Yesterday's post was about putting family first by keeping your heart in your home, even when it is not there physically. Yesterday while I was working at Panera (my office away from home), I talked with a mother of two small children who teaches 1st grade. She shared her anxiety about not having it “all together” and her guilt about not spending enough time with her kids. She told me I looked “so together,” and asked me how I did that.
I was at a loss for words for a moment because at the end of the day, I almost never feel like I'm “together.” I shared with her that despite how things looked on the outside, I am anything but “together.” But unlike so many moms, I don't expect to be together, so it doesn't bother me when I'm not together.
And about spending time with my kids, of course I try like any other mom to do that as much as possible. It helps to be Indie because I have the flexibility that I would not enjoy with a traditional job. But challenges still arise. For example, dance classes at Steps ‘N Motion and horseback riding lessons at Honeysuckle Farm are not cheap, yet my kids gets so much more than lessons through the classes. They enjoy building their confidence and learning how to interact well with different personality types. They see what a marvelous creation their bodies are, and how exercising keeps them strong. They learn to appreciate the magnificent beauty of horses, and through learning how to groom and care for them, they learn that there's more to animals than just riding them or having them around as cute pets. These benefits make dance and horseback riding lessons worth the expense.
But someone's got to pay for these great opportunities, right? As the parents and Indie business owners, that would be me and my husband. Sometimes, the reality is that we exchange dinner around the family table for the chance to land a new business deal, so the lessons can be paid for.
Thankfully, since we work from home, we have the benefit of flexibility built in. On the other hand, in a literal sense, family does come second sometimes even though it's always first in my heart. For example, if given a choice between landing a new lucrative business opportunity that I've been pursuing for months and grilling the salmon that's marinating in the fridge, I often choose to close the business deal and then haul the kids to McDonald's if I can't get to the salmon. The salmon can wait until tomorrow, or it can be baked tonight and made into salmon salad over the weekend. And my kids are in my presence while I'm dealing with the business. It works for us.
So here's the tip:Take a deep breath, don't panic. Don't expect perfection and when you don't get it, it won't make you pass out. Give yourself permission to be imperfect and don't have a coronary if you end up in the fast food lane every now and then instead of at your dinner table with 1 startch, 1 vegetable and a meat. When frazzled, ask yourself what absolutely has to be done that day and tend to that. Everything else can wait until tomorrow or be delegated to someone else.
Do you have a story to share about how you've learned to lighten up a bit and enjoy more of the way life is, rather than they way you think it would be if you had it “all together?” Share your feedback below. I'd love to hear about your ideas and experiences.