As parents, we can often feel guilty when we take the time to do something for ourselves. Those natural nurturing feelings built into our DNA seem to be a constant concern for our family and those around us. When it decides against running our businesses, we have seen entrepreneurs, more often females, worry how everyone else will succeed if they devote their time to a business. Parent guilt sets in.
Seeing so many others multitask gives us a roadmap for successfully approaching work responsibilities with family responsibilities.
How to Overcome Parent Guilt
Unlike having a traditional job where your kids won’t see you, you can typically run a network marketing or small business from home. This provides an excellent example for your kids about how a company runs and what goes into making it a success. We include our kids in just about everything we do. Whether joining us at an event, on a company trip, watching us make our notes for Facebook Lives, or taking a call, they are part of the process.
This is a great way to spend time with your kids. It makes them feel a part of what you are doing. Additionally, it ignites their entrepreneurial ability and starts them off on the right foot. They can also build work skills by typing, video editing, using social media, and more at an earlier age. These skills are transferable whether they join our profession or not. They are the things that aren’t taught in schools (yet) and are ones that will last them a lifetime.
Lean into Distraction
Think of the last time you were right in the middle of something, and you heard ‘mommmm!‘ Chances are, your response was something like, ‘not now mommy is busy!’. Think carefully about what happened next. We would bet the answer from your child wasn’t ‘oh OK!’. Instead, it was probably a dialogue that went back and forth at least a few times.
We found this with our 2 for sure.
So, what we found was ‘leaning into distraction’ saved us a ton more time. Because, when we started answering to their needs sooner than later, it was over faster. Meaning maybe all they needed was to tell you something super quick, so the whole distraction was over in less than 30 seconds. At the same time, the back and forth dialogue may have gone on for several minutes.
Now, please know we do not mean drop everything and run the solution either. So naturally, use your judgement, but we have found to date that leaning is has saved us considerable time.
Create Moments Worth a Million Dollars
Quality can often be more critical than that quantity, and that’s true when it comes to relationships with family, especially your children. Even if we spend every waking moment with our kids, if we’re stressed out and resentful all the time, are we doing them a favor?
Looking back, have you ever had a moment with the kids where you might say, ‘I wouldn’t trade that for a million bucks?
If you focus on some of your favorite moments, you’ll start to notice a common thread in them. Maybe it was a moment where everyone was playing with lego, or when you were enjoying something beautiful outside.
When you know these moments, you can start creating more of these experiences. So even if all you have is 5 minutes, you can still inject those feelings of warmth, acceptance and playfulness into time with your kids.
When you plan your schedule for work time, be sure to include a conscious effort to plan moments with the family. This does 2 things;
- It helps you build in that necessary time and,
- Gives your children (and family) a clear picture of your time.
nvolve your Children, Often
Involving our children in the business is one of the most significant ways we overcome our parent guilt. Although your children are still relatively young, applying them has helped them better understand when the business does pull us away.
When you operate a multi-million dollar business, it has its demands. They may include long work hours, company events that involve travel, lots of time spent on the phone, etc. And so, when your children witness these sacrifices needed to keep the rewards later, without question, it helps them see the whole picture.
And the beauty of the network marketing profession is it also helps your children realize that there is nothing more rewarding than helping others.
Relationships are the lifeline to a beautiful world.
Revisit your ‘Why’
Think back to when you first started your business. Then, something drew you to it – the need or want. Now, some of these reasons are as simple as expanding your shoe collection or wanting to travel more, but …
… for those of us who are parents, children were likely a large part of that decision.
Maybe it was to spend more time with them, travel more, show them what’s possible, and so on. But they were the reason; they were and are, the why. So, when that parent guilt starts to kick in, remind yourself why you got started. Yes, it can take a toll when you feel like the reasons you decided to build a business are taking a back seat – but we challenge you to think bigger.
If you knew that you had to sacrifice some time for the next 3-5 years to live out the rest of your years … 40, 50, 60 years … exactly how you wanted to, would it be worth it?
Heck, yes, it would!
Especially when you implement the other suggestions to overcoming parent guilt mentioned above in this post.
Overall, an essential piece of advice we can give you is not to be too hard on yourself. Even with the enormous challenges that are starting and running a business having children at the same time can bring. Parent guilt is a natural, maternal or paternal emotion — There are ways to overcome and manage it, but nothing is more rewarding than involving them.
You might also want to consider checking out this blog as something you could do as a family too! (click here)
If you haven’t already, be sure to join our Facebook Group — Influencers Hangout — This is a place for network marketers who want to learn how to use social media the right way to grow their business! Or in the mean time, learn a little bit more about who we are and why, we believe in ‘Breathing Life into People‘.
Spark your Influence!