Balancing Life as a Mompreneur
by Drenda Keesee
With more than half the workforce comprised of working moms, many women struggle to balance work and home life.
Seasons in life have different challenges. You decide how to meet those challenges by determining what is the greatest priority in that season and how to balance family life with it. It’s important to begin to build today for the life you want to have tomorrow, and this especially holds true in the family and a business enterprise.
Gary and I decided more than thirty years ago that we would…
…develop and manage a business as a husband and wife team. I would work at our business from home with our small children and growing family, and Gary would go on sales calls and manage the office. Of course, there was the question of whether we could afford one income stream, but we chose to make it work for the well-being of our children.
Gary and I made many sacrifices, but we never sacrificed our children. Not having the best car and living in an 1800s farmhouse with one bathroom for a season were small sacrifices in comparison to being able to raise our children.
You have to do what you need to do to make it work.
I shopped in consignment stores, found bargains at garage sales, and did without some of the “things” my peers had acquired on debt. I chose that route so I could be with my family and pour my heart and resources into their development. Gary also made sacrifices, but what seemed like sacrifices to us then have become some of our fondest memories today. It’s true that the journey is greater than the destination.
I was able to be a stay-at-home mom, but I was really what is now called a “mompreneur.” Gary and I decided to operate our own business and bring our individual skills and personalities together as a team to build it. Through the years, I could change business roles and time commitments to accommodate the needs of our family so that our primary focus—our family—could still be our priority.
Early on, when our business was struggling to get off the ground, we had to take our family television (which I’m now grateful was absent from our home in the early childhood years) to the office so we could share company training and recruiting videos with our sales staff. A special treat for our two children, ages three and four at that time, was going to the office boardroom and spending Friday night in their sleeping bags watching Christian cartoons on VHS while Gary and I planned sales meetings, completed payroll, cleaned the offices, and organized papers. They would often fall asleep as we worked into the night to complete our tasks, which also allowed Gary and me to perform tasks we couldn’t afford to hire staff to do.
We also went through two different seasons where we ran our business out of a section of our home. In these transitional times, it gave us the ability to run our operations completely from home, since our clients commonly met us in their home across the kitchen table. Once the children were down for naps or in bed for the evening, I was able to complete underwriting, client follow-up, and various strategy sessions with Gary. He was the “boots on the ground” force, meeting our clients face-to-face most evenings, but our teamwork was clearly always the mode of operating our business. Little did I know how much training we were getting for the ministry we would do in life’s next chapter.
As time progressed, the rewards of having our own business from home became greater than I ever anticipated. I involved our children in various tasks in the company, and they “caught” an entrepreneurial spirit in the process!
I look back on those “pioneer days” as the best of times. Exploring new adventures with our kids by our side and building a company that has had a lasting impact on our family and other families has been a thrill to experience. I wouldn’t do it any differently. I see our adult children now passionately working toward similar pursuits and goals, and I am eternally thankful we did life a different way than the norm.
*Excerpted and adapted from Drenda’s brand new book, The New Vintage Family.
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Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage and family. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.
Gary and Drenda pastor Faith Life Church at The Now Center in New Albany, Ohio and also are the CEOs of Forward Financial Group.