I am a nerd. A cool nerd mind you, but a nerd. I always have been. I care about what I do. I love brainstorming, creating, and coming up with new ideas. But these ideas don't automatically convert themselves into tangibles. That takes work. So, when I came up with the idea for Happy Family, I worked. All of the time (and I still do).

In fact, I'm pretty sure that the only reason my husband, Joe, and I made it through the first years of Happy Family is because he essentially worked with me...for free. Date night was often spent in my kitchen--equipped with a blender--pureeing odd mixes like spinach, pears, and mangoes...which would eventually become one of Happy Baby's top sellers, Grrreat Greeens. And this was okay with Joe! I mean, the guy's good-looking, enthusiastic, unpaid labor, and testing out baby food recipes--what's better? I could have my cake and eat it, too. Work was my life. The rest was just details. And I was happy with that.

When you start a business, you immediately give up that precious little thing called time. At first, it doesn't matter to you. You're passionate about your idea, and making that idea a reality is your number one priority. Because I'm a nerd, I like to think of it as a simple, well-calculated mathematical equation:

Time (t) = Work (w) + Life (L)

L = 0

∴ t = w

But give it a few years and some key life changes (getting married and having a baby, for example), and BAM! All of a sudden, the equation changes:

Time (t) = Work (w) + Life (L)

and

L = Marriage (m) + Baby (b)

∴ t = w + m + b

Even if the changes were well-planned, everyone has a moment where the reality of this change blindsides them. And unlike theoretical algebra, you can't just subtract (m) and (b) and have everything be A-OK. Instead, you have to work with the fact that you now have more than one priority but the same amount of time, and you are craving that thing you've always heard about but never believed in: balancing the work/life equation.

I've got to be honest with you: I'm a nerd, but I'm not a Mathlete. As simple as it seems, I haven't yet figured out the solution. I'm still a walking imbalanced equation, but here are the top three things I've been doing to help balance it out when the nanny calls in sick, Joe has the stomach flu, Zane, my son, has decided that sleep is not something he will sample tonight, and I have to get out the board agenda, an investor update, and edits to a new set of package design iterations. This scenario was very real two weeks ago. So, what do you do? Take a deep breath. Then: