I have worked in the corporate for more than ten years and seem my far share of successes. I have received awards, praises, congratulations, promotions, as well as everything positive which could happen to a young “soldier” fighting the corporate “beast”. What was my single most important part of my career? The birth of my children was by far my greatest accomplishment. You see, my greatest accomplishment never had to do with P&L’s or awards, but rather pampers and fixing “boo-boo’s”
After so many years of punching the clock, I made a decision to step away from the corporate world and reintroduce myself to my greatest assets, my family. I tell you, my decision was not an easy decision, but a needed one. I ran a business where over 400 people knew everything about me, yet I couldn’t tell you my oldest daughters’ favorite color. Depressing, I know, but a well needed wake up call. I was losing myself in the corporate mix thinking I was providing a better life only to be losing another.
Now my days are a work in progress, but a job I am determined not to quit. I have learned from my wife, a stay at home mother for years, “being a stay t home parent is the lowest paid, underappreciated, and most rewarding job on the planet.” Now I am going to get a hands on look at the job, I thought was so “easy”. I will provide you with key aspects to assist you in being a 21st Century “Mr. Mom”.
Support System: Just as you hear in every acceptance speech from awards shows, the winner thanks someone for something. Someone to assist you in the transition is critical. Whether it is a spouse, friend, significant other, or you name it; you will need someone to guide you. Even if the guidance is simply a shoulder to lean on, you will need it.
Planning: My days were filled with guides, plans, reports, and countless amounts of information. I would not have survived most days in the corporate world without knowing what I had to do next. Take a planning approach to being a stay at home parent. My wife once told me, “run your business like your home and you will be successful.” Oh, how true. So, write down what you want/must accomplish throughout the day. Doing something foreign to you takes time and dedication, but is rewarding.
Throw out the PDA: I received calls which interrupted dinner, family events, and special occasions. My family knew who was calling from work based upon my ringtones. So, throw out the PDA! Being dedicated to your family means taking away the devices which made connected to corporate America and disconnected to your family. The only function your Smartphone should have is to aide you in the planning of your days and to have those important numbers, doctors, schools, etc.
Don’t sweat the small stuff: Unfortunately I was known to be somewhat of a tyrant in business. I had a hunger inside and a tenacious appetite. To be a success at home, you have to be able to analyze situations, to take from the corporate world, and decide if the energy I am going to put forth is worth the result.
Laugh as often as possible: No one want to hear the stories of the glory days of your career and how you ruled the world. All of your effort should be focused on your family. Let your hair down, act crazy, and make memories. In 10 years no one is going to remember how much money I made, but your family will always remember when you made homemade cookies for the first time, ever.
My journey is a work in progress. What I provided was by all means not an all inclusive guide to being a stay at home parent, nor is my guide meant to put down stay at home parents across the globe. I am providing my version of what is important to me and how I will survive being the 21st century “Mr. Mom”.