I’ve started my own business, try to keep a healthy lifestyle, and now want to start a family with kids. How does one balance all this out? How do you ensure you spend enough time with your kids while running a successful business? – Marina in Pawtucket, RI
LYNN: Part two: raising children while having a successful career.
Marina, last week I answered the first part of your question. This week I want to address part two of your question, having it all. I know you can have it all as I have firsthand experience with this from friends, family, peers, and myself.
For men and women, finding and maintaining balance is about knowing your values, prioritizing, and commitment. As I stated last week, I believe that having children is the most important decision you will ever make. If you are not ready to make this lifetime commitment and fully engage, then the timing is not right for now.
Spending time with your children is a joy, and you will prioritize your schedule accordingly because you want to. The secret is not “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. 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 make your success at work even sweeter.
I would like to share one activity I did with my daughter: 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.
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.