The struggle of leveling up and still being a good dad is real. Dude, one of the hardest things that pull on my heartstrings is when my sons–I have three of them, by the way–are standing at my desk begging me to go play tennis, soccer, baseball, football, video games, whatever it is, and I have work to do. You see, for 10 years now, I’ve worked from home and I’ve consistently grown my business by 200% for eight of those 10 years. For six of those 10 years, I’ve had at least one kid in the house. I now have three, ages six through nine months. When these guys see their dad at home, like most kids, they associate that I’m home and I can spend time with them. But really I’m locked away in my office for a reason. Hell, at one point, I used to have to lock the doors of my office so my son wouldn’t burst in when I was making videos for my clients.
But it hurts when your kids want to spend time with you and you work from home when you’re trying to stay focused on accomplishing the tasks for your business, that allows you to work from home…so you can spend time with your kids. Add in leveling up, the art of getting better at whatever it is that you do, and that always brings more work and more responsibility. These obligations and wanting to be everywhere at once create a tremendous amount of pressure. You feel like you let your kids down. Now, I can’t speak for you, but at least that’s how I feel.
What works for me is to make sure I set aside specific time for my kids each and every day.
Many of us, use our calendars for business meetings but we don’t schedule time on our calendars for our wives and our kids. Every day, when I get home, I dedicate a specific amount of time, be it 30 minutes or two hours, to my sons and family. Oftentimes, it’s as simple as just sitting on the couch watching reruns of Planet Earth or some other educational program that’s good for them. Other times, it’s going to the tennis courts or hitting golf balls at the neighborhood country club or even feeding the fish behind the clubhouse. No matter what it is, I make sure that I set time aside.
I make sure my boys understand and appreciate the time that I’ve set aside because that’s our time. We don’t stay focused on mobile phones. And if you look at my social media, one of the things that I totally lack is pictures of me and my family. Because when I’m with my family, I’m not focused on my phone or any outside sources. When I’m spending time with my kids or I’m spending time with my wife, I do my best to stay focused on them. Am I perfect? No, but I know that if I leave the phone behind then there’s a good chance I won’t be able to stare at it.
Now, listen. If you’re a business owner, an entrepreneur and a dad, working from home, you’ve got to learn how to keep the delicate balance between leveling up, growing your business, and spending time with your kids. The best advice I can give you is to make sure you set aside a time every day to spend with your family, be it with your wife, or your kids, individually, or as a group.
You’ve got to date your entire family.
Then, allow them to come to the revelation that time is spent dedicated to them while the other time you have is spent dedicated to tasks like working and everything else.
When kids see their parents at home, they don’t understand the difference between work time and family time. When kids see their parents leave for the morning to go to an office, it’s pretty black and white, pretty clear for them. But the lines don’t have to get convoluted, especially as your kids get to be four, five, and six years old. You can explain to them: “When Daddy’s in this room, it’s considered work. When Daddy’s outside of this room, it’s considered family time.” No matter what you do for a living, there’s always going to be a struggle to balance leveling up and your family. Just make sure you don’t leave your family behind when you hit the high level.