Book more photography clients with this step-by-step framework.
Hi, I'm Brooke! I'm a believer, wife, mama to two, Oklahoma photographer, and photography business coach.
I help photographers grow profitable full-time businesses from home.
Explore the podcasts and blogs in the categories listed below.
Are you struggling to juggle it all? Wondering if work life balance is even possible for you? In today’s episode on the Five Star Business Podcast, I’m diving into the topic of work life balance and sharing advice to help you find the balance you’ve been chasing.
Let’s talk about the ‘B’ word. Not that ‘B’ word. The ‘B’ word I’m talking about is balance. Is balance even possible? If you’re a lot like me, you might be struggling with how to juggle it all.
You’re wondering “How do I juggle my business on top of being a mom to my kids? On top of being a good wife and showing up for my family? Not to mention the other fifteen hats that I have to wear.“
I’ve been where you’re at. There are still days that I’m wondering how to juggle it all. I have weeks where I get really behind on keeping up with the house. There are days when I feel like the worst mom in the world for losing my crap on my kids. I want you to know that you’re not alone.
Are you wondering if work life balance is even possible? I want to define balance for you from the dictionary and hold it up to the Word of God. What does the Bible have to say about balance?
The definition of balance is “an even distribution of weight, enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” I really like that picture of remaining upright and steady. Another definition says that balance is “a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” I love that so much! Immediately I thought, this is priorities.
Balance happens when we’re able to have all of these different elements: our business, our relationship with God, our marriage, our motherhood, and all of the other things and hold them in the correct proportions.
I’ll be the first to tell you, all of those things are not equal. When we talk about balance, we’re not talking about having everything the same in our life. Because we don’t have the same time, attention and dedication in all of the areas in our life. We have to know what the correct proportions are and what order they come. That is where we get priorities.
The correct proportions for all of these things for the four major areas is:
For some of you, you might even have something else before business. If this is the way that it’s supposed to be, then why do we have such a hard time doing it? A lot of times we come with the right heart posture, but we’re just so overwhelmed that we’re just picking at straws. We’re trying to keep everything together.
I started this whole online entrepreneurship thing in 2016. The mom to a three-year-old, a newborn, and a college degree with no job. I was at home with my kids, not by choice. I’ll be the first to tell you that was not by choice. I’ve always been ambitious. I’m type A and a go getter. I want to be working, building and contributing. I want to be doing something, that’s just who I am. That’s how I was created and how God made me.
I struggle setting work down and focusing on things in the right order. I’m not perfect and don’t always do this in the correct way. But I’m trying to guide myself and guide all of you to do it this way. When we do it in the correct order, in the correct proportions, everything is so much easier. Life is more enjoyable, and your cup is fuller.
Back in 2016 I had a college degree. I just graduated college a couple of months prior with my teaching degree and was excited about getting in the classroom. But because I was pregnant, and due at the beginning of the school year, I knew there was zero chance I was going to get hired. That’s exactly what happened.
I was at home for four months, with my three-year-old and my newborn. We were struggling. Financially, it was bad. Emotionally, it was bad. Relationship wise, it was bad. We were not in a good place. Nothing seemed to be working for us. It was really frustrating. 2016 was my lowest of the lows. I was desperately praying for a way out of the situation. I was trusting that God was going to bring the correct opportunity my way.
Then I was super blessed with two opportunities in the same week. Cool, right?! I got a phone call from a local school letting me know that one of their teachers was not going to be able to complete the rest of the year. They were looking for a replacement teacher for her for a kindergarten class. I was super excited.! I signed up and scheduled an interview. While I was waiting to get interviewed for the job, I was presented with another opportunity to join a network marketing company selling makeup.
At first, I wasn’t sure about it. But because of the relationship I had with this person, I knew that she wasn’t going to sell me a get-rich-quick-scheme. I knew that she also valued faith, she honored God and I just trusted her. She wouldn’t have sent me what she did had she not truly cared about me.
We all hate the messages that we get like, “you would be so awesome for this company” or, ‘Hey, I just signed up for this thing and I would love for you to check it out.” It wasn’t like that. It was very well thought out. Like she sent me a novel and personalized for me. I prayed that morning for an opportunity to help get me out of the situation I was in. So, I knew God was moving. I was open to hearing about it.
Long story short, I jumped in. I took a risk right before Christmas. I just decided to go all in. Then I interviewed for that teaching job and I got it. I started teaching that January. So, I started a network marketing company venture, worked as a kindergarten teacher and had a photography business. I was still trying to build my business up to where it would eventually be a full-time thing for me. But I was still really struggling with the mindset and truly understanding what I needed to do to prepare for that.
