know, no matter what, I’ve thought of my family first and am serving them the best way I can.
A.J. Dunlap, A.J. Dunlap Photography
I shifted my mindset.
I kept waiting to have these big chunks of time, but when my little ones needed me so often, it was unrealistic to expect that of my day. So I shifted my mindset. I began to do what I could with them and involve them in my art so they could be a part of it all. I began to take advantage of the power of a five-minute session here and a nap-time there.
I say this in the spirit of productivity and finding your new normal—find your blend. But don’t forget to rest and prepare for this new season. I hate to admit it, but “mom brain” is a real thing. You are simply in a forgetful state of mind during those early days. HoneyBook kept me accountable when I really needed it most. I was able to pop into HoneyBook and run through my client workflows at a glance, spend less time in my inbox, and spend more time snuggling babies and one-on-one time with my family.
Hope Johnson, by HOPE Johnson
I came to the realization that it was OKAY to NOT work all the time.
My biggest challenge was not being able to work when I wanted to. I thought I would work in between naps and in the late hours of the night when my daughter was sleeping….boy was I wrong! Naps didn’t last very long and at night, all I wanted to do was finally sleep, too!
It was a challenge to come to the realization that my daughter was now my #1 priority and that it was OKAY to not have to WORK all the time. I learned to let go and not resent this process.
Instead, I decided to create systems to allow me to better balance the two. I took some time to batch my work, automate as much as possible using a a client management software for small businesses like HoneyBook, and hire help! If I do this all over again, I definitely want to do all of this WAY in advance next time so that I can enjoy every second with my babies and not feel the urgency to have to work.
Cristina Barragan, Posh Peony + Fleursociety
I stay either fully in mom mode or fully in work mode, and try not to let them overlap.
The challenge of being a mom and an entrepreneur is that you have two passionate and valuable roles fighting for your attention, and you can feel overwhelmed or guilty for trading them for each other. To overcome, I worked to stop battling them against each other, and embraced the idea of balancing them in a way that worked for me. I worked to overcome the guilt, and implemented systems that allowed me to be fully present in whichever role I was taking on at the moment.
Nicole Andreini, Nicole&Co
My biggest takeaway: Do what you love and leave the rest to someone else.
Balance within motherhood has been a full on battle for me over the past five years. I quickly realized that I was only fulfilled leaving my baby boy to do something I really loved. When I was doing anything else, I was miserable!
I’m a complete website + design nerd, so that’s my focus within Chancey Charm. I’m outsourcing the rest to give myself the balance I need. For example, a few years ago, I was collecting client payments via an Excel. It was maddening! HoneyBook’s auto-payment reminders now saves my sanity and family time on the daily!
Sarah Chancey, Chancey Charm
I learned to block off my time.
I have blocks of times for meetings, family time, time to workout, time to clean my house and me time. When I didn’t block them off, I felt overwhelmed and like I was only half doing one area and not tackling something from each bucket. Now everyday, I have time carved out for family, work, home and me. That is what makes me balanced.
I use the Calendly feature to book my appointments with clients and block off time to work. I also have my tasks list in HoneyBook so when it’s desk time, I consult my task list to see what to tackle first.
Jaime Engebretson, J’aime Events
I found harmony, not balance, by learning how to strategically be present in both roles in my life.
There are two things that every mom out there who owns a business has to learn…adaptability and that for everything there is a season. The more you lean into being adaptable the more you will flourish in your roles. It’s impossible to be perfect at everything all the time.
By learning how to strategically be present in both roles in your life you will find harmony. You won’t find balance, because when things are “balanced” they are equal, but you will find harmony. Sometimes the business demands more, sometimes the family requires more. But with harmony you can achieve something amazing that keeps you happy in both areas of your life.
HoneyBook helps buy you back the essential time you need to be present with your family and stay on top of everything in your business!
Abbey Kyhl, Abbey Kyhl
I learned the importance of staying present in each moment.
Balance is a myth. You’ll never be 100% balanced in your business and mom life, and the belief that every other mom balances the two seamlessly only perpetuates the feeling that you’re failing at both. In reality: you’ll never be perfectly balanced, but you’ll learn to juggle the two, and that juggling act will become easier over time as your little ones grow.
I learned the importance of staying present in each moment and living each day with a grateful heart, knowing that the season of growing pains I was in wouldn’t last forever. HoneyBook takes so much off of my plate, and gives me more time back with my littles. It makes juggling work life and home life WAY more efficient and WAY less stressful.
Things I used to spend hours doing (sending emails, contracts, invoices, questionnaires, timelines, tracking my income, the list goes on!) HoneyBook has simplified + organized + streamlined, so I can spend my time with my kids FULLY THERE, knowing that I’m not forgetting anything, and knowing that I can get all of those emails sent in record time once the kids are in bed.
Kaylyn McLachlan, The McLachlans
Focusing on finding harmony in work and motherhood instead of achieving a perfect balance can help you better manage both. So whether you’re an expecting mom or a veteran, focus on finding your ever-shifting new normal, or the blend of time you spend focused on each aspect of your life.
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