Having a side gig almost seems like a necessity these days. Nearly everyone has one as they try to create passive income streams for their family. And, while this seems like a noble task (and it is!) it can be a pursuit that imbalances our lives. Finding a way to balance your life, family, and side gig isn’t easy, but it is possible.
how to Side Gig and keep peace at Home
Instagram user, @village.wisdom, asked this question: “Curious how side-gigging/side-hustling dads out there manage their time between their passion project, and peace in the home. I’ve become obsessed with my gig and it’s impacting that home life 😔”
It’s a great question because it’s something that Uncultured Dad’s deal with. We know how challenging it can be to chase a passion and balance family life, it is not easy. Even though we tend to do our side gigs as a way to help our family, they cannot take the place of our family. We’ll say it often around here, our priorities as dads are: Christian. Husband. Father. In that order, never flipped. So while we are benefitting our family (hopefully!) through our side gigs, if we’re neglecting our family for them are we serving them well?
So how can we structure our lives and calendars in a way that allows for present family time and the ability to conquer the side gig? Four things that seem most effective in balancing it all and making the best use of the time: Prioritization, communication, involvement, and self-care.
First things first, you have to master your calendar. If you do not master your calendar it will master you. You’ll be pressed for self-inflicted deadlines and neglect your main priorities. Yes, we want to hustle and we want to grind but Jesus even warned us, “…what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36). You’ll always find a way to prioritize whatever is the most important to you. So if need be, time block your days – including family – so that all you want to accomplish gets done. Word of caution: make sure that the time you time block for your family doesn’t just become another box to cross off – a true trap when you’re in this situation.
Communication is important in any relationship, it’s most important in your marriage. Have you communicated your side gig with your spouse? Having an open and honest conversation with them about your passion, and what’s driving your side gig, is incredibly important. As much as this is a “you” thing, it’s as much a “their” thing as well. These conversations should be ongoing but absolutely must occur before even beginning. A lot of frustration will happen if expectations aren’t set and friction is created. Be open and honest, it’s exactly what communication within a marriage requires. If you didn’t have these conversations before starting, then they have to happen immediately. And, if your spouse isn’t on board, you may need to step back or re-calibrate how you’re going about your side gig to ensure it doesn’t become a wedge driven between your marriage.
Is there a way to include your family in your side hustle? This may not be possible, depending on your situation, but any way that you can create involvement – and in turn buy-in – from your family is a win/win. It could create a sense of unity within your family and maybe even a spark might get lit within a family member that will allow you to share in that side hustle with them. At worst, it’s an opportunity for time to be spent, memories to be made, and for you as a family to learn and grow together.
You’re burning the candle at both ends trying to hustle and grind as hard as you can. That’s commendable, but you cannot neglect yourself. It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to punch out. It’s okay to just relax for a night. We get bogged down with deadlines we’ve imposed on ourselves in these side gigs, forgetting that we can offer ourselves little grace now and again to take a night for ourselves. Spend that time doing whatever it is that fills your cup to the fullest, which hopefully means more time with your family. Pop some popcorn, pour your favorite beverage, and watch a movie with the family. Turn the brain off for a night, you deserve it.