Being a parent – work/life balance & getting the guilts

Nearly a month into the new year, how is your year travelling so far? Have you started with your feet hitting the ground running or has it been a sluggish start for you?

Today I wanted to share a great question that was asked of a group of Awesomepreneurs recently: Do you ever feel like a bad mum because you put so much effort into your business?

I feel this is one of the most important questions a parent will ask. This may also apply to parents who have a job or are considering going back to work.

Being a mother myself, honestly this is definitely something I struggle with and experience often. My son is 8 this year. Over the last 3 years I’ve worked 1-2 jobs on top of starting my first business. This came about as I was rejected annual leave and missed my son’s first sports carnival. Not only did I want control in my life and the events I should have to miss be on my terms, I also didn’t want him missing out because ‘we couldn’t afford it’. At the time I was a single mum and had made the decision to commit to my dreams and make sacrifices for what I believed was the greater good for us.

At first when you dedicate a lot of time and energy into a project/business or going back to work, your child/ren won’t understand, they will get upset and be disappointed. Your heart will break, you will probably cry and your ambition and dreams will waver at the expense of it… But from the bottom of my heart I urge you to be strong, be committed to the life you want for you and your family and it will pay off in the end.

Remember we are setting the examples, setting the precedence of what is, can and will be. If we teach them young, lead by example I know in myself and believe for anyone, that the sacrifices will pay off.

Yes in the perfect world I wouldn’t sacrifice anything, especially time away from my son; but what I believe is doing what is best for everyone in the grand scheme of things; to give him the best and to teach him how to be the best person he can be. I work hard as I know the sacrifices I’m making can help give him the world I didn’t have and what he deserves.

Balancing work/business/family time is still a juggling act for me and I sometimes need to remind myself of why, so the guilt is short lived. It is gratifying though when you start to see the ambition and drive in them to want nice things; ‘I want a butler, a Ferrari and an xbox,’ – not sure where the butler came into it; and when you can start seeing that they would prefer to save their money for these things, (obviously oblivious to the pocket money required to buy that Ferrari) instead of spend it on toys or candy. It’s not so much the fact he won’t be able to afford his Ferrari just with this but that he is learning the lessons of money, work and believing that he can achieve anything he wants if he is willing to do what is required to get it. If you guide them in the right direction and lead by example, they will see that your hard work paid off, appreciate the sacrifices you had to make and will know more than anything that if they commit to their dreams, they can achieve anything too.