Over the years, I've written about our husband and wife partnership as entrepreneurs building a business. I've covered living on the road while working and growing a family. I've discussed how to find your center when raising a family while building your empire. And I've shared work hacks to keep you on top of your game while traveling.
Across the board, I've emphasized the importance of a routine to ensure discipline and traction both personally and professionally when you're scaling a business and raising your tribe. I felt like my husband Buddy, and I had a leg up on working remotely and being productive.
If there were ever a time that could test my strategies and beliefs in my capacity for stress and change, it's government-mandated quarantine. Wow! Our family was sick with colds and cases of flu before the California COVID-19 quarantine, so at the time I'm writing this, we're actually in Week 5 of Sheltering in Place. Thank God it's Spring Break.
Seriously, I like my kids' schoolwork even less than they do, so Spring Break came at a much-needed time. I've always loved our children's teachers, but they have achieved a whole new level of greatness in my eyes. I don't know how you teachers do it. Then, many of you come home and do homework with your kids! I tip my hat to you all!
We lived in an RV with a toddler while I was third-trimester pregnant with number two, in North Dakota. We were 50 miles from the Canadian border, and it was the middle of December, yet we went to work on a construction site every day. Sounds grim, right? Well, I gotta tell you, that was easier than the past month at home with two kids doing "independent" online schooling — and a three-year-old running around trying to derail the train!
Our motto for many years has been, "the family that travels together, stays together." And now all I want is a weekend away with my girlfriends! Or better yet, a weekend alone, in silence, in an ashram. Do you remember silence? What I wouldn't give for a little silence.
In my last post: Finding peace amidst uncertainty, I explored some of the hacks we were using in an attempt to keep the peace in our little village! Fast forward a few weeks, and we've figured out a few more things, experienced some more failures, laughed, argued, had a couple of meltdowns, and learned more about ourselves and each other.
All of their lives, our kids have had front row seats for our American Dream-Chasing Tour. In fact, they've had backstage passes. So for them, watching mom and dad juggle schedules, tag-team work and chores at home, coordinate school pickups and drop-offs — along with work meetings and travel schedules — is nothing new.
What is new is that we've taken on the additional responsibility of trying to be teachers — and without the help we usually have (from a babysitter or family member.) Don't judge, or do if you want! But, if anyone tells you they keep their pace personally and professionally without any help —they're lying. Our life isn't one-size-fits-all, but we're fighting hard to design the life of our dreams, and most of the time, it works for us. When it doesn't, it can get a little messy.
As bootstrapping entrepreneurs, I think we are pretty nimble and innovative. But pack all five of us, and our French Bulldog Lovie, around the clock in a home with no office, garage or den, and even the greatest domestic diva would be tested. Oh, did I mention it's been pouring outside for days on end!
It's been a learning experience, and no doubt will continue to be for the foreseeable future. I think I can safely say we are starting to make a little more progress each day. As partners, as a couple and as parents, we're getting better at coordinating our schedules in advance to prioritize the kids and their school schedules, along with needs for physical activity and play. We're organizing our schedules to allow time for each of us to work on our professional and passion projects.
What we haven't mastered yet is much time together as a couple. These kids are ALL UP IN OUR BUSINESS! The big kids are still a little young to babysit the three-year-old. Besides, I'm convinced that if they were alone on an island, he would be named Lord of the Flies. Date nights are a nice idea, and an overnight getaway is a distant memory of days gone by. We have to shelve any real chance to connect until we get the kiddos in bed, schoolwork reviewed and uploaded, and the casa cleaned. Then we pour ourselves into bed, both exhausted from schooling, parenting, housework, and work.
Next week, we're going to work on prioritizing our time to talk, plan, and connect during the little man's nap time. Look out kids, mom and dad are going to start having a lot more "conference calls" midday, so no knocking on the door, it's an important meeting!
Sometimes, the days are long and other days seem even longer, and then there are days when I feel like we're in our element and could take the kids out of school, move on to a boat and sail around the world! For clarification, this feeling lasts for about 3.2 seconds, and then the baby spits milk across the room in an effort to make his siblings laugh, and I'm jolted back to reality. In all seriousness, though, I know we'll look back on this epic, scary, and crazy-beautiful time in our lives, years from now and long for these days with our babies. Humor is just one way I choose to find joy, and hopefully, bring a little joy to you as well!
At the end of the day, isn't how we choose to control our attitudes part of this whole endeavor? With so much out of our control, our perspective is one thing we can control. We have to work at it, but we do have choices. It's too soon to know what the future will hold or the shape of our "new normal." But one thing is already certain: There is an opportunity in this for us all. We each have an opportunity to learn, evolve, and to grow closer as a family and as a community. What will you choose?
Long Live the Adventure,
We're a family who loves living life to the full. We try to live each day with intention in an effort to find gratitude, seek wonder, show love and a experience a ton of laughter.