Balancing titles is one of the many responsibilities women entrepreneurs face on the daily but even more challenging than that is actually balancing the tasks of being a mom and a boss. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been asked or have even asked yourself the infamous question “What’s it truly cost to be the boss?”, at least a thousand times.
For years women have been taught that being a mom and a boss babe simply can’t happen in the same lifetime. That being a dedicated “supermom” means sacrificing your career, dreams and passions in exchange for PTA meetings, making it to every soccer game and recital and of course perfectly cut turkey and cheese sandwich squares. Not to forget having supper ready and hot promptly at 6.
While time management, organization, and a great deal of patience is required for each of the aforementioned tasks, and quite frankly transferrable to any executive-level position or CEO role, the truth is “Boss Babes” aren’t normally viewed as “Supermoms” and vice versa.
Why though, are moms and boss babes in separate categories? According to a 2017 U.S. BLS report, 70% of women with children work outside the home and there are more than 11 million women-owned businesses today, accounting for 39% of the country’s self-employed workforce. 1 in 3 of those business owners are moms. I think it’s fair to say that something isn’t adding up here and I think I know why.
Societal expectations of mothers to be “supermoms” still exist. Similarly, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on working women to climb the corporate ladder and achieve “Boss Babe” status. The question is then with so many societal pressures on each side, how can any woman committed to raising amazing children and loving her career truly achieve balance? To answer that question myself and our team at The Workroom thought we would take a closer look at what balance truly means for the female entrepreneur and mom and how to maintain sanity while doing so.
After all, I am a single mother of two and building a space for women to thrive and grow successful businesses. Not only did I have to figure it out but I had to ensure that women using our space and community had the support they needed to create a balanced life and business they would love. I’ve listed all of my secrets below and our team bares the naked truth of motherhood and business right below. Let’s get in to it!
Balance for the Boss Babe, Sanity for the Super Mom…
Now first things first let’s be brutally honest. When we said Supermom you thought the stereotypical “Pinterest mom”. You pictured here in a well-lit kitchen, hair combed in a perfect ponytail and laughter of her young children as they skipped over to her for hugs kisses and lunch promptly at noon. You pictured a woman with a happy marriage who throws Instagram-worthy birthday parties and does it all with a smile and perfect makeup. Spoiler alert: That woman is the unicorn of motherhood and probably only exists in stock photos and lifetime movies, therefore using her as your guide to success is the ultimate recipe for disaster, unrealistic expectations, and burnout. With that said it’s time to shift your mindset.
A real Super Mom focuses more on being a present and engaged mom than on playing the role of Supermom. True supermoms rebel against societal “norms” of what family life should look like and instead create a home and family dynamic that is healthy for her family — and herself. Those super moms who are also professional boss babes will be the first to tell you to stop trying to be something that truly doesn’t exist and define your own norm for your family. In fact, that is the ultimate definition of being a Boss Babe right? Taking charge and trailblazing is what Boss Babes do. So let’s redefine.
In addition to shifting your mindset, here are some ways to balance the roles of super mom and boss babe.
- Define what you need. To effectively communicate what you need at home and work, you have to first know what those needs are. So grab your favorite notebook and ask yourself “what do I need to make this work?”
- Build your team. Just like in business every successful business needs a supporting cast. Ask your partner for what you need and if you’re a single mom ask family and friends to help. At work and in your business don’t hesitate to do the same.
- Hone your time management skills. Use a planner (or heck, a Post-It). There is strong evidence that writing things down helps people stay on track and even increases productivity. The key is to not overplan and to factor in time to complete your tasks. Once you have them laid out, prioritize. Try to do the biggest tasks or the ones you least want to do first.
- Keep family and work responsibilities separate. It’s easier said than done, but it’s important to put on your Mommy hat when you get home and leave job responsibilities at the office. Being present in whatever role you’re in plays a tremendous role in a healthy work-life balance. Being your own boss, while rewarding comes with knowing that if you don’t get it done it won’t get done, but you still have to create boundaries. So when you’re home be home. Your family needs you too and that’s ok.
- Know the power of NO. Saying yes to every request and invitation is exhausting and unhealthy. Exercise your freedom of speech and politely decline the things that will overextend you — or that you simply don’t want to do. Feel empowered also to schedule a video call versus an in-person meeting when possible.
- Practice self-care. In order to be a nurturing mama and an empathetic coworker, you have to have something to give. Prioritize taking care of yourself, whether it’s an occasional nap or indulging in something more luxurious.
Supermom boss babes come in all shapes and sizes. What they have in common, though, is that they are unapologetically themselves and they fiercely protect both their families and their careers. It isn’t easy, but a steadfast determination to be who and what you want to be, in both your personal and professional life, will help. So how do you achieve balance and say to hell with societal pressures and expectations? You create it! You own it and take charge of what your success looks like.