Time Boundaries

Most of us keep a calendar or three going. But that is different from setting boundaries around our time.

When I first started my business, my daughter was just a year old. Like so many mothers, I chose to start my own business rather than re-enter the work force because I wanted flexibility with my schedule. What I quickly realized, however, was that it’s almost impossible, at least for me, to get any work done while also caring for my daughter. She only took one 90 minute nap per day, I didn’t allow her to watch any TV, and I was too exhausted to stay up much past her bedtime at night. I had a babysitter coming in two or three times a week, and realized that for my family, childcare while I worked was an absolute necessity.

I know many mompreneurs who manage to stay home with their kids full time and still achieve great results with their businesses. I am not one of those women. I’m not criticizing them or criticizing myself. Instead, I’m pointing out that boundaries are a personal situation. You have to discover what is important and set boundaries accordingly.

Another example is my family time. I make eating dinner together a big priority. That means I don’t do any work between about 4 PM and 8 PM, because in that time I am preparing dinner, eating with my family, and putting my daughter to bed. I’ve said no to countless events and opportunities in order to preserve that time with my family. Again, I’m not right or wrong: I’m just setting boundaries to support my priorities.

Another way I set boundaries with time is in the morning. Many of you read my article on MindBodyGreen about how to create a stress free morning. My daughter knows very well that before her clock turns green, she’s not allowed to leave her room. That gives me personal time: time to eat breakfast, read a book, and some mornings, even watch some TV. Taking time for myself is setting a boundary with my time, and it makes me a better mother.

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