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How to Balance Being a Parent and a Business Owner

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Work-life balance is one of the holy grails of a professional’s career and, while often discussed in the trade press, it is almost a mythical happy medium that few people are able to achieve.

Whether it is because you are a veteran of a high-pressure environment or just starting your career, it is really key to find the right space between business and personal. This is all the more true if you are a parent and a business owner.

Being a business owner entails pressures far beyond what many people deal with when their paycheck comes from someone else.

How can parents balance work and life while owning a business?

Here are some tips on how to balance being a parent and business owner that we think will help you find that vaunted middle ground.

The first tip is knowing how to delegate your responsibilities and what your boundaries are as a parent and business owner. Prioritize the big moments with your children and farm out the small tasks to others. Not only is this good advice in general but also it will help you avoid becoming burned out and tired too soon in your business’ life.

Along these lines, the second tip involves you prioritizing the health and happiness of yourself and your family above business stresses. This doesn’t mean shirking business responsibilities - quite the opposite. It means being able to acknowledge when you need rest and taking it and practicing a healthy regimen to keep yourself at top performance for your company and your family.

To the extent possible, you might even try involving your children in the business. While this won’t be applicable in all cases, where you can try to integrate your child’s life with your own so that everyone feels a part of the effort.

The third tip is to remember that balance isn’t always possible and some days will be more stressful than others. It is how you combat the stress that counts and knowing how to handle it when it arises.

A fourth tip is to leave your work at work to the extent possible. That is, drop the career mindset and adopt the parent mode when interacting with your children. It doesn’t matter what happened at the office, they aren’t responsible. Don’t let your negative energy spill over into your family life. Not only does this create a poor home environment but also interferes with your ability to recuperate from the day.

What this translates to is knowing how to divide your time. Be there for your children when you’re with your family. Similarly, be there for your company when you are with your company. Don’t shortchange both by trying to juggle everything at once.

And finally, one of the benefits of being your own boss is having a level of control over your calendar and meetings that others do not. Use this to your benefit and schedule accordingly. Be involved with your company when your kids are at school or otherwise occupied.

The key to finding the middle ground is to not let yourself become bogged down in the small things.

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