The other week my parents took my girls on an adventure. For an entire week. Which left my husband and me home alone for 8 whole days! We had left them at home with our parents before, but always when we took a few days away. We had never been home without the kids.
I work mostly with business owners and leaders who have younger kids at home because I know how hard that is and the different struggles that parents of young kids face when they are also trying to build a business or career. At the end of the week, we went out to dinner (without needing to coordinate a sitter) and reflected on how different it was to be without kids. I want to share with you the four things I rediscovered about how leading a business when you have kids is different.
- Probably the most obvious is that we had much more free time and more flexibility. Time to spend how we wanted without having to schedule or coordinate it. We got up each morning and walked the dog at 5:45, I had a night out with girlfriends and we made sure to get three date nights in. These things are part of our self-care and help us recharge, but they take coordination with your spouse or a sitter in order to make it possible when there are kids at home that can’t be left alone.
- I was more focused. Because I wasn’t carrying the load of mom and coach and business owner that week, I was much sharper in my work. I had a greater mental capacity for my clients and was laser-focused on working through my own second-half planning.
- We set fewer boundaries between work and home. We worked more, but not necessarily better. Because the kids weren’t there, I found that I said yes too much more that week than I normally would. I took client calls at night, late on Friday, and even on Sunday. I overscheduled my days knowing I could catch up on the administrative work at night. We found we worked long days and more often at night. Without the kids home, we found that the hard boundary lines we had set for a family time no longer applied and because we didn’t honor our personal time I was actually feeling burned out by the end of the week.
- I missed the chaos! It was so quiet in our house the week they were gone. While we knew they were having so much fun we missed having the girls around. It helped me remember that we are building a great life even if it seems crazy most days. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of daily life. So stopping to reassess if your work fulfills you and helps you live your best life is important.
Like it or not, when you are trying to build a business or a career AND you are a parent with young kids at home things are a little harder. There are more demands on your time. You aren’t fully in control. You have to set up schedules and support systems. You need more flexibility. You need to set and enforce stronger boundaries and you have to give yourself more grace some days.
So to all the moms and dads who are working hard to grow businesses and teams they are proud of, I see you. I feel you. I am with you. It is hard. It takes tremendous coordination and time management. I know you’ve got this! But if you feel like you are overwhelmed. I’m here for you. Pop a free 20 min call onto my calendar and let’s find some ways for you to take back some control. www.empoweredleadershipcoach.com/schedule