This month marks my 13 year anniversary as an entrepreneur. I can still remember the day my 3 month old son was napping on my chest back in May 2004 and I had the realization that I just couldn’t got back to an office job. Even though there was the option to have my mom or mother-in-law help with babysitting, I just couldn’t do it. That day started a course of opening and closing two other businesses, and then finally landing on Pink Chai Media about 5 years ago.
[Super serious work face & crazy curls]
While my other business ventures were mildly successful, this blog and it’s namesake media agency are the ones that really took off. Today Pink Chai Media is a full service digital agency with 4 employees, kind of crazy right? Over the last 5 years we’ve gone from Mr. T and I working at our kitchen table and coffee shops, to a point last year where we would have 4-5 people around our dining table every single day. It was becoming too difficult to have the business based in our home, and I had zero work-life balance so we made the decision to move our business to an office space.
It’s been 3 months since we set up our new shop (and one of these days I’ll hang up the art and take some pictures to show you guys), and I’m finally getting used to being a mom that goes to the office, and not a work at home mom. Guys, it’s been really hard. As much as I love opening the door every morning and seeing MY OFFICE – the place I built after years of late night working sessions, buckets of tears, and loads of anxiety, I’m not home at 3pm anymore to see my kids rush through the door. In all my years as an entrepreneur I’ve always prioritized being at home after school and for bedtime. These days I barely make it home for dinner sometimes.
The reason that I decided to give up a great career path (I had a government job with awesome benefits and bragging rights), was to be at home with my kids. To see their first steps, to teach them right from wrong, and to develop a great relationship with them. The last 3 months I’ve felt somewhat disconnected from them. I have a pre-teen and newly minted teen that spend a lot of time in the rooms playing Minecraft or video games, or watching YouTube videos, and when they do come out of their bedrooms, I want to be there.
On the flip-side though, my business is doing better than it ever has, and the ‘corporate culture’ at Pink Chai is awesome! We all come to work, do our thing, laugh & joke around, and then head home in the evening. Yes, I still work at night or early in the morning, but I do feel like there is a break between work and home – a little bit of balance.
Most days I feel like I’ve started to get a better handle on work-life balance, but my new struggle is balancing motherhood with the desire for career success. The things I put on hold 13 years ago are increasingly important to me – promotions, financial growth, and recognition for my work, I want it all. That my friends is motherhood in a nutshell, being in a constant push and pull between what you want for yourself, and what you think is best for your kids.
How do you balance life as a working mother? Any tips for an ‘office mom’ like me?