As parents, we can often feel guilty when we take the time to do something for ourselves. Those natural feelings of nurturing built into our DNA seems to be a constant concern, right? For our family and those around us. When it comes to the decision of running our own businesses, we have seen entrepreneurs, more often females, worry how everyone else is going to succeed if they devote their time to a business. Parent guilt sets in.
Seeing so many others multitask gives us a roadmap for how to successfully approach 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 a great example for your kids about how a business runs and what goes into making it a success. We, include our kids in just about everything we do. Whether it be joining us at an event, on a company trip or watching us make our notes for Facebook Lives or take a call — They are part of the process.
Not only is this a great way to spend time with your kids it makes them feel a part of what you are doing. Additionally, it ignites their own entrepreneurial ability and starts them off on a right foot. They can also build work skills at an earlier age, by typing, video editing, using social media, and more. 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!’. It was probably a dialogue that went back and forth at least a few times, right?
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. Whereas, the back and forth dialogue may have gone on for several minutes.
Now, please know we do not mean drop everything and run is 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 important 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 really 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 what these moments are, you can start creating more of these experiences. 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 as well. This does 2 things;
- Helps you build in that necessary time and,
- Gives your children (and family) a clear picture of your time.
Involve your Children, Often
It may sound strange but involving our children in the business is one of the biggest ways we overcame our parent guilt. Although your children are still quite young involving them has helped them better understand when business does pull us away.
When you operate a multi-million dollar business it has its demands. They may include longer work hours, company events that involve travel, lots of time spent on the phone, etc. And so, when you children are witness to these sacrifices needed, to keep the rewards later, without question it helps them see the whole picture.
And the beauty about the network marketing profession is it also helps your children realize that there is nothing more rewarding then helping others.
Relationships are the lifeline to a beautiful world.
Revisit your ‘Why’
Think back to when you first started your business. There was something that 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, the most important piece of advice we can give you, is not to be too hard on yourself. Even with the huge challenges that starting and running a business while 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.
We would love to hear about your experiences of this topic in the comments below! So be sure to stop there before you go.
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Choose to Shine,
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