Is the most common word you use to describe your life "busy?"
Scrambling to get your daughter to get to her dance class.
Saying "no" to girls night because you're just too tired.
Forgetting to bring in the class goodie bags because your to do list is a mile long.
Rushing, rushing, rushing everywhere you go. (Often yelling at the kids in the process.)
Crashing at night, needing to zone out to just take a breath.
Feeling like sometimes you have it all together, but most times...like you're barely hanging on?
I think as Moms, we are wired to feel like we should always be doing more, being more, and making sure everyone else is taken care of before ourselves. It's an exhausting approach to life, but what else do we do?
Ashley and I have been there more times than we'd like to admit. In fact, one of the reasons we left the corporate world was because that feeling was happening just a little too often. Now of course there were other reasons, but that pressure of time and a constant feeling of needing to "do more" was never far.
The Corporate world is a tough one to manage as Moms, I'm not going to lie. We absolutely loved our company and the people there, but we struggled to feel enough. When we're attempting to balance our lives at home, and be fully present there, but then switch gears and go kill it in the office and switch off our "Mom brain," we ultimately are kind of set up for failure.
In my opinion, you can't really give 100% in one area, then switch gears to give 100% in the other without burning yourself out. And your mind is always on the things you should have done, the places you should have been, the work you should be on top of, the activities you should have planned...there are a whole lot of "I should haves" that leave you feeling...unaccomplished, defeated, and just plain ole tired.
Now I know a lot of Moms who are truly able to kill it at the office, come home and be team parent and room mom even, and just totally kill it at home too. They are my heroes..and I absolutely adore my friends who do this. But I know that comes at a sacrifice too, because it is impossible to run so hard at both ends. I know, because I did it.
Choosing to leave the safety and security of the corporate world was really freaking hard.
When you work for a company that does so much to give you the balance you need, that is not an easy choice to make. I know you might work for a company that doesn't offer you that, and I applaud you. Because surviving may not be thriving, but at least you are still there...doing what you need to for your families.
We both agonized over leaving the corporate world, but ultimately felt like we needed to do this for ourselves. We needed to leave Corporate to control our time, we needed to choose the work we did, and where we could say "no", we needed to make a difference for small businesses in our community, and we needed to create a life that worked for us and our families.
But it's not exactly all sunshines and rainbows on the other side and if you're a business owner, then you already know this to be true.
We thought by becoming business owners that those feelings would be relieved, and they are in some ways. We have the flexibility we always needed, and the ability to create a life around the needs of our families. But if we're being honest, that pressure is still there. But we've been working at it HARD, because we know this is temporary, and we KNOW we can do something about it.
As business owners, there are pretty constant ebbs and flows. One day you think you've got it all together, the next...not so much. But isn't that motherhood, parenthood and life in general?
The key for us is in the action. Choosing a path like business ownership comes with a responsibility to figure this lifestyle out, so that it doesn't get the best of us. It requires us to look at our business, and ask "how can we sustain this, grow this and love this business alongside our personal lives?" In order to make sure we don't end up in the same boat as we did in the Corporate world, we have looked at how we operate to make sure we are moving in the right direction.
Sometimes that means saying "no" to work and clients we actually like. Or, just saying "no" to projects that we know won't serve us well mentally, or that we can't fully commit to.
It means creating an action plan that drives us towards our goals, but that has flexibility built in where we need to.
It means doing the work to create a streamlined business that has such tight processes and workflows, that we can save ourselves time while still growing the business.
It means forgiving ourselves and offering a ton of grace when we are imperfect, and granting each other grace too.
It means taking care of our mental health right alongside everything else.
Leaving the corporate world, and starting our own business has come with so many ups and downs. But at the end of the day, the choice we made has been a massive blessing to us and our families, and even with those ups and downs, we wouldn't have done it any different.
We'd love to hear your story of business ownership, and if you too had to leave the corporate world. Willing to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Instagram @cabotandmain and share. We love connecting with ex-corporate gals turned business owners!