Juggling Work and Family and Not Doing it Well

Juggling Work and Family and Not Doing it Well | gomominc.com

Juggling work and family isn’t something I talk about often.  I’ve been blessed to work both from home and for myself for the last 16 years so I’ve had a great measure of control over how those two worlds collide and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.  While this lifestyle has come at great sacrifice financially compared to a full time career, it has afforded me the opportunity to be the stay at home Mom I always envisioned I would be which I can’t put a price tag on. And at the same time I’ve been able to work creatively and in ways I could have never imagined for which I am beyond grateful. So juggling work and family has been natural for me and because I realize my situation isn’t typical, I haven’t felt like there’s much I can offer here that would be helpful for people working in my traditional ways.

Last October I added a new role to my resume, working locally in commission sales for a franchise of a national brand in the industry I love.  While this role is completely outside my comfort zone for skills I use without a 2nd thought, I felt strongly that this opportunity was something I was meant to pursue for that exact reason ~ that it was time to do something different to expand my skill set and learn a new side of the industry.

After almost 16 years working for myself and largely online, I’ve been able to master juggling work and family as a consultant in control of my time.  I could accept, or decline, contracts based on my time and financial needs which was awesome. But I also found myself longing to work with people in person.  I’ve always loved attending industry events where I get to learn and network with friends new and old, creating interesting stories to share about the experience online and in video, and working brands both behind the scenes and as the face of the brand promoting valuable campaigns to further their message. And I’ve found that the projects I’ve loved most have had me at corporate headquarters in team meetings creating fabulous projects along with those that had me at events working in conjunction with a  team, hosting gatherings and working trade show booths. I LOVE conferences, sharing live updates, and all the energy that comes with learning and networking. I’ve been blessed for sure.

I challenged myself to say yes despite how different it was…and so I did.  I spent about 2 months in training ~ an easy part time schedule~ and then hit the sales trail hard in December and have been hustling ever since with a more than part time schedule.

And at about four months in, I’m about as unsettled as can be.

After sorting through the layers of discomfort to see if it’s just the vertical learning curve, doing something outside my normal comfort zone, or not loving change, I’ve come to the conclusion that its something more. I’m unsettled because I’m not juggling work and family well. This is new ~ and unwelcome ~ territory for me that has to change. I need to figure out how to move forward knowing that while increasing my income is necessity, the way I work has to be compatible with the way we live.  Because I know so many of you walk this same walk every single day I’m thinking there has to be a better way and you just might have some ideas about how.  So here are the things that I’m struggling with the most and I’d LOVE your feedback about what works for you.


If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, my schedule is my compass and in this new role, I don’t know my work schedule with much more than 24-48 hours notice at a time.  While I have set hours where I can take appointments, they are set on my behalf and that’s making me all kinds of crazy.  Mastering my schedule is my sweet spot. For goodness sakes it’s why I started GO MOM!® in the first place! I live and die by my planner and I’m the first to time block everything I do. But keeping myself open for potential appointments so I can max my earnings is the pits when it comes to protecting the rest of my schedule that has taken a major hit ~ enter making dinner, working out, keeping the business of home running like the well oiled machine it is. So I have some work to do here when it comes to setting realistic expectations about the kind of work schedule I can honor while I take care of things at home.


In my new sales role, the scope of my work is creeping something fierce beyond my scheduled work time and I’ve got to figure out how to keep that in check.  With spring athletes and a high school senior playing his last season of tennis, I won’t sacrifice this time as it’s all too fleeting. Which means taking care of post sales call tasks can’t creep into my personal time like it currently does. Streamlining the work flow for maximum efficiency is king here and again, that comes with mastery, which requires time.

Working Out

For the love. Adjusting to not being able to workout over my lunch hour is killing me. Because I’ve been able to film videos in bulk on certain days, I could then get my workouts in over lunch on the other days and not have to worry about being anything more than cleaned up for the afternoon activities ~ shower, baseball cap, comfy clothes and I’m good to go! Now I’m out the door in the morning with the kids for the day and not back in time to get a work out in before carpool thanks to all that follow up work…see above. My days start at 5:45.  In a perfect world I’m a morning workout person.  But I’m not a 4:30 am morning workout person.  So I’ve got to find a solution. Working out isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity for my health and mental well being ~ just ask the people who live with me.


Never in my 20 years as a Mom have I had such a disinterest in either making ~ or eating ~ dinner.  Two things are killing me here.  First, I’m not home in the morning or midday like I am so used to being which means not starting the crock pot or buying groceries for the week on a weekday.  And that means my easy going meal planning isn’t nearly tight enough for a work pace like I’ve been keeping.  The other culprit is I’m trying to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of my afternoons while the kids are doing homework or before I pick them up from practice. Which means I’m not ready to think about dinner until it’s already time to eat dinner ~ translation my people are HANGRY and that’s just a recipe of disaster. I know have to meal plan ~ I’ve juggled dinner with busy sports schedules FOREVER! Just with the luxury of being close enough to home to make it happen at some other time of day. So it’s back to the drawing board to find a new way to make sure dinner is a sure thing.


