Monday, August 23, 2010

Turn Off your Business After School

Turn off your Business After School until Bedtime !

My business shuts down from 3:45pm until 9:45pm everyday. I was reminded of this promise and pledge I made when I didn't honor it this week. I was on the phone with Yahoo Tech Support about a web-site issue for one of my merchant sites. I was on this phone call for about 45 minutes from 4:45-5:30pm. This was a bad idea. I should have made this call after the kids were in bed. I did not honor my promise to perserve the 3:45pm to 9:45pm time and it made for a rough evening in our house... rushing to do dinner... rushing to do after school activities.... not even being present when they got home from school to ask them about their day.

If you are a mother entrepreneur that has the good fortune of being home when your kids get home from school - STOP EVERYTHING - and be there for them. Help them unload those heavy backpacks and often heavy thoughts and feelings from the day. Remember everything is larger than life to them and something that happened on the playground often overshadows anything they learned academically in school that day.

You need to be there and be present to help them unload and download their day with you. We take off the backpacks and take their lunchboxes into the kitchen and empty them out and wipe them out and grab a snack. Sometimes we eat that snack at the kitchen table or we go to the couch and chill out and watch some mindless tv for a half hour. I let them choose whatever they want to decompress. So, I sit there and watch SpongeBob or Pokemon or Miss Spider with them.

I have the kids do their homework at the kitchen table while I prepare dinner. This way I can be there to answer any questions, look over their homework, and just hang out with them. I know there is all this talk of quality time vs. quantity time. I believe in lots of quality time... quality face time... many hours where they see my face vs. the computer face, the tv face, the gameboy face. I could plug them in after school while i prep dinner, do laundry, etc... but I chose to be present and have face time with them.

When I coach other mom business owners, I always remind them that family has to come first ! I do understand that you may go away for an evening each week or a weekend each month for your business. However, you need to be present and make sure that your family has priority over your business on a day-to-day basis.

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