There I was being a wife, a mom to two small kids, working a full-time job and running two side hustled. Insane, right? I was not doing it correctly. I was chasing money in that season of my life. It did pay off, but it was not worth it. I didn’t prioritize correctly. 60% of the time, I was focused on business: listening to podcasts, putting in the work, doing all the things that I was being trained to do and working a full-time job. 60% was business. I’d probably say 15% of my time went to motherhood and 15% with God. Whatever was leftover going into marriage.
I put my entire family on the backburner, wondering why I felt so unfulfilled. Felt like a bad mom and dealt with so much shame. I wondered why my marriage was not at all what I thought it was going to be. That’s not to say that my husband is not amazing. He absolutely is amazing. Today, we’re in the best place we’ve ever been.
When we don’t put things in the right order, that’s when we lead to empty cups, burnout, resentment, shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, the list goes on. I’ve seen this in my own life a thousand times. When we mix these up, we have problems. That’s when the load becomes heavy and the burden becomes heavy.
Throughout the Bible and throughout Scripture, God tells us that’s not meant for us. We don’t have to carry that. The way that we lessen the burden, if you’re drowning, right now, if you’re feeling all of those things that I felt, if you’re in your low Valley, and you were just praying for a way out, the number one thing you can do right now for work life balance is to get your correct proportions in order.
First, honor God and surrender to God daily. Thank Him, trust Him, praise Him, pray to Him. Give Him your business, your life, your motherhood, your marriage. Seek Him first thing in the morning. Meet with God first.
Then comes your marriage. It’s not your business. It’s not your motherhood, it’s your marriage. Show up and be a life partner. Be a wife, be a helper to your husband. Make sure that your marriage is alive and well, and healthy. When you have two healthy parents in a marriage, then it’s so much easier to be able to focus on motherhood and for your husband to on his fatherhood. You’re a team because you’re working together. Because you’re doing life together, you’re honoring God together, right?
Then comes motherhood. It’s not business yet, it’s motherhood. It’s your kids. Look into their eyes. Have a conversation with them. Give them what they need from you then you can go work on your business.
Your priorities are God, marriage, motherhood, and then business. Some of you are going to have something before business and that’s okay, too. This is not meant to make you feel guilty or condemn you. It’s not to criticize you. It’s to say, “Hey, are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Worn out? Are you tired? Ready to throw in the towel? Do you feel like you are pouring from an empty cup?”
If you answered yes, I’m reaching out my hand to you and giving you the best advice I can give. Right now, just surrender all of it to God. There is a scripture that I want to share. It talks about our priorities and what we focus on. It says, “Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:32
God wants to give you the kingdom. He wants to give you the fullness of what He’s promised. It doesn’t always look like being super wealthy, having all the finer things this world has to offer. What He means is He wants to give you peace. He wants to restore you, and make you feel renewed, ready and rejuvenated. He wants you to feel that love and to have true joy. God wants to give you the fullness of everything He has to offer in the kingdom.
Sometimes that does translate over into worldly things, but not always. But either way, if God’s promising you the kingdom then He’s telling you, He will give it to you. He’s also giving us some guidelines here, right? Wherever you put your focus, your energy, your time and your efforts, wherever you’re sowing, you will reap. If all you’re ever sowing is business, it’s no wonder you’re going to have a broken marriage. You’re going to feel like you’re not stepping up in your motherhood. It’s going to feel like God is so far off and He’s not there. But really it’s because of our own actions.
So again, “…for where your treasure is, your heart will be also.” If you are constantly sewing in all four of these areas in the correct proportions, then it’s going to feel like a balanced life. It’s not going to be a perfect life. It’s not going to be one without struggle. But it is going to feel doable. It’s going to feel effortless in some areas in some seasons, and it’s going to feel good to you. You’re going to be able to love the life you live even when the outside circumstances aren’t always what you want it to be.
So, is work life balance possible? When you’re sowing into the correct proportions, yes, balance is possible. Balance for everything to be equal with no problems and everything be perfect? No, I don’t think that’s possible.
We need to be surrendering on a daily basis, right? I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. We’re going to fall out of line. We’ll get off of our routine, it happens. We have to continually renew our hearts, our minds and our spirits. Two verses I want you to look up and cling to is Romans 12:2 and Proverbs 4:23.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you. We praise You. We’re so glad that we don’t have to be in control. That we don’t have to carry everything all by ourselves and that you don’t call us to carry heavy burdens.
Father, we thank you right now that we are able to release all this heaviness, this anxiety, the depression that we might be carrying.
Lord, we might be at the end of our wits right now. We hand that over to you. Father. We ask that you replace all of the negativity all of the heaviness. We ask that you take off the heavy burden and instead you replace us with joy and peace and your love.
Father, we ask that as we draw near to you, Lord, that you will draw near to us that you will help us steward each of these areas of our lives in the way that you called us to.
Father, we thank you. We love you. We praise you in Jesus name.
Want actionable steps to achieve better work life balance? Grab my free printable here.
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
Biblical Goal Setting for Your Business