People hear a lot about work-life balance. Just what does "balance" mean? The word connotes a two-sided scale where both are in balance, depending on the equal weight of two opposing forces. In this case: working and parenting. Not realistic.
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If a parent has paid employment, the universe will not always be in order. Neither will the laundry. The demands of parenting on one side and the job on the other will usually not smile in agreement to shared time, effort, payback or fulfillment. One will be sacrificed for the other if a parent tries to do them both perfectly.
We also hear the word "juggling" tossed around. Picture a stressed out parent moving furiously to keep too many balls in the air, dropping one by one. Not pretty.
It's about priorities
Rather than balance or juggling, parenting with priorities is a better approach. This article addresses three benefits to owning a business on family life and how prioritizing plays into entrepreneurship.
Bryan Brinton grew up in a family business that flourished to become Seven Peaks, a multi-state amusement park. Gary Brinton, the family business owner, maximized his potential for prioritizing what was most needful at the time. He set his own schedule so he was almost always available to watch a soccer game or go on a vacation with the family.
Nevertheless, shouldering the responsibility of business ownership requires the family to be patient at times. One child complained about his mom's too-much attention to her small business during a demanding time. She asked him, "Where do you think the money comes from so we can pay for your clothes and food?" The boy smiled and said, "Keep up the good work, Mom."
Prioritizing equips working parents to choose what to put on the scale and what not. Ginger Woolley, a single mother, ran a successful business for nearly 20 years while raising three children.
"Early on, I made some decisions that helped me to manage the home front and still run my business," she said. "I let go of the idea that I had to do it all. And I hired a mother’s helper who cut 20 hours out of my labor at home.
I gave up all the grocery shopping and at least 50 percent of the meal prep, all of the laundry, every bit of the household cleaning. I even let the mother’s helper supervise my children in their chores. And my kids learned all the basic home maintenance skills without a harried working mother trying to make it happen."
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