[Finding balance can be a struggle. Discover simple tips to help you start balancing motherhood and work today!]
Do you ever feel like you are struggling when it comes to balancing motherhood and work?
Whether you work outside of the home from home or you have your own business, you are going to love the tips shared in this episode of The Soul Care Mom Podcast.
Today my guest is Kayla Winter, a mom and entrepreneur that works with small businesses. She shares her journey through her career and motherhood and how she has found balance between work and motherhood and how you can, too.
You can also listen to this conversation on iTunes or your preferred podcast platform.
[Disclaimer: we are not health professionals. This chat is solely based on research and personal experience. If you have any concerns please seek out the help of your trusted health professionals.]
[Please Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that Soul Care Mom may receive a small commission if you click through and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Please see disclaimers for more information.]
Hi there Soulful Mama,
It’s time to get honest and vulnerable and shift the traditional mindset around motherhood. Be sure to subscribe to be the first to know when new episodes are released. Get ready to grow and feel empowered as a mom.
I’m here for you, Mama. Let’s get started.
The Journey of Balancing Work And Motherhood
Hi, Kayla. Thank you so much for joining me today.
I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.
I am excited to talk with you because not only are you an entrepreneur, you’re also a mom, and you have been on an incredible journey. And you’ve shared some of that with me in that becoming a mom has helped you to create more space for yourself and prioritize balancing motherhood and work life. So will you share a little bit about your motherhood and entrepreneurial journey? Your momprenuer journey?
Yeah, definitely. I feel like it would be hard to talk about one without talking about the other because I started my entrepreneurial journey, like in high school with MySpace.
Because I do digital marketing consultant work with a huge variety of clients. Everything from influencers to furniture factory companies like everything in between.
And so when I was 17, I started designing MySpace pages for businesses like on the side. And then I learned about web design, and it kind of grew from there. But at 19, I met my husband and we started dating, and I was quickly told that I would never, ever, ever be able to have kids.
They said, even if you pay for in vitro, you have a .003% chance based on some health concerns that I have. And so we went forth in our lives thinking we would never have children. So we didn’t plan for that.
And I focused solely on my career, and we ended up getting our to make a very long story short. We ended up getting our master’s degrees and laying out a list of cities and pros and cons of each city in the country that we wanted to live in.
And we landed on San Diego. We moved to San Diego, and I’m working in a job at a Corporation that I really love. I have my marketing clients on the side, and this is eleven years into our relationship. I find out that I’m pregnant.
The thought for so long that we would never have kids in the daydreaming all the time of like what it would be like if we could have kids. How we would behave.
One of the things that we always said is that one of us would be a stay at home mom or dad. And the other one would continue their career based on who had gone the farthest in their career and who had the most earning potential for our family.
And it just so happened to be that that was me. And if you know anything about the Enneagram or the Strength Finders Test or any of those, I always rank as Achiever, which means I have to have 5000 things on my list and always like getting things done.
So I just felt like I needed to stay in the workplace and my husband became a stay-at-home dad. That was a whole lot to digest. But basically, at that moment when I found out I was pregnant, my career became, even though I was the breadwinner the second thing on my priority list after my family. Because we have just been told for so long that it would never happen.
I work four to five days a week and every day that I work is around 13 hours long. It’s just the industry that I’m in. I’m at home. I’m in my office, so I’m comfortable. It’s not like I’m in a warehouse or something. I’ve done that before, too. But I get to be here with my family.
Mother’s In Business: The Momprenuer Life
And when I’m off work, I could be working on promoting my business. Or I could be spending time with my family. And most days I choose to just unplug and spend time with my family. And I know for a fact because I am in digital marketing that I could have grown my business a lot faster if I had chosen to take my free time and pour it into the promotion of my business. But I only get one chance with my son.
And I don’t even get to be there as much as his dad does. So I feel like when I do have time off, if I’m able, I want to be spending it with them.
It’s so amazing working for yourself and having this flexibility and to be able to kind of create your own hours, to be able to see your family work from home or wherever you need to work from.
Self Care For Female Entrepreneurs
There’s also this creating boundaries, right? Which can be challenging as a mom. And then when you also work from home, those boundaries can get even more blurred. What has your experience been about around band rates? What is your experience? Do you have any tips there?
So I didn’t even realize it was a tip until I was telling my mom about it the other day. I have unscented, really nice, pure tea light candles right here on my desk next to me and they burn for 4 hours each. So when I start my work day, I light one of those candles. And if I haven’t stepped away from my desk to kiss my son on the head or just say, like, hey, cutie or something to see him.
