We own multiple businesses and we raise multiple kids. Most days are very busy. In the early days of business-building and family-growing, finding work-life balance was a STRUGGLE. It felt like our family life and our professional life were always in tension.
Before Work-Life Balance
When Amelia and Ruthie were young, Mark was traveling almost every week. Any time spent together as a family felt like a rare gift. We wanted to use that time to do something fun together, but it was also the only time we had to accomplish household tasks around the house together. We never knew where our time was best spent.
At work, Mark was struggling to keep up and run his business effectively. As a new mom with two young kids at home, I needed constant help and support. Between providing for our family financially and being present to help with the daily demands of our household, Mark felt like the rope in a game of tug-o-war.
Needless to say, none of our efforts were fruitful and we felt like we were failing in all areas of our life.
The Biggest, Easiest Change
Well into running a cooperate video business and photography business, we made a big change. Instead of seeing our lives as all these separate pieces (businesses, child-rearing, marriage, etc.), we started to view our whole life as one, cohesive whole: “The Pasternacks.” Instead of seeing work-life balance as finding the right amount of time to spend on individual tasks, we saw work-life balance as a way to make our whole life function seamlessly.
Our 3 Work-Life Balance Tips
- Everything we do is an integral part of making our life function. Whether we’re closing a big business deal, tucking our kids into bed, or folding laundry, it is an important piece of our system. This helps relieve the constant tension between work and our personal lives. There is no competition with each other for whose role or task is more important. We are on the same page about what needs to be done, and we help each other find the time to achieve it.
- We outsource what ever we can! We have a whole blog post all about outsourcing. Essentially, if there is a task that someone else can do effectively for us, we will pay for that service. This helps us to gain back more time with our families or more time to work and make money. For example, we use Instacart for grocery shopping. It costs extra, but it saves us at least four hours every week. We use that extra time to do a fun activity with the kids or get a house project done. In our businesses, we outsource as much as we can. We employ a virtual assistant, a copy writer and editor, and photo and video editors. This allows us to invest our time in growth and new projects.
- We try to focus our time as much as possible. We have an amazing nanny throughout the week to help us with our kids while we concentrate on our businesses. This way, when we’re not working, we can turn off all our screens and be present with our kids. When we’re at home with our kids, we don’t respond to work emails. We set expectations with our clients on the front end. Our clients know that we have four kids and can’t always respond right away. This helps us focus on what’s important in the moment and be more efficient with our time.
After Work-Life Balance
Now that we see our lives as a whole instead of separate parts, we have more time for everything we value. We don’t feel constantly stressed about our time, because we know that everything we’re doing is valuable. Plus, now that we have more work-life balance, our business endeavors are more lucrative, because we have the time we need to help them flourish!