Are you contributing more than money?


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People ask me all the time: How do you balance it all? And to be honest, I can’t give them {or you} an exact formula for balancing your roles as a wife, mom, business owner, etc. because it looks different for everyone. But, I can share the one question I ask myself to ensure I’m not only ‘balancing’ it all, but keeping my priorities of ‘God, family, and business’ in that order. I'm about to get really transparent so if you share any of the same struggles that I'm about to share, please let me know. No matter the amount of followers or success someone has, it’s always scary to go out on a limb and expose yourself.

This past week God showed me, in multiple ways, that over the past few weeks, I have not been contributing much more than money to my family and the pace I have been working at is not glorifying to Him. Here are a few real life examples of how He told me this: My husband came home last week and shared with me that he felt like he was taking the back seat to my business {talk about a gut check}. My daughter {I won't tell you which one} has been in a downright rebellious phase, which started about, eh, two weeks ago. {While this might not be a direct correlation to me working more, I need to make sure that I have time to be 100% mom and guide her in the way she should go}. To top it all off, I imposed mastitis upon myself last week {and for those of you that don't know mastitis, is the pits}. This infection is caused from lack of sleep and excessive stress. Yep, God knows it takes a near death experience {okay, slight exaggeration} to get the message across to me.

Some of the most common questions I hear from clients include: How can I make sure that my babies know they're my number one priority? How do I balance a healthy marriage and a business? And while I could share all of my time management hacks with you {you guys know that's my jam}, what it comes down to is really this one question I ask myself about 1,349,429 times a day. The question is not ‘Am I earning enough? Am I involved in too much? Am I too busy? The question is this: Is my business enhancing or hindering my family?

I know it’s a heavy question so go ahead and hit that pause button in your head right now to pray through this. Enhancing or hindering your family looks different for everybody, but if you’re a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom.

Now that you’ve paused to pray, let’s work through a couple of characteristics from the Proverbs 31 woman to help you think through this:

She wasn’t a workaholic

She knew her tasks and completed them diligently, but she did it in a way that enhanced her family’s life. She didn't work for her own glory. She didn't work at an insane pace. She worked knowing that her ultimate goal was to serve others and if she worked too much, she’d be hindered in serving her family. She didn’t work to satisfy some lonely feeling or to prove herself to the world or go be a ‘Bible-times boss babe.’

She kept her body strong to ensure her family received the best care

She made sure that she had a strong and healthy body so that she could serve her family well in all areas. She didn’t work at an insane pace, with anxiety and worries about reaching her quota. She was a good steward of her body so she could produce excellent work, ultimately allowing her to serve her family as best as possible,

Here are some questions that we can ask ourselves to make sure we’re truly contributing to our family through our businesses. {Side note: Ladies, I am so guilty of working too hard in a way that doesn't enhance my family. Remember- Lonely husband, rebellious child, mastitis. Yeah. I’m in this battle with you.} These questions are meant to help you, not hurt you, although they may sting at first glance.

First question: If your child becomes sick and has to go to the doctor, what is your first thought? Are you thankful that as a work at home mom you are able to take them to the doctor and care for them? Or are you frustrated that you have to interrupt your day + more than likely the first thing you’ll have to cross off your schedule are your business hours. {Total transparency I have been working at such a sinful rate, I missed my daughter's well check up a couple of weeks ago. Talk about literally devaluing the life of your family.}

Second question: Does your husband know, at the end of the day, he comes before your business? In other words, how does he feel about your business? Is he jealous? Does he think you're working too hard and not earning enough? Is your business truly enhancing your marriage? Your husband's life? The well-being of your relationship?

Third question: What systems do you have in place to remind your children they are number one? We have a new routine in our family in which my oldest daughter goes to my parents every Monday. This prevents me from being half mom/half business owner all week while nearly begging for a few hours to work without interruption by Friday. This routine organically sprouted when I realized that with the rate of growth in my business I needed  one day to completely focus on my clients and business that simultaneously ensured my children would receive the best care possible.

As moms, that’s our job: to provide the best care possible. It's not to give our kids whatever they want. It's not to work like a dog so we have tons of money. Our job as moms is to make sure that our kids have the best care possible {and again, that looks different for everybody}. For me, this one day-a-week-so-mommy-can-focus-on-her other calling is it; One day a week that sets our family up for success for the rest of the week.

if you're seriously struggling to understand if your business enhances or hinders your family, I have an assignment for you. Make a ‘T’ comparison chart {yep, we’re going back to fifth grade} with ‘Hindering’ on the left and ‘Enhancing’ on the right. If you can list more ways your business enhances your family’s life, kudos to you, that is amazing! If the hindering side is a bit heavier, you need to pray and reconsider what you’re doing in your business. You need to get on the phone with me and we need a chat because if your business is hindering your family we need to move some things around. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to throw in the towel right away, but we may need to implement some practical aspects such as time management strategies, scheduling, etc. If you need help thinking through whether or not your business is enhancing or hindering your family, schedule a call with me below.

Ali Christian