When that candle goes out, I get up from whatever I’m doing, unless I’m in a call, I step out of my office and I take a quick walk, grab some water, hug the baby and my husband, and then come back to work.
And just that moment away from my desk and to be thankful for the fact that I do work from home, that gives me motivation to get through my day. Because when you’re an entrepreneur, most 40 hours work weeks when you’re in the office, people have downtime and I find that I don’t have any downtime.
I have 16 to 20 clients any given week, and they’re all my bosses. So I pack a lot into my time. And when that candle goes out, I get up from my desk because we talked a little bit before Catherine about self care, and I said I should be doing better than I am.
And just my son being able to see me and know that I’m here. Sometimes he’ll come knock on my door and say, “hellow”.
Aw, how old is he now?
Balancing Work And Motherhood While Working From Home
He’s two and a half. But for the most part, I keep my door open and he’ll run down the hall and say, “Hey, Mama!” and go back to whatever they’re doing.
But we also have a doggy gate/child gate at my office door so that he can come to the office door, but he can’t come in and mess with things so that it takes my focus off of my work. If that makes sense. And it’s like a gate that has it actually opens, so you don’t have to take it down. So it’s very convenient.
But just making sure that I have those boundaries for myself and pay attention to my time and actually get up and take advantage of being at home to interact with my son a couple of times a day.
Because some days I’m up at work before he gets up, and then I don’t stop until he’s asleep. And it’s just the nature of what I do. But the days that I’m off work, I get him up and we lay in the bed and we just cuddle and joke and just wake up together and then start our day together.
And then we play games and stuff and just try to be mindful of the fact that he’s only two and a half once. I think it’s just such a special thing for us to have a child and I can’t go back and change things. And I know that that has to be first priority.
That’s beautiful. I love your candle tip. Because there’s also, like, you can set a timer on your phone. The candles are so beautiful in themselves. I love doing, like, a candlelight meditation. Lighting a candle while I meditate. It’s wonderful way to connect with nature. It’s a mindfulness practice in itself. So I love that you do that. That’s such a great tip.
And I used to set alarms. But here’s the thing. There are so many notifications going off on my phone and my computer all the time that when that candle goes out and you smell that, the candle as gone out. I don’t even see that it goes out. I just smell that it has gone out. And then it’s like a mental thing to stop and take a break because it’s totally different than the other reminders.
Mindful Hack for Momprenuers
Which can induce more stress really. And you feel like “What do I need to do now??”
Yeah. And sometimes my day goes by so fast that I look at my phone at the end of the day, and it’s overwhelming for me to have to look through all the notifications.
And I don’t even set reminders on my phone or my work calendar because I time block everything. So if I set it, it’s easy to ignore it if it’s something for myself.
I just have one candle a foot away from my keyboard right here, and I know that’s really close. That’s why I make sure that they’re good light candles, and it’s pretty. It’s right there out of the corner of my eye. And like I said, I don’t even usually see that it goes out. You smell it when the candle goes out. So that sense is like, okay, get up, go in the other room, get some water, eat, see a baby.
Yeah. I love that you do that. And so the setting boundaries, the finding balance it’s all an act of self care and self love. And one thing I found is practicing self care and being kinder to myself and those things for myself that I need has transformed the way that I show up as a mom, as a partner, as a friend, and in my business.
What role has self care played in balancing work life and mom life, and what are some of your favorite ways to practice self care? What do you do for yourself?
I wish I could give you a whole big long list, but being honest, I think I realized that self care had to become a priority about a year ago. I was working out a couple of contracts where I was working probably 80 hours a week.
And it was a lot and you and I were talking at this time. This is right after we had first met and there was no time for self care. Self care to me at that time was actually getting 8 hours of sleep or trying to get 8 hours of sleep and not 5 hours of sleep because I’m working the other 19 hours of the day.
But now I make sure that I have three days off in a row together. And if I am working on a Monday because I take Saturday Sunday Monday off. If I’m working on a Monday, it’s a VIP day experience. Meaning it’s one and done on that day. I don’t have to think about it again after that.
And every time I do end up working on Monday, it’s outside of my budgeted client hours, meaning it’s extra income and I try to take half of that and do something fun for the family and the other half goes into savings.
