It is not about do what you love, but nurture who you love.
As a first time mother at 40, I had years of innovative business experience. I understood marketing and the power of a niche in small business development. I understood well how to work as a trainer and consultant recommending creative solutions to complex problems, but motherhood was a bigger challenge than I could ever imagine.
I am a voracious reader Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, Seth Godin,Jim Rohn, and so many more. I am sure there is a limit to my Nook, but I hope it is nowhere in sight. Do you see a theme here? I honor their business acumen, psychological understanding, and grit. It was not until I began reading Penelope Trunk’s blog that I realized my frustration. I needed one more point of view to see the whole picture. Women and men think differently, and if you want to have a full life you need to understand both perspectives. As a parent, it is vital.
As parents, business owners, entrepreneurs, and writers, we have a few very distinct differences that we wrestle with each day. How to manage a growing trend to allow space for your child to avoid a life of wandering generalities, Seth Godin, while still allowing the parents to have a career and work life that is not only fulfilling, but also valued. It is not about do what you love, but nurture who you love. A recent Pew Research study suggests that women value work they enjoy over a high paying job by a substantial margin.
This is telling many of us what we already are experiencing, times and our opinions on work have changed. Most of us value flexibility more than money. I remember as child number five in a Catholic family, that my father worked a lot. He had a career in finance for Johnson and Johnson for much of his professional life. He made it to choir concerts, sporting events, etc., but he was never home during the day or took a day off for birthdays or doctors appointments and that was okay.
My husbands work as a Chemist does not allow for flexibility during his work day either, but he spends more day-to-day time with the boys than how I was raised. Is it better? It fits our niche as a family, and that is why it works.
I learned something very valuable early on in this journey when listening to Tony Robbins series Ultimate Edge. It is not the situation that is frustrating you in many cases, rather your perception of what you thought should happen verses what did happen. This is a powerful insight and one that has helped me take a step back and look at where my frustration occurs. The next time you feel your temperature rising stop. Think about what you thought should happen and see what did. It will make you more aware than 98% of the people you encounter, and give you a richer life.
Do you know what type of life you want to have now? It will change over time, but knowing what you want is the first step. For me, I love working, but I also love being a mother and wife, so I need balance to make sure there is time for me in all of this. Likewise, my husband needs his time to himself. Take a minute and write down the 5-6 things that are important to you. Is it working? Art? Yoga? Whatever! No one can tell you what is important to you – you have to seek that out yourself.
When designing where you want to live it is most important to know what you want out of this life. How will you know that you had a life of fulfillment? Do you need both parents to have flexible work schedules, or will one do? All dysfunctional behaviors come from not understanding our own needs. Where and how you live matters to your final goal. Think of this as a complex project you are managing. What would you recommend to a paying client? How would you look at the situation then?
Downsizing with kids for us was part of a plan to reach a goal. What began as a financial goal, quickly merged into a lifestyle goal, and for me a career goal. It is a whole new way of living.