I’ve been taking my 4-year-old daughter on business trips with me lately (more on that in a second.) We were on a flight coming back from the East Coast. Madeline is usually pretty low maintenance, and can entertain herself. So I was grabbing a few moments to catch up on some writing. I guess I was a little too focused on my work when I got poked in the shoulder and heard “Um, Ma’am?”
I picked up my head from my computer and turned to see that Madeline had put glitter stickers all over herself, all over her tray table AND all over the business man sitting next to her.
I could have died from embarrassment. How do you politely peel stickers off a grown man? He had bits of glitter all over him!
Running my business and being a mom is the craziest thing I’ve ever taken on!! I can’t turn my back on my kids, my husband, my clients, for a SECOND. Everyone wants 100% of my time. And I want to give it to them all.
You know, this notion that you can “have it all” is so not true in a way. Yeah, I can be a mom, run a successful business, have a great marriage and amazing friends, but I’ve had to redefine what that looks like for me and how to accomplish it all.
First I had to get creative about where and when I do business.
It’s dinnertime, I’m on the phone and I have to close this sale. My husband and Madeline are singing Disney songs while they make salad. And where am I? I’m in the pantry, with the door closed in the dark finishing up my conversation.
Don’t you dare tell my clients I hide in closets to finish up calls.
Get flexible with when, where and how you manage your clients. If you have to duck into your kitchen pantry or hide out in the basement, do it. I’ve been known to wear my earplugs and be on training calls while giving my daughter a bath. And no, I’ve never dropped my phone in the bath!
I find ways to combine work and family time
You can pull off family and work at the same time. It can be tricky but it’s totally possible. When I want to visit my family in Florida, New York or Pennsylvania, I book work trips to those places so I can make the most out of the time I’m there between visiting family and seeing clients.
I started using my frequent flyer miles to bring my daughter with me when I travel. She loves it! She knows how to give our tickets to the gate agent, ask the flight attendant for water, that sometimes we have to hurry. She has occasional meltdowns, like any four year old does, but she is a pretty easy-going kid and has the system down. She also has crazy confidence because of the world she is being exposed to! Recently, in Virginia, she sang the songs to ‘Frozen’ in front of 50-60 people I was about to work with and then starts telling them the benefits of essential oils! But, the real pay off is when she puts her arms around me and says, “Mama, I love you so much, can I hug you?” And because she’s traveling with me, she absolutely can.
Putting the phone down is one of the hardest things for me.
This one is REALLY HARD TO DO. I am attached to my phone all day, all night. I don’t want to miss opportunities. But I forced myself to create ‘no phone’ time, to be there for my family. In the morning, I force myself to wait a little bit before I check my phone for the first time. When we take trips in the car, I leave my cell phone at home. I have to or I get sucked into “just one more text.” My phone is probably the biggest source of arguments with my husband so I have to physically not have it with me when we are in Family Mode.
Top notch communication with my husband.
So I travel a lot with Madeline. That really started when my husband couldn’t bare all the childcare responsibilities. I might travel 15 days out of the month. It’s like a total role reversal right? I was expecting Wes to work full time and be with Madeline full time. AND I missed my kid. So we talked it out. We had to come up with a system of splitting up child care in a way that included my travel schedule. When I get home from a long business trip that I’ve taken without my daughter, my husband knows that I still need another day or two where he is taking care of her before I can get back to being the Mom again. He gets her up in the morning and gets her ready so that I can get going, and I take care of her in the afternoon. This is about the negotiation of time, communication between each other, and flexibility to make it all fit in. The key is that we do it together.
This isn’t about sacrifices.
I’m not willing to sacrifice anything in my life to have what I want. @hayleyhobson
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But you have to get creative and make your own rules. I make these compromises in order to have the life I wanted – the career and the family.
I’ve just shared useful tips with you on how to manage family and owning a business. Got some tips to share? Reply here!
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.May 10, 2014