Tips for Balancing Work, Life, and Motherhood

Published on September 26, 2020

Balance is an ever elusive target for us all and the truth is, that sometimes we are better at it than others and to first start off by being kind to yourself if you are balancing motherhood, running a business or company, and trying to do things for yourself and your fam, friends, partner. It’s totally cool if everything is not at optimum all the time, and the truth is it rarely is 100 100 100. It’s also not something that just because you own or run a company or are a mother, you are better or not better in and I also want to be clear on that. I think at every stage everyone is working on balance….whether you are a young woman or man starting out on your professional journey trying to balance, figuring your truth out, spending time with friends, your family, or a boyfriend or girlfriend if you have one, and trying to do healthy supportive things for yourself and have fun at the same time…..As your life dimensionally grows with responsibilities of children, running businesses, owning companies or working, being a partner etc…the same cycles of creating balance come into play. 

I think the goal for us all is to run your life and stay driving your own ship and not have your life run you – easier said than done sometimes, and I do think it’s all about priority and creating a holistic support cycle which enables you to create balance that makes sense for you as each person is different and the idea of that and the things that are supportive of that, differ from person to person. Also making sure that your unique and individual areas of support for yourself are your own kind of fun! 

For myself, health is and always has been number one on my list. I’m not a drinker or smoker primarily because I really love feeling great and clear and strong every day. I really enjoy being active in my body and have fun doing sports and activities that support me physically and mentally. It has to all start there for me, because if I am feeling sluggish, or tired, then I can’t do all the other things that support me each day – meditation, working out, biking, running, yoga, weight training, Pilates, are all on a constant cycle each day the more activity I do, the better I feel, the more mental clarity I have and for me physical stamina goes hand in hand with my mental stamina It also helps me stay inspired, creative, clear and keeps my energy strong and optimum.

Part of my support is eating well, hydrating and getting good sleep. I know it sounds simple but again these are all things that help me create balance for myself. I grew up being a pretty serious ballerina then played sports throughout my life so I’ve always been disciplined this way. 

I also want to share that what is supportive and balancing for me, might not be for a lot of other people and just stand in what works for you. I honestly, don’t know a lot of people in fashion that think going rock climbing, or a 10 day backpacking trip hiking 15 miles a day is fun or supportive LOL but it’s all good and that’s my jam and what is important, is that we just remember to support one another in our balancing quests. I have a lot of good friends that surf every day, or need to unwind with a glass of wine or listen to music, whatever. It doesn’t matter and all pursuits and attempts should be applauded. Your balance and fun doesn’t need to look like someone else’s as long as it’s additive for you and your life.

Because I feel great, pretty much every day, I am able to really focus and be super-efficient in whatever arena I am in….when I am at my agency I am super focused on both my companies – I set my day up in time blocks that I give myself for all the things I need to get done daily. And then, I almost play a little competitive game with myself to get through all of it during the time I allotted for myself.  I don’t take personal calls, or respond to text messages unless it’s super important when I am at my agency.

Then when I am home I can be super present for my family and personal relationships. 

To be honest, this year I have worked every day of the week, and at night as well. but I just create little blocks of support for myself during the day so I don’t burn out. It’s really been a great test for me to see this year since it’s been complex. So far so good, and I’ve stayed super excited, grateful, inspired and invigorated despite the rigor. 

I also make sure on the weekends when I have extra time, I do  fun activities for myself…it doesn’t have to be anything big – but like an early morning hike, or skateboard, almost like little rewards for myself keeps me stoked. Nature and outdoor adventure has also always played a huge role in my life and my personal balance. Of course this year we all haven’t  been able to travel but even small road trips or exploring around my neighborhood mountains are really supportive for me. I am also so grateful to live at the beach and growing up in Hawaii, the ocean has always been my place of breath where everything just melts away and what matters most becomes abundantly clear .

I also try really hard to give myself one day a week of silence…..6 days a week it’s pretty nonstop – calls, texts, teammates all day long, meetings, working side by side, and people in demand of my time,  and presence (personal and professional) which i am grateful for. But, having the one day of silence that i give to myself is game changing….it helps me stay super fresh and grateful for each day with the same consistency of energy and meticulous focus. 

Gratitude is also  a big one for me and it’s always a consistent beacon…It just keeps everything in perspective and allows the gentleness and kindness that is important to give to yourself on a daily basis. We are all human beings, just trying to do the best we can. This is not a competition and there is no better or worse…everyone has extraordinary gifts and especially when you are on a team. Staying in service and being productive for others is also something that is super supportive personally for me. ( I could talk a lot about this….but no time 🙂

As for creating an environment of health and wellness. I again think it starts with yourself. If you yourself are not really in action of health and wellness how can you create that? I don’t just mean lifestyle wise but mostly being truthful and aligned with your own self. 

