As women in business specifically (but not limited to), we continuously struggle with balance. Just the faint mention of the word, balance, gives me the creeps because I know that it is rarely achieved. Rather each day and week brings with it a new set of priorities and tasks which seem to dictate whether I am going to be a better mom or businesswoman or vice-versa on any given day.
In the balancing act, I always hear a lot of chatter about time for work, quantity vs quality arguments on raising children, and where to sneak in ‘me’ time, but the one detail that usually is skipped over is ‘us’ time. By ‘us’ time, I mean time with your partner, husband, or significant other. It is so easy to slide into a routine that focuses on being successful as a mom and a woman in business while letting your relationship with the most special person in your life wait in the wings.
I often hear the ‘us’ part of a family referred to like retirement with comments similar to ‘When the kids go to college….’ and ‘One day we will take up this or that together.’ With only 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we often place the people who mean the most to us on standby. Well, as if you did not already have enough to balance like what is for dinner tonight and your 7:00 a.m. meeting tomorrow that conflicts with camp drop-off, I am making an argument to put the ‘us’ back in ‘us.’
I started this week with a to-do list that realistically could be accomplished in a month. At the top of the list was finalizing the details on filing for TM on my brand, BacknGrooveMom. Following a in-depth search, I have the green light to claim my brand name. Nellie and her team graciously helped with identifying the steps in this process, and I am all set. EXCEPT now I also want to Trademark (TM) my new and improved typemark. What’s the problem?
The typemark is not quite ready. How can that be if everything else is set? Well, that is life and work – a game in patience, waiting, and team effort. I have to trust my team on creative that there is a reason why the mark is not ready although I do not speak graphic design. I may be a writer, but when it comes to drawing, you will be lucky to get a stick figure out of me.
Of course, I feel in good hands with my creative team and give them more time to get things just-so because I extend them the ultimate graciousness. Why? Simply because we are an ‘us’ in a part of this business. My creative people and me is a type of ‘us.’
There is an ‘us’ with my sons and ‘us’ with so many people who I work with in various aspects of my business, but the ‘us’ at the epicenter of it all is being left out at times. Left out for carpool, basketball practice, grocery shopping, conferences, and sleep, and I realize that I do not want to wait until retirement only to realize that there isn’t enough ‘us’ to go around.
We need to save up on memories and time together for ‘us’ just like saving money for retirement.
I will not tout perfect balance, but I will leave you with some tips to not forget the US:
- Make a regular date night, lunch date, or time to be together in the evenings to talk, chat, hold hands, catch up.
- Try to not only talk about yourself, but listen to the other half in your ‘us’, ask questions, and make sure to laugh!
- Unplug. Believe me, I can barely do this. But just trying is a good way to start. Put your devices down.
- If you have a date night, hold firm on the plan. Make it high priority. Don’t Cancel!
Just as important as filing for a Trademark on our businesses, it is crucial to remind ourselves what is trademark-able about the ‘us.’