And I do that specifically because that helps with my peace of mind, which is also self care. And then it also gives us something to look forward to. Like if my husband and I have to lose a day off together, then we know the next time we have three days off together, we can actually go out and have an experience or order something fun to do for the family the next weekend.
I don’t do self care the way I think a lot of people do self care where there’s the long baths. And maybe that’s not self care. Maybe my idea of self care is off.
I don’t know that anybody has it perfect. But I do make sure to take moments to not be around my phone and practicing mindfulness. Meaning that I am mindful about the moment and enjoying the present.
Because before I realized how important taking that third day off every week and taking a few moments to just be so grateful for everything I have in this moment goes. I ended up in the hospital a year ago with extremely high blood pressure that was related to anxiety from just constantly being like a pent-up ball of nerves. And I can’t live that way.
And I’m not a good mom when I’m like that. Because when I get off work, I’m just trying to recover from my job. And I can’t be the kind of mom I want to be if that’s I’m in survival mode, I guess, is what you would call it.
Also, we just moved closer to home again. So we had been on the West Coast for eight years, and now we’re back on the East Coast and we live an hour away from family. So my best friend from middle school and I have we call it Framily Friday. Friends plus family Friday.
And my client on Friday afternoons, I always say, “okay, I’ve got 15 minutes before I have to go because I have to drive to my friend’s house.” But we just make it every Friday. And even if we don’t feel like doing it, we do it because we know getting together, laughing, playing board games, seeing her kids.
To just make yourself, because it’s so easy to say no, we’ll put it off. But to make myself drive there and just relax and unplug and not think about my phone or clients for a little while.
Yes, I think you’re so right. I think there’s a misconception about what self care is, right?
It can be the simplest things, those moments of being present, those moments of connection, playfulness. All of that is something that we need, right?
And when we’re in work mode all the time, we can’t really give those things to ourselves. So I love that you said unplug because that’s something that’s hard to do when you run your own business. You say, “oh, I’m going to take the weekend off.” But then you just go ahead and check your social media real quick and respond to some comments, and we don’t give ourselves that true break that we need. I love that you touched on that.
Yeah. Well, I wear my smartwatch all the time when I’m working. When I’m off work, meaning the entire day Saturday, Sunday, Monday. I don’t wear it.
Because this vibrates every time something happens on my phone. Or anytime there’s a calendar appointment, it vibrates. And when I’m off work, I don’t want to be attached to it. And I even have gotten to the point where I’ll put my phone all the way across the room from me. Of course, I’m not to the place where I feel comfortable putting it in a cabinet and turning it off all weekend.
I enjoy looking at my phone for relaxation, too. And because I’m in digital marketing, that can be a really fine line. Where “am I doing this for relaxation? Or am I doing this to learn and keep up with trends for my business?”
But I just try to be really cognizant of is my face in my phone when I’m off? Or is my face in the room? Meaning active with the other people in my life. Because my son has a tablet. A lot of people say that a two-year-old should not have a tablet, but I can tell you that he has learned so much from that tablet. Stuff that we didn’t even realize he knew because he has that tablet.
So if he’s playing on his tablet and my husband is looking at the news, I will look at TikTok or Instagram reels just because they’re fun. But I also know when to put my phone down and far enough away from me that I have to get up. Or, like, physically go and get it.
Maybe in another room. Sometimes I’ll leave it in the kitchen instead of in the living room with me. And just that helps me to separate myself from it without completely unplugging. But when I say unplug, I mean, my desk has four screens. So I feel like when I’m at work, I’m literally plugged into work. Like the pictures of the future where people are laying in the chair and they have screens all around them.
That’s kind of how I feel when I work. So I just try not to come into my office at all when I’m not working. If a client has an emergency, I try to do it from my phone so that I’m not plugging myself in because I never just do one thing. I always come to my desk and end up in here for a little while.
So I think touching on the boundaries thing again, knowing how easy it is to slip into time sucks, and knowing when to avoid them helps me to set those boundaries because everybody has time sucks.
And it’s a matter of “is that bringing you joy, enriching your life?” Or is it really just my grandmother likes to say “anxiety is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t take you anywhere.” And so that’s how I feel about all kinds of things that just take time from you that aren’t helping you enjoy your time or spend time with the ones you care about or work on something that you’re passionate about.
Making sure you have those boundaries is very hard, but very important.
It’s all about balancing, finding the balance and everything, and it’s always changing.
