I was gonna write about how to balance everything as a mom-preneur. But screw that– I can’t balance everything. The most I can hope for is to be relaxing at the end of the day with my kids. Before that, it’s all chaos.
And truthfully, I don’t have a ton of advice about how to balance things. My lack of balance is the stuff of legends– I have reached the status of Autistic Ultimate Master of Chaotic Lack of Balance.
I wonder who told us we needed to have balance? Where did this idea come from? Probably a dude, amirite?
I think, at its core, “balance” means having some time to work and some time to spend with your family (and, ideally, some time for yourself, doing things you like).
I guess, by that definition, I have balance. I get my shit done each day and feel relaxed at the end, most some of the time.
But it doesn’t feel balanced, does it? I think so often the idea of “balance” gets confused with a sense of calmness and structure throughout the day, like those salad-eating Instagram models. And what mama has that?! Stay-at-home moms (without a business) rarely feel that themselves, so when we add in a business, all chaotic heck can break loose.
Because oftentimes our kids witness us conducting business (because most of us are building our business from home, and few of us have the finances to afford childcare), we put extra pressure on ourselves to be perfect moms and perfect boss babes, because our kids are watching. We feel a sense of failure and shame when we can’t show up perfectly in multiple realms in front of our kids.
But hold on a mother-tucking second. Who else experiences this type of pressure? Moreover, who can conduct a business this way? Something’s gotta give, and unfortunately, the thing that gives is usually our feeling of wellbeing and our mental (and sometimes physical) health.
Especially now, after elevnty-billion months of summer and fifteen-skillion months of Covid, we’re all feeling a little rough around the edges. Women the world over have collectively taken on the absolute lion’s share of domestic labour throughout Covid and beyond, and at one point, Canadian women’s participation in the paid economy dropped to the lowest levels since the ‘80’s! Moms providing paid, unpaid, and entrepreneurial labour are all struggling, because we’re exhausted and tired of being devalued by society.
So then how did it become our job to slap on a smile and double-down our effort to present a calm demeanor for our kids, and to pretend to be grateful for our #girlbosslife? Whenever I work with a mama feeling overwhelmed by their life, I ask what wellbeing looks like to them. Then I ask them to take stock of what is present in their life. Usually, most of the things we say we want are already present in our lives. So why does it not feel like it? Because we’re exhausted and our lives are full of smeared banana and halfway-eaten bowls of mac and cheese, and that doesn’t feel like success. But you know what, awesome mama? Sometimes success involves banana smears on the wall, and sometimes it involves cleaning skid marks off teeny pairs of underwear. And sometimes it means putting your kids in front of the TV so you can join a Zoom meeting or have a bath. Sometimes success means speaking your mind when you’re overwhelmed, and taking up time and space for yourself (to do work, or just, you know, to breathe and take a break). You are so much more than a mom, and much more than an entrepreneur. You are made of stardust, baby. And when you wonder why your home and mind feel chaotic, think about the stars splashed around the galaxy. Then adjust your crown and shine on, queen.
Meet the Author
Amy Joy (they/them) is an autistic teacher, writer, parenting coach, and coffee drinker in Calgary. A single mama of two rambunctious cubs, they love wandering through the mountains and baking cookies for their children. They believe in universal human rights, feminism, strict household budgets, following their dreams, and living in line with their neurotype.