It’s hard to be an entrepreneur, and it’s hard to be a parent. But it is especially hard to be an entrepreneur and a parent. In this week’s episode of SUCCESS Line, I talk to Rucht, an entrepreneur and new mom of a 6-month-old son. She feels perpetually overwhelmed and is struggling to find the elusive work-life balance.
Although I am no expert on parenting, I do have two kids, and what I can say confidently is that the first six months after our child was born were some of the hardest months of my life. Raising a child is an exhausting, full-time job, and I am in awe of all working moms and parents out there.
What I reminded Rucht in our conversation is that she needs to grant herself the permission of patience. She may feel behind and overwhelmed right now, but she is still rebounding—from having a child and from spending a year in lockdown. We all need to stop thinking about today as our only chance and envision the longer horizon of time. Trust the process. If you invest in your personal development and do the work, you will catch up in time.
Regardless of what you may be rebounding from—a new child, a lost job, a big move, etc.—read on for my top three tips to break free from chronic overwork, multiply your time and take care of yourself (and your loved ones) in the future.
1. Give yourself grace.
With parenthood, you can’t expect yourself to make every meal, be up in the middle of the night every night, and spend every waking minute thinking about your child in order to be a good parent. You need to give yourself grace, flexibility, and patience. Get your child what they need, let them know you love them and spend the time you can supporting them. The same thing applies to any business, company, or brand you run—you are not superhuman and cannot do it all, hard as you may try.
Giving your all to your child (or business) does not mean you need to do it all by yourself. You don’t need to wipe every toilet, mow every blade of grass, or personally lick each envelope. Give yourself grace and get the help you need.
2. Make time for self-care.
Self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care is a necessity of service.
I’ll say that again in case it didn’t sink in: Self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care is a necessity of service.
You can’t fill anyone else’s cup if yours is empty. Maybe it is investing in a night nanny, hiring a personal assistant or booking a babysitter for even one night of quiet. Give yourself permission to take time to yourself—you need it more than you think.
3. Multiply time.
This is a concept I first introduced in my TED Talk. We all feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and, truthfully, there is nothing you can do to magically find more. However, you can use your time more wisely.
You multiply time by spending time on things today that will give you more time tomorrow. Invest the time and money it takes to set up processes today that will free you from the tasks that are stealing your time and happiness.
Some might say, “I’m too busy to create a process,” but that is not true. It is a limiting belief that keeps you trapped in the world of overwhelm you are living in right now. Break free by giving yourself the permission to set up the processes and hire the people you need in order to give yourself more time. If you’re not willing to do that, then you’re not a helpless victim—you’re a martyr. Take an honest look at the fact that you’re extracting your self worth from allowing yourself to be completely consumed by helping everyone but yourself.
Your significance does not come from being overworked, burnt out and bitter—it comes from serving other people with an easy, open heart.