When it’s all said and done #familyFirst is my core value, the foundation from which I feel empowered and inspired. Because I am clear about that before I make any decisions I ask myself does this make sense based on #familyfirst? What is the impact likely to be?
For example I flirted with an opportunity that would cause me to be away for a 3-month period, and for me based on the ages of my children, it was untenable so I did not pursue it. I pray with faith that more opportunities will come.
My core value manifests in how I organize my time, what invitations I say yes and no to, etc. For example, I think long and hard about evening invitations I receive, because I like to be home to put my children to bed, read stories and hear about their days. I won’t accept too many evening invitations, usually no more than one per week. I schedule meetings so that my evenings and weekends remain free for family time. Building a business, heading a team, being a wife and mom – someone said yesterday that I make it look effortless and that is so far from the truth and definitely not my intention. It’s time for women to be honest so we can empower other women. Truth: it’s hard. Here are some things that work for me:
1. DELEGATE. I try to delegate whatever I am not uniquely qualified to do, or particularly good at, or don’t enjoy. I don’t just look to Sasco for help and he doesn’t just look to me for help, this way we don’t get on each other’s nerves (Michelle Obama gave me this priceless piece of advice in an O Magazine interview, and yes I felt she was talking right to me! – your husband is. It your only source of assistance as a young, new mother!!). As my business grows, I am able to grow my support system. When I just had LC I had no full time help and I had no maternity leave from a business I was literally trying to get off the ground. It was tricky. My mom and sister, and lots of prayer was how I survived. I’ve since been able to invest in more help. I call it an investment because it requires so much sacrifice financially but it is an investment since it allows me to grow my business. My entire office at AIM understands my need for support with my children and they chip in – by distracting the kids when they come to see me and I’m in a meeting, they handle phone calls from LC when she’s asking permission to go on the iPad or have dessert at home, my assistant laises back and forth with my household on any number of matters from supermarket list to where I left my coffee mug.
2. Set a routine. Mine is bedtime and stories. It’s the one thing I try to make sure I preserve as a guarantee between me and my kids most of the time. The best part is now LC reads to me. My mom gave me the best piece of advice and that was to just fall asleep with them don’t worry about “putting them to sleep”. My bff Nicola said just lie there and allow them to just crawl all over you. They just want to be with you. So true. So amazing that these little people think you are their whole world. I guess we are as parents.
3. Put your marriage FIRST. Happy parents make a happy stable home. When Sasco and I are going out alone the kids cry to come but I swerve them, guilt-free because we need time to just be with each other. Sometimes I just tell them that we are gonna watch a movie alone, at home, and we need privacy. And we do. Sometimes you need to talk and relax without children underfoot.