And I love love your rocking chair quote. That’s awesome. And that you talked about doing things that bring you joy. That’s one thing that I love about your business, what you do. And I feel like we’re kindred spirits here that we both are passionate about helping others tap into more of what brings them joy. So I love your passion and your perspective on this. Will you share a little more about what you do and how you help your clients lean into what brings them joy?
Yes, of course. So people call me two different things. I have some clients that call me their muse, because when we talk, I end up pulling ideas out of them and helping them figure out what they love and what lights them up and helping them do more of that.
And then I usually take all the tasks that just take them time, take them away from their bliss and their passion. And I do those things like setting up the weekly emails or listing products in the store or social media management, refreshing websites and branding.
All that stuff they get in their head about and I can just do it really quickly, so they have more time to write or report or create products. So that’s the one thing they like to call me their muse instead of coaching with me. It’s their muse time.
The other thing people like to call me is their small business CMO because when you run a business, you’re the Chief Executive Officer, and in a big corporate setting, you would have a Chief Marketing Officer. But when you have a small business, you don’t really have the budget for somebody full salary marketing.
So I have three or four hour blocks a week with my clients, and we meet for 15 to 30 minutes, sometimes longer if we get to chatting about strategy and things. But we just do a quick check in and say anything new. “Nope everything is good or here’s something different.”
And then I take all the information I have and run the marketing. They don’t even think about it. They just totally let me do all the strategy and the creation of all the systems and all the creatives.
And I also have clients that are kind of in between. But every client that I work with does something completely different. Even my content creators or my influencers on social media. Their exact niche or brand is so different from everybody else’s that I never have an opportunity to get bored.
And then pulling from the different types of niches that I have to work with gives me inspiration when I’m talking to other clients about things that might work for them that they haven’t thought of because it’s not typically something you would see in their business style or different types of strategies for launching products.
For instance, I have some homesteading, YouTubers. They are content creators that are influencers in the homestead niche. And they decided that they wanted to put together a recipe book, and that’s not really something that you would expect from a homesteader.
I know some homesteaders do that like think Pioneer woman. But they’re different because they’re more lifestyle influencers versus teaching people how to do things step by step exactly how they do it.
And the way that their book came about was just it was so beautiful because they were like “When we first started our homestead and we were struggling, these are the meals that fed our family. And these are the meals that we keep serving now, even when we have the option to do better because they’re comfort food for us, and they just are special to us.”
And so those stories were told with the recipes, and it just became something really special because it was different and it was something that not everybody in their niche is doing.
So having that perspective to look from the outside in and say, oh, apply it this way and think about it this way and stretch your mind a little bit. You might find something totally new that’s easy to incorporate into what you already do. That can bring you more money. And that’s kind of what I do.
I love that. Yes. When you’re right in the middle of things it’s hard to find new perspectives. And that’s something that I can see your passion in helping people do that. I love that.
And so thank you for sharing all of this with us. And I always love to ask, You’ve been on such a beautiful journey and you’ve become a mother. You have your own business, all of the things that you’ve been through. If you can go back in time and share wisdom with your younger self, knowing all that, you know, now what would you tell her?
I think I would say, whatever you’re doing, make sure that it brings you joy. If you’re doing something that sucks the joy out of you, it’s not worth it. And there were times in my life when I took jobs because I needed the income.
Like when my husband and I first moved to San Diego, you moved there with a master’s degree. But everybody has master’s degrees there. And so just because you have that degree doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a job. So you have to start at the bottom of the totem pole in corporate America and work your way up.
But there are always entry level jobs. So if the work you do, you don’t mind. But the job itself does not bring you joy, then find another one. It will always work out as long as you are making decisions for things that bring you joy and are headed in the right direction for you and your path. So that’s one thing.
The second thing I think I would tell myself that I try to remind myself now is you create the path. There is no right or wrong path. You’re creating it as you go. And if you can see the path, it’s probably not your path.
Because before I had my child, I was such a planner, and I was so tied to the end result that if something didn’t feel like it was going to get me to that end result, I would say “no”.
And I turned down a lot of stuff looking back that if I said yes, would have gotten me to the same place. But in a different, more magical way. I guess just more fun and passion-filled, but just allowing yourself to say “yes,” because the path might look different than you think it does.
So that’s what I mean. Just be open to opportunities. Don’t do something that doesn’t bring joy. And if you’re in a job that doesn’t bring you joy, don’t just quit. But work on it when you’re off work. Finding another job to replace this job.
