Are You Investing In Your Home Team?
In our house, we’ve been completely bananas with near-constant travel, four weddings, toddlerhood, and business (3 of them!). We experienced a handful of emotional meltdowns, all of which were messy in the moment, but also so important.
These moments of breakdown led me to get real about what I need to feel good in my family life and in work. I had to set better boundaries. I had to get clear on— and stand up for—the kind of experience I want my daughter to have as she comes to learn what "family" means.
I had to do some deep reflection work, alone and with my husband. I had to get honest about what I’m willing to accept/let go of, and what I’m unwilling to compromise to ensure our family thrives. My values were getting tested and I had to put my money where my mouth is.
It’s been really hard. But also really good for us.
Besides the constant saluting I’ve been doing to working parents everywhere (you are my heroes, especially you single parents!), I’ve also been thinking hard about how these very real struggles of modern living, raising kids, and growing businesses impact us all.
Here’s what I’m learning:
1. There is no "right" way to do parenthood or one-size-fits-all solution to
balancing work and family. Your best shot is to keep an open mind, a dose of
grace and compassion for yourself, and experiment. Try stuff out, see what works,
discard what doesn’t, and keep learning. Most importantly, stay in the conversation together, with your "home" team.
2. If you’ve over-delegated parenthood or family life to your spouse, I’d like to
offer a wake-up call. Chances are s/he might be feeling under-supported in a way
you don't expect. Be sure to invest in your partner and inner circle at home the way you invest in your team at work. Your presence and attention, in whatever form you have to give, will pay huge dividends.
3. Raising kids takes a community. Period. This uniquely American ideal of
individualism fails us at this intense life stage. Do you have your support team
identified, engaged, and available to support you at the drop of a hat? They are
your lifeline. Nourish them.
Leadership requires our whole selves to be well, aware, and intentional. Sometimes, life outside of work gets bigger than we can handle. It tests us and pushes us to the edge of what we know and what feels comfortable.
Sustainable, powerful leading includes this very real personal experience.
The next time you feel overwhelmed, disoriented and disconnected, please know you’re not alone and this is very much part of the leadership ride.
You don’t need to hide it or shy away from the struggle, but be open to leaning on all of your teams, just as you hope they’d lean on you when the moment counts. I posted this article earlier this week. It's one of the best articles I've read in a while about how working parents can thrive. Hope you find it as valuable as I did.