When I'm away
I travel - a lot. The last 11 weeks in a row I've been on a plane. Most are just for the night, but it's a lot of time I'm packing a bag and kissing my children and husband goodbye and boarding an aeroplane.
Today I've flown to LA and it's always that little bit harder when it's overseas. I've learnt I can do 3 nights no problem, I actually enjoy the time to immerse in work in a hotel room and just get a massive amount of stuff done so that when I'm home I can totally soak up family world. When it's longer than that though, I inevitably tear up when I say goodbye because I know how much I miss them like crazy when I'm away.
Last week I was at a Business Chicks breakfast and was speaking to an awesome woman who had a 10 month old baby and who used to have a growing and thriving business but since her baby was born, she's been struggling to keep up. This isn't because of the amount of work, she has a great team in place and a supportive family to help at home, it's because of the guilt she feels.
Argh! It drives me bonkers. I know, I've definitely been there. When my sons were 1 and 2 years old I did the John Demartini Breakthrough Experience course just to get over mother guilt. It worked, and I did. I have not felt guilty for leaving my children ever since and it has done wonders for my life, their life and my business.
Guilt is completely useless and serves no one. There's a difference between feeling a little sad because you miss your crew and that paralysing feeling of guilt. The feeling of immense guilt whenever you leave your children can be overwhelming because you want to be with them. Then when you're with your children you're thinking about business ideas and wishing you could work on that. All it does is paralyse you and make you feel like shit.
Drop it, forget about it. Focus on being present and being 100% focussed on work when you're at work and 100% focussed on your family when you're with them.
The older children get, the better they are at understanding which is hugely helpful. My 9 year old son this morning asked why I have to go again when I kissed him goodbye at 530am. It's a conversation we've had hundreds of times before. I want my children to know that life can be big and if they are lucky enough to find something they're passionate about, they should pursue it and do the very best they can. I work selfishly because I love it. I love to create something and love the achievement of seeing an idea and a thought come to fruition and improve people's lives. I want to make an impact greater than just in my own immediate family. Hopefully I am passing that belief onto them.
It also helps to have a hugely supportive partner. It was Sheryl Sandburg who said that the most important business decision is who you choose to be your partner and that's wildly true. When I texted my husband goodbye as I boarded the plane he texted back "I love you, now go and set the world on fire". And you know what? I think I will. And I'd encourage you to do it as well x