Because life is short and you can take the time that you would go out shopping or to a club or something. Not that I go to clubs, but I don’t know what other people do. Whatever other people do when they’re not working, spend some of that time looking for jobs that might bring you more joy.
And don’t be afraid to go for it, because if you’re not creating joy, then you’re not creating joy. And you’re the only one that can change it.
I love that. Yeah. When we stopped loving the next moment and actually tune into what’s happening now and what brings us joy now that’s where the magic happens. I love that so much. It’s an empowering message. And if we could hear that earlier on in life or really take it in, maybe somebody said it, but, you know, let go of the “shoulds” and do the things that really light you up because you will get where you need to go.
I love that.
Yeah. And I think the more you hold on and resist change, the more I don’t want to say terrifying. But, when my husband and I met, our very first date was out of Sonic and we had $2 to our name between the two of us.
And so we split a cup of coffee and we talked for like, 6 hours. And so when I say that there have been times that have been terrifying, like financially or scarcity mode things like that. Anytime I’ve resisted being in the flow because I think I have to plan every moment that’s when things get scary for me and that’s when I get stressed.
But when I do what I like to call “trust falling” into my vision of what my life should be. And just believing that I’m making the right choices. Everything just lines up in a way that I couldn’t have even comprehended.
And looking back, it’s just like even over the last six months, it’s been such a whirlwind for me. When we moved across the country, we got scammed and a couple of my clients just ghosted me. So I lost all the money that I had in savings, and I lost probably a quarter of my monthly income because those clients just stopped answering emails.
But I decided to take that time and just kind of hunker down, unpack everything, spend the extra time on the house and on the family that I would have been spending on those clients. And then I just couldn’t let myself get stressed about it because it felt like such a blow.
But because I stayed in joy and because I took whatever little bit of time I could and focused on what am I building for myself and my future. I was able to do things like spending time making Club Publish and talking to people that would help me and be on my team for that.
And just the momentum behind all of that has brought me to a place where I don’t even think twice about what happened this summer. It doesn’t even bother me anymore. It’s just part of my journey.
And at the time, you don’t see it because you’re in it. But looking back, it’s like I needed that time to really get settled here because that’s a lot of culture shock to move all the way across the country. But I took some of that time and invested it back in myself.
And things have turned out much better than I would have thought because I “trust fell” into my vision for my business and my life and just kept doing the next right thing and saying, “yes.”
I love the idea of trust falling into your own journey because it’s so true. I found that in my life too. When I resist, it just makes it harder. What is, is. And so if I can accept it and see the good in it, like, what is there that is helping me grow here, what is working for us here. There’s always something.
But yeah, I love that so much. Thank you. And will you share where we can find more about you online, where we can find you online?
Yeah. My website address is kaylawinter.me. My social handles are @kaylawinter.me. Come follow along on Instagram or join my email. I have some really good freebies on my website. Some of my clients are like, “Why aren’t you charging for those?” And it’s because they’re valuable and it’s like, really entry level into what I do. I think you’ve got some of them. I actually developed some of them with your feedback and so grab a freebie join the email list.
And so I also have services now that are like self-serve. Where if you don’t really want to sign up for a six-month-long contract with me to do the CMO work or the creative digital marketing work, you can just buy a package of five emails. And my team will put out five emails for you or social media or blog production things like that.
NOTE: If you’re an entrepreneur be sure to explore the CLUB PUBLISH Membership!
So I’m trying to be able to grow a business that scales with me because I can only take on so many clients, one on one. And that leaves a whole lot on the table. A whole lot of people that I could be helping, that I can’t help because I’m so busy with the client work.
That’s perfect. I will share the link in show notes so people can find you. And I highly recommend going to your website, checking you out, grab your freebies.
This has been so lovely. Thank you for sharing your journey, sharing your tips. Your honesty your authenticity are so beautiful and refreshing. This is such a beautiful conversation. Thank you, Kayla.
Thanks for joining me, Mama,
I’m over here smiling from ear to ear and giving you a big virtual hug. I love spending this time with you. You are amazing for showing up and carving out this space to nourish your soul. If you are loving the Soul Care Mom Podcast be sure to subscribe and leave a review.
And if you are ready to start your mornings feeling calm and energized. Get the Kickstart Your Calm Morning Guide a self care morning ritual for moms as a free gift when you join the Soul Care Mom Community.
Sending you so much love, Mama.
Save This Soul Care Goodness for Later!