Running a business with your spouse and raising a family are two full-time jobs. Yet, many modern mothers are jumping into the entrepreneurial world and balancing motherhood with starting their own businesses. This can, no doubt, leave some mothers feeling overwhelmed over which priorities must come first in their lives.
Work-family conflict occurs when the demands of family and work are mismatched on some level. In other words, if the demands from one role affect a mother’s ability to perform the other task. This imbalance can prevent a mother from raising her children in the way she wishes she could or performing her work-tasks in a way she can feel proud of. Without a proper work-life balance, both family life and work productivity can suffer.
Work-family conflict occurs when a mother’s work life starts to impede on her family life. Demands from work can start to get in the way of spending time with family, attending school functions, and maintaining a healthy connection to a spouse or children. Here are some of the most common results of work-family conflict:
1. Missing out on Family Commitments
Sports games, school plays, and dances are all important milestones in a child’s life that no mother wants to miss. Yet, missing out on such commitments is one of the most common side-effects of an imbalanced work-life.
Research shows that time and again, working mothers often feel some level of guilt when a job takes away from time spent raising her children. Whether it is travel, staying late at the office, or feeling left out on her child’s activity, work-family conflict can cause a mother to feel immense guilt.
2. Job Stress Overwhelming
Stress is another common side-effect of feeling overwhelmed by work. Chronic stress can cause chest pain, difficulty sleeping, headaches, raised blood pressure, and moodiness. These side-effects can have a negative impact on a mother’s attitude and relationship with her family. This stress can also impede on her work performance.
3. Extensive Travel
Many working mothers would love to be able to bring their children on business trips with them, but for many, this is simply not possible.
Travel is an excellent opportunity to make business connections and see the world. However, consistent travel can make mothers feel detached from their children. They may start to feel drained and left out of the family dynamic.
4. Unsupportive Boss
Having an unsupportive boss can also make a work-life balance feel impossible. Taking days off of work for a child’s doctor’s appointment or school meeting can become awkward. An unsupportive boss may even create a hostile work environment.
Even if you are running a business with your spouse, investors and other partners may still expect a certain level of commitment that can make family time difficult as well.
Opposite of the above, family-work conflict comes in when a family is unsupportive or somehow interferes with your ability to do your job. Research shows that married working women are more likely to experience family-work conflict or work-related guilt than non-married women.
Here are some of the most common signs of family-work conflict:
1. Financial Issues
Raising a family is one of the most rewarding things a mother or father can do with their time. But, families need money to thrive, as do entrepreneurial pursuits. Family interfering with work productivity can have a negative effect on the family’s household income.
2. Personal Burnout
Research suggests that a working woman typically spends a whopping 90-hours each week raising children and working outside the home. This study accounts for 27 hours of housework, an average of 28 hours of childcare, and 35 hours spent at her job.
With all of this time spent devoted to her job and family, it’s no wonder why many moms end up suffering from personal burnout. There is no time left in the week for her personal self-care!
3. No Time for Business Ventures
Family-work conflict can easily get in the way of pursuing work-related ventures, especially when you are starting a business with your spouse. Building a company from the ground up requires a lot of time, energy, passion, and devotion, which can feel lacking when a mother is stretching herself thin between work and family time.
Furthermore, a study of female students revealed that women –even those who are doing well academically or professionally–often feel that the demand from their family life makes it difficult to concentrate at work.
4. Unsupportive Family
Work can be stressful enough without the added pressure of friends and family putting pressure on you or making you feel bad about your role within the family unit.
Studies show that situations where work or family interfere with one another may actually cause anxiety, depression, and cognitive difficulties–all of which predict negative marital behavior such as anger and withdrawal.
A family who takes issue with a mother’s work schedule can also make her feel alienated and alone.
5. Guilty Regarding Work Performance
Running a business with your spouse allows many mothers to spend at least some of their time working from home. This is a blessing for mothers with small children. By staying home, she will still be able to nurse, cook, and care for her child while running a business.
However, in order to work from home successfully, a mother must be able to stick to a strict schedule. This can be interrupted by small children and get in the way of her successfully performing her daily tasks.
Raising a family and running a business with your spouse are both exciting adventures, just be careful you’re not burning yourself out. Sticking to a firm schedule designated with separate work and family time can help alleviate some of the stress you might be feeling and promote a happy household.