Do you have the capacity for life and work?
I feel compelled to make this disclaimer for some of my readers, if you’re not someone that is comfortable with lots of talk about faith. In particular a Christian God, then this is not a book for you. Please read on to see my highlights on the content of the book, but don’t get it for yourself.
Both Carey Nieuwohof and Reggie Joiner are pastors of churches. Thus their book on parenting looks back to scripture many times for parenting principles. As a Christian, I’m cool with this, but you may not be.
In Parenting Beyond Your Capacity, Reggie and Carey, make the compelling argument than you can’t do this parenting thing alone. You need others around you to breath life in to your family.
My three big takeaways are as follows.
1. You can’t do it alone
…one of the greatest ways you can impact the life of your child is to become intentional about partnering with others who can also have influence with your child. If you try to parent alone, you will just become increasingly aware of your built-in flaws and risk becoming discouraged and disillusioned with parenthood.
You may think you’re alone as a parent but you’re not. There are people around you that can and will come alongside you and your family to help input in to their lives. Even as I have 3 children under the age of 7 I still take time to input in to my friends kids that range in age from 9–20.
I invite them to join me on hikes and join my family as we do life together.
Knowing that there is another adult around that shares similar views and can talk to their kids about things that you’d never mention to mom and dad is awesome. I know, they’ve told me so.
Here is a sobering thought: Your present family will never be enough for your children. Even the best parenting in the best family will never alone be enough to develop relationally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy chidlren.
2. You need to put aside time
It’s not enough to spend time together as a family if a family’s time together is never meaningful or strategic. It’s not just about quantity, and families can’t make up for frequently missed opportunities by going on a long vacation once a year or by spending several days together during the holidays. And it’s not just about quality — families have to be both intentional about how they spend time together and consistent about how often they spend time together.
There is a myth out there that quantity of time doesn’t matter, it’s all about quality. This myth tells us the lie that we can jump directly from little time to quality in 2 seconds flat. Forget being home for dinner every night, just take them skiing once a year for a week and that’s true quality time.
Quality time is built on a strong relationship. That relationship is only built when you have a quantity of time.
3. Put an emphasis on self-care
On that back road, all of that faded away, and I was overwhelemed with loneliness and emptiness. The collapse happened subtly. I found out in counseling over the next few months that what Mrs. Culbreth had tried to tell me. We all enter in to adulthood with a certain amount of reserve. If we expend too much without making deposits, we find ourselves at an emotional deficit.
After talking about quantity of time, it’s important to note that sometimes the best thing you can do for your family is to take a walk on your own. Sometimes the best thing is to head away for a weekend and fish or relax and read books. If you’re not emotionally healthy, then you have nothing to give to your family.
It is not a badge of honour to say that you pulled an all-nighter at work and can still talk to the kids. If this is a regular thing it’s a sign that you’re slowly failing.
Each week put aside time to care for yourself so that you have the energy to care for others.
But you normally write about business
Yes I do normally write about business, but as I’ve said a number of times if business succeeds and family fails I think you’ve failed. Also, if you’re having a rough time at home, business can’t help but suffer.
All of these points draw a direct correlation to business as well. When you’re having trouble in business, ask for help. You will never have enough knowledge, experience and perspective to have all the answers for your business. Join a mastermind group to find people that will care about your success as much as you do. Let them breath life in to your business.
Second, if you want to have an awesome business you need to put in the time. You can’t start a business on a Tuesday and then wonder on Wednesday why it’s not successful. The only way to be successful is to put in the time especially when it’s hard. You need to keep working hard if you want success.
Third, start focusing on self-care. That means you may work less. You’re going to need to read and rest from work. Thinking that you can endlessly work for 12 hours a day 5 days a week (or 7 like many of you think you can) is stupid. The maximum I can push hard with extra hours is 4 weeks and even then I’m irritable. My wife has to buy in to the extra time. By the end she’s ready to put a hard stop to my extra hours and force me to head out in to the mountains.
Yup this is a good book with my few caveats around faith noted above. Carey and Reggie do a great job explaining why you need to get others around you to help your family go further.
Interested on more tips for integrating family and work. Head over to curtismchale.ca and learn how to run an awesome business without sacrificing your relationships.