I’ve started my own business, try to keep a healthy lifestyle, and now want to start a family and raise children. How does one balance all this out? How do you ensure you spend enough time with your kids while running a successful business? – Clara in Locust Valley, NY
Yes, you can have it all. You can have a rewarding career, enjoy loving relationships, and raise children who are happy and well-adjusted. Like anything worthwhile, it will take work, balance, and creativity to cultivate the lifestyle you want. To get there, you need to stay true to your values.
Why am I so confident? Because I have firsthand experience finding harmony between business and personal life. My foundation was an extended support network. Before we had our daughter, my husband and I discussed how we would integrate parenthood with our careers. Having an equitable relationship and division of duties was a crucial necessity. Then we added an expanding circle of family and friends we could rely upon in a tight spot or emergency.
How to Balance Career & Family: Must-Haves
- Create an extended support network
- Establish an equitable relationship with your partner
- Live your values
Once you’ve covered these basics, it’s time to integrate your activities. For men and women, finding and maintaining balance is about knowing your values, prioritizing, and commitment. When something is important, it’s easy to consciously elevate it. So, when you value your family time, making choices and controlling outside distractions comes naturally.
One activity I did with my daughter was reading to her at bedtime. We did this from the time she was a baby to middle school. It was a time for us to relax, be close, and share a wonderful adventure in the story. Even now, when she is ill, the one thing that is guaranteed to make her feel better is reading a favorite story together.
The secret was not simply “quality time” – it’s about being fully present in all the everyday interactions with your children. Do things together: Tasks like making your evening meal gives you the opportunity to talk about their day and upcoming plans. Share what’s happening in your day with your children; it allows them to feel more connected to your work life and to you.
Giving your children access to your work activities enables them to see the mom-boss in action. I started taking my daughter on occasional business trips when she was in grade school. She would quietly sit at the conference table taking it all in. Once she even caught a major error none of the adults had noticed!
How to Raise Children: Being Fully Present
- Lock in activities with your family
- Engage children in day-to-day tasks
- Reveal your work projects
- Encourage participation on the job
Spending time with your children is a joy, and you will prioritize your schedule accordingly because you want to. Block your calendar for the activities and events that are important to your children. You are teaching by example, just as you lead by example at work. The love and support of your children will make your success at work even sweeter.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.