I had no idea how much I would despise commission sales. Seriously. Why do people do this to themselves? Why am I doing this to myself?  I’ve worked on contract forever. I’ve known exactly what I’ll get paid for my efforts from the outset of every contract I’ve ever signed. Which means I know exactly what I can contribute to my family’s bottom line. If I get it done more quickly than I estimate, go me! If it takes me longer, that’s my problem and mine alone. But when I work, I’m focused fully on exactly that ~ doing my 150% best and not worrying about whether or not I’ll actually get paid. In commission sales,  it’s all about having a good sales funnel and high closing rate, skills that take time to build and I’m confident I will. But I don’t think I’ll ever lose that anxious feeling that I’m working for nothing until the sale closes. And that’s a new kind of stress I’ve got to get in check.

Dog Mom Guilt

I feel SO guilty about leaving Stanley home alone all day its crazy! He’s 10 years old so for his entire life, I’ve been here more than less. He’s my office mate, my reminder to take a lunch time break for a walk and then hit my elliptical and weights in the garage. He’s my reminder that life is good ~ always happy to see me and hang out. And believe me when you are raising teens your dog is more important than ever if you want any kind of positive feedback for your role as a Mom!


I MISS YOU!!! I’ve not posted nearly as often as I should and it’s eating me inside out. I have a list a mile long of posts and videos to share and all kinds of clever tools up my sleeve that just need my full attention to pound them out. I’ve always been a creative whirlwind and not being able to step off this new merry go round when I want and need to write or film has me conflicted. I’m used to creating my work both in conjunction with an editorial calendar but also when the inspiration strikes.  Because I have had such freedom in my days, this was never a problem. Now I need to film and write on a limited schedule and clearly this will take some doing for me to figure out how to make that work.

Change is good even when it’s hard. But that doesn’t mean I’m patient or that I do it very well.  This is a lifelong lesson for me and in this season, I’m finding that I have to give myself time to adjust and know that things will settle in.  I have to be okay with the bumps and the hiccups while we find a new groove that accommodates this kind of work while I choose to pursue it.

I have to be flexible.

I’ve long said you can have it all, just not all at once.  And I still believe that to this day.  I’m blessed to have an understanding and supportive husband and kids who are older and can, and want to, do so many things for themselves. This is exactly why I can try new aspects of my work while I continue to pursue what I love to do.  Tell me…

How have you fine tuned juggling work and family

when it’s not going so well?

Thanks so much for stopping by…we’ll see you next time!

Disclosure: This post may include images and/or links to products on Amazon.com. GO MOM!® Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees.

Posted in Lifestyle, Recent posts


  • Dawn Sandomeno February 16, 2016, 9:15 am

    It’s definitely a skill to balance family and work. To fine tune it, you have to learn to say “NO” and not feel not guilty about putting family first when necessary.

    • Molly Gold February 16, 2016, 10:38 am

      Dawn I’ve been so blessed to be able to say “YES” to so many things over the years that in this case the “NO” may be about the way I blend this new work into my world. I may simply need to scale it back. Thanks for commenting =)

  • Janine February 16, 2016, 10:01 am

    Everyone struggles and really, let’s wipe the word BALANCE from the equation because there will never be work/life/kids/mom/wife balance. Something will get more attention at one time than the others. And that’s ok. Also, I think it’s great you are trying some new things. If for no other reason than a challenge and it helps you know what you Don’t like. Hang in there!!

    • Molly Gold February 16, 2016, 10:39 am

      Janine that’s exactly what I’ve said for years ~ you can’t have it all at one time and something will always have to give. In this case it’s me that’s having to realign my expectations and the great part is the process is clarifying what my non-negotialbes are. That’s a good thing =) Thanks for commenting!

  • Sara at Saving For Someday February 16, 2016, 1:36 pm

    I really appreciate this post, Molly. It’s very insightful for many, I’m sure. My first question to myself would be “Is all THIS worth it?”. Change can be good. But change for the sake of change may not be. It’s also good to expand ourselves and step out of our comfort zones, but there are some times that are better to do that than others. Sometimes it’s not a matter of how well you are organized if you can never find a happy balance if you don’t have enough control over the things being thrown that need to be balanced. Women who work outside the home often need to redefine what “balance” means, and come to terms with the fact that it may mean they’ll miss out on things or rely on other family members to do things they once did. Dinner, for example, may no longer mean an elaborate home-cooked meal. Maybe it’s more simple food, but still delicious and nutritious. Or dinner may mean someone else makes it because mom is working.

    You are ahead of the game, for sure, because you’ve recognized that things aren’t working. You’re wondering how you can create a new well-oiled machine. But just like the prior machine, it doesn’t happen quickly. But unlike before where you had time to figure things out and try new things, because there was a lot of flexibility, you don’t have that same flexibility or luxury of time. You may be looking for ways to fit a square peg into a round hole when, instead, you could more easily find a round peg.