My team knows whatever I talk I walk and have been for a long time – in fact most of my life. For example, Gossip is not allowed or welcomed in our environments. But, I don’t gossip, never have, not interested in it, always been the first to extricate myself from a situation where others want to talk about others and will also be the first one to shut that kind of exchange down. So, I don’t ask them anything. I don’t walk the walk for myself. . I also really respect if someone has a different belief system in communication. For example, maybe someone really enjoys gossiping, I don’t have any judgement against it, just will be clear we are probably not the environment for them and vice versa. 

My health and wellness has always been a lifestyle and not a fad or trend. For my particular environments, honesty and truthfulness is a huge component to creating our  environments of health and wellness. At both my companies, we have amazingly safe and supportive environments. It also takes time to create a super strong team, because you have to be super clear yourself. or at least it did for me. There’s a lot of mutual respect and trust within my teams and I trust each person 100% and have their back.

Mistakes happen, sometimes people go left and it’s all good we have worked hard to create an environment where the narrative of mistakes is one of opportunity instead of some type of strange judging scale. 

It sounds easy and cliche to do this but it’s not – ego, insecurities, are big blind spots for us all and it’s an all team effort to create this type of safety which is why I always say WE! Tough conversations have to happen and we have them all the time, but I really believe when done with respect, kindness and clear intentions they become monumental moments for us all that can be the ignition to huge growth and expansion. It’s because of this type of honest and clear and constant communication that we not only have environments of safety and great health but the growth that people have in my companies is really remarkable. I really believe if you can create daily practices of strengthening your inner core of integrity these habits seep over into your personal life and expansively and dimensionally add so much richness ….We are all so grateful to our companies for providing this growth and expansion for us all. 

Having these truthful exchanges enables us to share about what is important to each person individually and then try and adapt to that – for example, we have different people working different hours, some different days, some in different states, some teammates moved cities …but this is all tertiary as if you are not able to establish real honest and raw exchanges, none of these successive opportunities of share will even occur. 

You can have everything going for you in a workplace but if you don’t have great communication of complete honesty and being able to have the tough conversations which most people avoid you are going to have issues. Resentment will rise, assumptions made, gossip will start,  repetitive actions will occur that are not efficient or not healthy. We have zero drama in our workplace because we all work so hard on this kind of healthy communication. There are times that the shares are heavy and they are tough…but I always keep the focus on the gratitude to be able to have them number one.

I really believe artful communication is the core and foundation for everything. Without it, there is a lot of wasted energy and focus – as people are distracted on things that should not be taking up their head space. 

same as in a personal relationship. We stay constantly focused on solutions and growth and very little on the actual problem. once I know how a problem happened, I am not really interested in talking about it more…and just move everyone very quickly to downloading about the solution. There is no finger pointing but yet everyone has to be one hundred percent accountable – sometimes it’s rough but i really believe that’s the only way real and transformative change also happens .

if you are an owner, or running a company it all starts with you. If there is unhealth in the way you are communicating you will have unhealth in your workforce. If you treat yourself with health, love, consistency, respect, kindness and acceptance it will happen in your team  wishing you all the greatest in LOVE, health, growth, fun and acceptance especially during this time.

Kay Sides is a Grit Daily contributor and a respected force in the fashion space, known for her keen expertise as a brand builder, a tastemaker and visionary creative innovator. Her acumen of developing products, brand strategizing, merchandising, and integrating marketing, messaging, and distribution has been demonstrated throughout her career. Kay has had the pleasure of revitalizing the Lacoste brand for the US market in the early part of 2005, debuting Alexander McQueen’s McQ in the US, launching Yohji Yamamoto coming soon, building Soludos from a concept to a large scale business, as well assisting James Perse with design direction and strategy since 2005 – just to name a few. Kay founded R0AM a year and a half ago with the commitment and passion to produce an incredibly well made, comfortable shoe that embodied performance attributes as well as being  fashionable, cool and uber comfy. The shoe has been widely celebrated in the fashion community, and fashion editors have featured R0AM in both print and digital publications including Glamour, PopSugar, Refinery29, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, to name a few. Aside from fashion, Kay is a former ballerina, lifelong vegetarian turned vegan, yoga teacher, and proud mother who guides her team to live full and dimensional lives.

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