Is Your Business Killing Your Family? How To Build Your Dream Together
By: Aesha Adams Roberts
When I stepped out to start an online business while staying at home with my kids, I couldn't figure out how I'd be able to do it all. The home business model I'd seen consisted of home parties, calling cold leads, and flying around the country to go to meetings and conferences. How are you supposed to do all that and still be a good wife and mom? Being a good wife & mom to me means being present, cooking healthy meals, keeping an orderly house, spending quality time with my husband and making happy memories with my kids.
I really struggled in the beginng. My husband was supportive, but there were times when he felt I was touching my iPad more than I was touching him. There were times when the house was in chaos and I felt like I was losing my sanity!
Then my business mentor challenged me: "Why do you think you have to be apart from your daughter to get stuff done?"
Good question! I think the idea came from a mindset I picked up from church and my career. I grew up hearing people say things like, "You have to make sacrifices to serve God. I had to miss my son's baseball game (or my wedding anniversary) to preach. But it's all for the cause!"
I heard a similar message from the academy when I was teaching college classes. The other working moms would talk to me about how guilty they felt when they spent time with their kids when they should be working (and, ironically, they felt guilty when they were working instead of spending time with their kids). The advice they were given about balancing career and family went something like this: "I was told to focus on getting it done this summer. Then I'll have job security and can spend the rest of my summers with my kids."
Have you heard a similar message? Can I tell you the truth? This "put your head down, work hard now and enjoy your family later" message has resulted in spouses who are resentful and kids who HATE what their parents do. I did NOT want that–do you?
My mentor shared what she did as a homeschooling mom of 3 who built sucessful businesses for over 18 years! Bring your family into your business. What a novel idea! Since I chose to build a profitable business online using a smartphone, blog and social media so I wouldn't have to have a telephone attached to my umbilical cord, I could easily do this. My mentor told me to get a used laptop and to fill a bag with pens, pencils, sticky notes, highlighters and paper. When it was time for me to blog, I would tell her, "it's time to go to work!" She could work on her "blog" too!
Since that time, I've found other ways to bring my kids into my business. My 5-year-old daughter takes pictures and videos that I post on social media. My 18-month-old son loves to pose for these pictures! Our daughter is also the head of our "Happiness and Shipping Department." She helps me package and mail out thank you cards & essential oil samples. She loves to put on the stamps, lick the envelopes, and drop the packages off at the mailbox! As she grows older, I'll give her more responsibilities (and I'll include baby boy too!) There's no separation between building a business and parenting my kids. I'm parenting them by being present, equipping them with skills and grooming them for success!
We'll be planting a church in the next year, and we'll include our kids in that adventure as well.
You may not be building a business, but you can substitute "career," "ministry" or "dream." Remember this: Family is your high calling! Although God calls us to lay down our lives He's not going to call you to something that will cause you to lose your family. It's not the stuff that you're working so hard to give your family that matters. If they don't have you, it's all for nothing.
Build your dream together so that your family can say, "WE did this!"