Balancing Business, FaceTime and Single Parenthood

One of the lessons of business that I’ve had to learn and re-learn along the way, is that not matter how connected you are via email, instant messenger, text message, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter-or whatever else-there is no replacement for FaceTime  with client, partner or someone you are either in business with or want to be in business with.

As a single parent, there is a lot to juggle to be omnipresent when necessary both at home where the demands are compelling and at work where the demands are compelling for different reasons.  My good friend Judy Martin is far more eloquent on the science of the balance of work and life, so I won’t try to recreate her work.

My experience here is far more practical and filled with trial and error-and less about the scientific approach.  There are points that you know will need planning and patience ( June leaps to mind quickly) and the sudden moments (the sick call leaps to mind here) where you have to be light on  your feet.

There is a balance to be struck.  There is nothing to me more important that my kids and being the best parent I can.  Long ago I surrendered trying to be two parents wrapped in one.  But it requires sacrifice to make it work.  Some of the sacrifices are waking up at four in the morning to go to the gym-I look at it as uninterrupted “me” time.  Some if it is being ahead of the issue and setting up ground rules early so when I have to spend the morning working with 9.0 on her science project, 11.5 knows she can’t be in the middle of the effort-and sometimes

In business, my approach to work-life balance is to be as available as I can be.  Yesterday (a Saturday) I did spent a few hours working on some business models to apply over the next few weeks.  This gives me some currency to handle surprises as they come up-and also allow me to be more flexible in my scheduling.

But FaceTime requires two or more people to be able to align their schedules-and with the press of calls, webex, email and chat conferences-the window to sit across from someone gets smaller and smaller.  Some of my best meetings are over breakfast.  While I have not really analyzed this, I believe it’s because the meeting takes place outside the crush of the rest of the day.

But it’s a balancing act-along a high wire without  a net below.  Be there for my kids.  Be there for work to provide for my kids.  Nothing beats FaceTime…it’s a balancing act though to keep it real.

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