Being a parent is hard enough, but being a parent and an entrepreneur can feel like an impossible tightrope act. How can you possibly balance the demands of running a business with the demands of raising a family? The answer is conscious parenting.
What is conscious parenting? It’s the act of making a deliberate effort to be present and mindful in your parenting, while also staying attuned to your children’s emotional needs. I first learned about conscious parenting when my husband and I wanted to have more parenting tools for our six-year-old twins. That’s when we started working with Kim Marshall, the Founder of Roots & Wings Childhood. Through Roots & Wings Childhood, parents can work with Kim one on one to learn how to parent consciously. Kim really helps parents shift from surviving to thriving with her wealth of knowledge.
In addition to her parenting expertise, Kim also knows a thing or two about entrepreneurship and founding a business. Once a Kindergarten teacher, Kim is aware of the challenges that the transition from employee to entrepreneur brings. Her firsthand experience with parenting and entrepreneurship has provided me with so much insight into the importance of conscious parenting for entrepreneurs.
The intention of conscious parenting is to accept full responsibility for ourselves and eliminate the need to control the outcome of our children. It is a conscious choice to replace shame and blame with understanding. It might sound like a lot, but trust me, it’s worth it. Here’s why:
It Teaches Your Children Resilience
As an entrepreneur, you know that failure is a part of the journey. You also know that it’s important to pick yourself up and keep going after setbacks. When you practice conscious parenting, you teach your children this same lesson. They see that you make mistakes, but they also see that you learn from them and keep going. This teaches them that failure is not something to be feared, but rather something to be embraced as a part of life. As they grow up and enter the workforce, they will be better equipped to deal with setbacks because they’ve seen firsthand how you handled them.
In our podcast episode, Kim talks about how in society there are certain pathways we should go down to be successful or make us feel successful. Teaching was the pathway she initially chose, and although she loved it, she longed for something else. When she took the leap to start her own business, she needed resilience more than ever. Teaching gave her a salary, a pension, and the summers off. It provided stability. Entrepreneurship on the other hand was risky and unstable. Without resilience, Kim wouldn’t have been successful in the entrepreneurship space.
It Helps You Model Healthy Coping Mechanisms
We all have stress in our lives, but as an entrepreneur, your stress levels are likely through the roof. If you don’t have healthy coping mechanisms in place, it’s only a matter of time before you burn out. But when you practice conscious parenting, you model healthy coping mechanisms for your children. They see that when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you take a few deep breaths or take a break to go for a walk. They learn that it’s okay to ask for help when they’re struggling. And most importantly, they learn that it’s possible to manage stress in a healthy way. As they get older and their stress levels increase, they will already have these healthy coping mechanisms in place.
Here are 4 healthy coping mechanisms for handling stress:
It Allows You to Be More Present With Your Children
It’s no secret that entrepreneurs are notoriously bad at taking breaks. You’re always working on the next big thing or putting out fires that pop up unexpectedly. But when you make a conscious effort to be present with your children, it allows you to step away from work for a little while and just be in the moment with them. This quality time is so important for their development and for your relationship with them. And when you do need to focus on work, they understand because they’ve seen how important it is to you.
Kim’s advice when it comes to making time for your family while also building a business is simple: know your worth. Your worth is not dependent on how much stuff you cross off on your task list, or how many hours you spend at the computer a day As entrepreneurs, there is a pressure to always be on. But when you’re balancing entrepreneurship and raising kids, that lifestyle is not realistic.
When I started my business, I had this philosophy that it had to look a certain way. It had to be hard, it had to be grueling, and it had to be all-consuming to be successful. Luckily, that mentality didn’t last long. I started to witness all these other women like Kim doing business from a different paradigm– not working 9-5 but working 11-4 and a little on the weekends. Women around me were cultivating work schedules to accommodate their lifestyles, not cultivating a lifestyle to accommodate their work schedules. Imagine that!
Here are 4 ways to be more present with your kids:
Just as we must go to work or make dinner, spending quality time with our kids doing activities that we both enjoy should be at the top of our priority list. That doesn’t mean we are obligated to sacrifice our careers for the sake of parenting. Just understand that our presence in our child’s life is essential to their well-being.
There is no magic formula for time spent together during the week, but the key is to communicate to our children that they are special, significant, and worthy of our time and attention.
Practicing conscious parenting might seem like one more thing on your already full plate, but I promise it’s worth it. When you make a deliberate effort to be present and mindful in your parenting, you teach your children valuable lessons about resilience, coping mechanisms, and the importance of taking breaks—lessons that will serve them well throughout their lives. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the demands of entrepreneurship and parenthood, remember that conscious parenting is always an option.
I encourage you to connect with Kim! She is amazing at what she does and has helped me and my husband navigate conscious parenting. Visit her website to learn more about her services and connect with her and check out my podcast episode with Kim to listen to our discussion on conscious parenting and more!