    • Molly Gold February 16, 2016, 1:47 pm

      YES Sara! I love your comment because its all so true! I’ve never claimed to have perfected balance but its clear I’ve had more of what has kept me centered in my life and now I’m off kilter trying to figure out the best way to piece that back together. I’m both impatient and change adverse by nature so that doesn’t help either And because I have such high expectations of myself and that sense of order? Consider I used to have to clean my dorm room before I could settle in and study. Having order helped me focus and release me pre-exam jitters. So…yes I can ask my people to do more at home. Yes I can hire a cleaning service after cleaning my own home for 26 years ~ can I get an amen?!?!?! Yes I streamline our meals just like I have during our busiest sports seasons ~ 3 almost year round athletes for years and I have been a dinner machine! It’s in the doing these things differently that I get twitchy because means trial and error. Have I mentioned I’m impatient? Thanks so much for commenting Sara!!!

      • Sara at Saving For Someday February 16, 2016, 3:06 pm

        Molly, I’m twitchy for you. I’m like you and don’t like change and if change needs to happen I want it to be quick. If anyone can create a system that works, I know it’s you!

  • Connie February 16, 2016, 2:18 pm

    Yes, life is SO HARD! I often go through ‘I hate everything about everything’ phases. I hope you find some things to say NO to and then feel better! 🙂

  • Brianne February 16, 2016, 2:33 pm

    Our schedules sound pretty much the same, and I am on a constant battle trying the work/stay at home balance, and yes I don’t think there will ever be balance but flexibility is definitely key! This is such a great article and totally hit home!

  • Lauren Barth February 16, 2016, 2:57 pm

    The struggle IS real… Juggling a work life and family life (and attempting to have a personal life!) is so difficult… If you figure out how to balance the scale, let me know. 🙂

  • Nicole Feliciano February 16, 2016, 10:16 pm

    Have you asked for help from your family? I bet now that your kids are older they can help with meal planning and cooking. You’re a team after all!

  • Danielle Smith February 17, 2016, 9:48 am

    Yes, you have always been one of the most organized and scheduled people I know – (and that is why you feel off – YOU aren’t fully in control at the moment) but you’ve also always been one of the most intuitive and centered people I know. There is so much in this post that screams of how well you know YOURSELF. And that, my friend is both beautiful and impressive. You recognize that life feels out of whack for you and you’re working – as best you do – to put your world in line and figure out what needs to change.

    As you know, I don’t believe in ‘balance’ – I DO believe in juggling. However….you just created a long list of life items that have left you feeling as though you are dropping balls. The beauty of embracing a life juggle is knowing that you keep some of the balls in the air and then forgive yourself for the dropped ones, pick them up and move on.

    You are in a season that has you feeling as though too many balls are lower than you like. I wish I could snap my fingers and toss them all back up for you, but I have so much faith in you, your spirit, your heart and your abilities….I can see you are already putting pen to paper to right the stars.

    It is ok to try something new. It is ok to work through a challenging season and recognize the juggle is tougher ‘at the moment’ and it is also ok to make the changes that feel good to you and your family.


  • Karen Ingle February 17, 2016, 5:34 pm

    Oh Molly!! First, thank you for taking the time to get all that down and bringing words to emotions that I’ve felt and am feeling! Especially with the workout time and dinner making! I’m not working out right now and know that this is critical to my mental and physical health. Like you, a 5:30am-6:00am workout is ok, but not a 4:30! So, it doesn’t get on the list.
    I’ve had the luxury during my prior corporate work life to only work during the time my daughter was in school. Since 2008, I’ve been a business owner and work from home. The juggle of all the “urgent” things that push the “important” things off makes me twitchy too. I guess the biggest question I keep asking myself is “what are the consequences of not getting _____ done?” The other question that keeps some things in check and in forward motion is “What is the precise and very next thing that needs to be done to move this item forward? .

    One thing that I have to remember is to ask for help/space/time from the people who are equipped to give it to me. And be specific with what I’m asking.

    The mental discussion behind all of this is very noisy! Thank you again for putting words to feelings to help quiet the mental discussion (:>)

    And, having a nice glass of wine does help – I count that as fruit!

  • Selfish Mom February 23, 2016, 7:55 am

    I admire you for taking such a big jump. The only suggestion I have is to look into meal delivery services, ready-to-cook boxes, or personal chefs (getting cheaper and geared toward families!). After a long day it will be one less thing to worry about.

  • Cari February 23, 2016, 9:20 am

    Good for you taking a leap into uncomfortable territory. Life is an adventure. Your post is so relatable. Reading it, I could feel the stress of your high expectations for yourself. You are trying to juggle 3 major jobs! Do you need to be the one doing all the grocery shopping, meal planning and cooking? Or can you get help from you spouse and older kids? Changing roles is hard, but could be a great thing for your family as well- expanding their skill sets and bringing you all closer together as you support each other. Meal services like Blue Apron are great and not as expensive as you might think. That would simplify part of the planning and shopping. Good Luck. I think it’s so helpful for women to talk openly about these struggles.

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