I recently realized how much I want to improve in this area. My business took off and I was so excited that I had consistent commissions I booked myself solid for months. In doing that I have learned a lot. I want to share what I have learned in the past few months, but also that past couple years of running/growing a business while still spending time with my family.
Set Realistic Expectations
When making time for your family and creativity you have to create realistic expectations for the amount of work you are going to do. Before becoming pregnant I had a good understanding of what a work/life balance looked like. I worked a few hours a day during Lunas nap time and I spent the weekend with my family going on outings.
BUT as soon as I got pregnant that went out the window. I was overcome with exhaustion. I had deadlines to meet. I was stressed. I would wake up at six and need a nap by 9. Needless to say things had to change.
This is something that I think gets overlooked. The need to revise and review. Life is full of changes and challenges. Something that works for you right now, might not work for you in 6 months time. Take the time to sit down and look at your schedule. What are your values, what gives you life? Is it gardening, walks, cooking, meditating? Make time for that within your day. I now nap for 30 mins when luna is sleeping and if I wake up before she does I will begin cooking. I am consciously making the time and effort to step back into something I used to love, but it fell by the wayside. This is one way for me to express my creativity that doesn’t require pens, pencils, yarns or paints.
If you want to be creative, I find I need to add that to my schedule for it to happen otherwise other things take precedence. You may also need to switch things around, I used to work while Luna naps, but now I often naps while she naps. By doing this I am better rested, I can show up for her as a mom, but when she goes down for bed I am not totally spent. I can then dedicate multiple hours to completing work. Sometimes what sounds best isn’t necessarily what will work best. I usually HATE working after Luna goes down because I feel most productive in the morning hours. but after telling myself I will wake up early to start my day before she gets up (and that not happening) something had to change. Now I truly enjoy those evening moments of working quietly.
Talk with your significant other about carving out time for the two of you. My husband and I got into the Netflix wormhole and every night we were to exhausted after that day all we would want to do is watch TV and vege. However, this is truly not the best way to grow a realationship.
Set boundaries with your work. Set a time to turn off all devices, play a game as a family, read a book side by side, talk over a glass of wine, reconnect with one another.
We have also begun making weekends time away. We will go on a hike, go fishing, take the day to be away from the house to allow ourselves to connect as a family, be disconnected from our devices, and cultivate the life we want. This is hard when running a business because I want to be as active on social media as possible, but I value time with my family far more than the number of followers I have. So I am learning to let go of that expectation and lean into the understanding that I am creating the life I love. I only have one and I don’t know how many days I have here on earth so I want to live each day in a way that I can be proud of.
Ultimately It comes down to finding out your values, and adjusting accordingly. I value creating art, spending time with my family and close friends, spending time in nature, and connecting with the earth/food I eat, and being present and mindful. With this knowledge I can better plan my day. I ask myself, will these actions bring me closer to those values, or further away.
Obviously we have normal tasks that need to get done, like shopping for food, or cleaning the house, but for the hours that are not dedicated to moments like those you are entirely in control of how you use them.