This week, my life as a mom and as a CEO collided in spectacular fashion. The fact that my two lives collided is not unusual. In fact, it happens all the time. But this time is a little out of the ordinary. As you know, I planned to attend the 2011 Conference of Handcrafted Soapmakers in Miami this week. I was one of the first people to buy a ticket after last year's conference and I was very much looking forward to it. My husband is there now, serving as the official vidoegrapher for the event, as he has done in the past. But events of yesterday morning confirmed that my plans mean little when compared to other forces at work in my life.
This picture shows what happened after I dropped my children off at school yesterday morning. I'm a little shaken up, but happy to say that no one was hurt. Cars are repairable (I am told mine is not totaled), and for those of us who choose to be moms and CEOs at the same time, the photo is a metaphor for what our lives look like at times. Let me tell you what happened.
After arranging for 4 days of nanny child care, a ride to cheer leading practice Friday evening, a play date for the school “Spring Fling Thing” Friday night and a return flight that would bring me home late Friday night so I could drive (in a car I would rent) to cheer leading competition on Saturday afternoon, after the car accident, I decided to stay home with my children.
I am so thankful that I work from home. It's making this whole thing a lot easier on all of us. I waited until I was 100% sure of my change in plans before I announced it to my kids. Their reaction surprised me.
Both of them immediately cheered and started jumping around and hugging each other. They told me how happy they were that I was going to stay with them. They told me how nervous they were that I was leaving. My daughter was especially concerned because this week, she is taking 3 days of North Carolina-imposed standardized tests. She's quite anxious about it — more anxious than I knew.
I asked each of them why they hadn't told me how concerned they were before. They said they didn't want me to cause me to miss a business-related event, because they know how much my business means to me.
Tears and hugs all around. When I zoom out and look at my life, this was not a difficult decision.
I have attended this particular conference nearly every year since 1998, so you can imagine what a change this is for me. But life is about change, and thanks to my general innate proclivity to be energized by change of all kinds, I am looking forward to how this experience will play out in my life.
The dictionary defines collide as “to strike one another or one against the other with a forceful impact.” What a perfect way to describe what is happening right now.
My business plans collided with parenting plans.
Parenting wins, hands down.
I know it will be another super conference, and I will miss all the fun — especially the official debut of my friend, Kayla's new Melt & Pour soap book. I hope everyone has tons of fun. I'll be excited to see all the great pictures! If you're not going, you can follow the conference activities with me on Twitter using the #soapconf11 hash tag.
Question: If you are a parent CEO, what do you do when your roles as mom and CEO collide?