I wanted to finish the series on spending time with the kids while you work at home on a personal note because bottom line, it is the reason I started this blog in the first place.
Back in 2001, after dabbling with various MLM programs and discovering the internet, I decided to start my own home business.
It was far more than I had bargained for.
I was obsessed with making it a success from the beginning, I was in great need to create a full time income of my own and was truly passionate regarding everything about it.
It was a recipe for too many long hours for too long.
In the process I lost precious time with my kids. Time I will never get back.
When I think back to the things I could have done if I had just known better. Known about how fast time flies when you're looking from the other end. Known how fast my kids would grow. Known the true meaning of never being able to go back.
The truth is, you need to grab time while it is yours for the taking. Or more correctly, grab what it has to offer you because it will surely take it… as time goes by.
Owning your own business is great, but don't let it consume you. Creating a booming business at the cost of your kids respect and development is not success and the chances are that you will never enjoy it.
Many of the things we are working to achieve are already ours, if we just take the time to notice and enjoy them. While we still can.
Even the smallest amount of time with your kids can make such a difference.
DON'T LOOK BACK AND WISH YOU HAD…
Specifically, in my case I wish I had played cards with my son. He likes to play, like my grandparents did. They ended every day together with a game of cards.
I wish I had done more crafts with my youngest daughter, or played outside in the sand with her more.
My oldest daughter, the middle child is one of those kids who almost parents themselves, so happily, I don't think that there is too much I would have done differently with her, except possibly… hmmm… I really can't think of anything. Maybe played more games. Or made a bigger effort to listen to her sing and act and dance. She has always been a performer. I have a video of her doing spice girls with my youngest daughter when they were about 6 and not quite 2. Too cute to miss.
THE NITTY GRITTY
I want to be completely honest here because if not, what is the point, and I'm afraid that you may even miss the point completely.
The times that you lose out on with your kids not only is a loss for you.
It's a loss for them too.
There were a few years that my son, who was my also my sun, my moon and stars from the minute he arrived, was angry because his mom who doted on him, and was a darn good mom, was suddenly too busy for almost anything. I broke his trust and our bond.
My youngest daughter, who never had me as a young child the way my older kids did, grew distant a few years after she started school. She was daddy's girl with mommy pretty much missing from the equation.
My middle child, she did fine. But she did manage to break her arm one day while I was of course, working on the computer.
She was old enough that I didn't need to be supervising her every move, but I still wonder, maybe if I hadn't been distracted, I would have caught the fact that she was wrestling on top of the dresser with her brother a little sooner. Maybe not, but I will never know…
My story has a happy ending.
I realized what was happening early enough to make it up to them.
(yes, these are my kids, the movie star is to the left :0)
Just looking at them makes it all clear, doesn't it?
The best part?
I have a great relationship with them all now.
They know that they are my priority. It means everything.
I know now to stop what I am doing if there is something more important – like stopping work and spending time with my son before he goes to his job.
A simple thing like making him tea and chatting while he drinks it has turned out to be 'our time'. It's fantastic.
Or saying yes if my youngest asks to take a walk to the mail box. I love to go and I love it even better because she is with me.
Driving my middle daughter to her friends houses. We are rural and they are all at opposite ends of our house, so it's always a scoot. But we have some great conversations, and it gives her practice driving. (that's a whole other story!).
My son is turning 19 this month, my middle daughter just turned 16 and my youngest is almost 12.
They are all mature, confident kids and in my mind it's due to the fact that that I made the effort to make family and home a priority.
It's not always easy, there are bills to pay and getting a business going, and keeping it going do take a large investment of time.
IT'S THE SMALL THINGS
I've found it to be the small things that really take a small time investment to be the most powerful.
Taking care of the home. When things were out of hand, the house was a mess, dishes unwashed, days when trying to find a clean towel was a chore, not to mention a panicked state of emergency. I don't think that it was a very secure way to raise kids.
As I was able to bring things back together using a regular housework schedule (I call it my BOOST housework circuit) When I started doing that, there was a sense of calm that washed over our house as well as our kids.
It's a GREAT place to start.
I would love to hear your experiences.
As hard as it is to admit imperfection and mistakes in my own business and parenting experience, I know that I am not alone.
And that is what makes it all worthwhile.
If you are feeling unbalanced, spending too much time on the computer, especially not getting focused work in that is moving you ahead, it only takes your own mind first and foremost to make the change.
Hang out here to stay motivated and you will find lots of ways to make more of your working hours. Visit my QK @ Home blog to get lots of great tips to get your house in order.
They go hand in hand for work at home success.
Why not shut down, get off your chair and make the most of the time you have left before the kids trundle off to school.
If you'd like to catch the first three articles, here they are…
Part Three: "I Can't Spend Time With the Kids – I Need the Money"
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