The Somewhat Impossible Balance Between Business and Family

Ryan Cote
Ryan Cote
May 7 · 3 min read

As someone that gets a “high” from business growth, feeling productive and forward momentum, I find that I’m constantly battling myself to work a little less and be more conscious of being a better husband and father.

Common thoughts in my head:

Put the phone down.

Turn the laptop off.

Be present in the moment.

Be interested in their day.

I’m very certain this is a common struggle with most people nowadays because we’re so connected thanks to technology. It’s a great thing of course, but it can completely consume you as well. It enables you to work anywhere, anytime. I remember watching Mad Men and being in awe that they operated with just the telephone. So simple. Pros and cons, I know.

So what I struggle with is how do I give business and family enough attention each to thrive in both areas? If I don’t feel like I’m producing and growing at work, it honestly puts me in a bad more…a slump-like feeling. And then, at the same time, I’m conscious of the fact that my wife and kids need me to be involved and present…and of course I want this too.

What I’m starting to realize is that this struggle to be better at business and better with my family…this tension…is always going to exist. It’s not going to ever go away. True balance, in my opinion, is somewhat impossible.

But the more I think about this, maybe it’s a good thing. The first step for change and growth is being conscious of the areas that are important to you. This tension is a reminder to myself to keep pushing to grow at work…and when I’m at home, to be more involved and present with my wife and kids.

I’ve also found it super helpful to time block my schedule.

I wake up early to have time to myself before my kids and wife wake up with the chaos that follows (and while I sometimes complain about this chaos, I know one day I’ll miss it).

My wife and I schedule lunch and/or dinner together on a regular basis…1 or 2 times per month. We also subscribe to Plated, the meal prep service, and often make it together.

And lastly, with my kids, I try to block off 1 hour when I get home where I’m not on my phone or on the computer. Weekends are also usually filled with activities such as soccer and dance…so it creates time naturally for me to spend with my kids. I also look for moments where I can help my wife out with the kids and thus create more opportunities for me to spend time with them…reminding myself to be present of course.

I guess what I’m learning is…

…that true balance does not exist. If you are focusing more on family, you’ll have less time to spend on business…and if you’re focusing more on business, you’ll have less time to spend on family. But I think this is OK. There’s nothing wrong with cycling between the two priorities…being conscious of trying to achieve this sought-after balance should be enough to influence you into making decisions that will be the right ones for the long-term health of both business and family.

Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this topic!

Ryan Cote

Written by

Ryan Cote

Director of Digital Services & Partner at Ballantine.com. I love marketing, family, morning rituals, fitness & entrepreneurship. Father to 3 girls…wish me luck!

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