There are some things that make living with many small people a heck of a lot easier. I’m pretty sure that every item I list as essentials are things I swore I’d never want at some point in time. Now, I wouldn’t be without them:
Life is good when you can send your little people out into a nice, big, fenced-in backyard and know they can’t escape. Fill the yard with swings, a sandbox, and a water table, and we’re talking hours of outdoor fun on a daily basis. And when they tire of that, the kids can ride their bikes around the neighbourhood without much fuss. And really, it’s easier to find a house that big families can actually fit into when you live in the suburbs.
I never, ever wanted a pool. They always just seemed like so much work and a huge safety risk. We got a pool by accident a few years ago. The only house listed that fit our criteria happened to have a pool. Now I would never be without it. It is a built-in entertainment system keeping my kids active and outside all summer long. It’s a beautiful thing.
A mini-van is not my big car, it’s my “run about town” car. When it’s the whole crew, we pile into a giant gas guzzling hunk of ridiculousness. But, it can fit my whole family complete with all their sports equipment and other stuff. Trust me, it’s a lot of stuff. I’d be lost without that beast of a vehicle.
I can see if you’re at home with the kids you might not need a full-time nanny, but I can assure you, you need help. A 6:1 parent to kid ratio is pretty tricky to manage. I finally got a nanny when my fifth child was born and my oldest was six years old. That represented the end of having to wake up sleeping babies to go do a school pick up. I should have had help sooner.
That may sound crazy, and a few years ago I would have agreed. But my kids are getting older now and since getting the dog a year ago, I wouldn’t be without him. They bond over this dog by sharing funny stories and teaching him tricks, and they walk him constantly, which is a win-win because it tires everyone out. The kiddos have shown an incredible amount of responsibility taking care of him.
Yep, I look at this list and I can guarantee that at some point in my life I swore up and down I wouldn’t want any of them. I suppose at some point “six kids” was not on the list either, but I wouldn’t be without a single one of those either.
Was there something you never thought you’d wish for, but having kids changed that?
Between running a business and raising six kids, the one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is to value my time. And value it I do. When I get invited to events, I go through an actual checklist of requirements the event must fulfill in order for me to accept. So, all those people out there undervaluing their time? Yeah, that’s the opposite to me. I have a lot to pack into a day, so each one must be extremely productive.
So when I was invited to The Art of Leadership for Women Conference, and yelled hell yes, it meant something. Heck, I didn’t even turn to my check list. I just accepted and blocked off my calendar for the entire day.
Why am I so interested in this event? Here are a few reasons:
I gotta tell you, I’m not actually a big Martha groupie and I am not hoping that some of her domestic goddessness will rub off on me. In fact, I can’t think of anything that interests me less than all things domestic. But, I do think she is a branding genius. She has used her personal brand to elevate her business. If you want to learn about the power of a celebrity CEO, Martha is your gal.
I love catching up with old pals, and Liane is one. Since going to high school together many moons ago, we have been able to cheer each other on as we’ve juggled busy careers and raising families. I’ll be the one in the audience applauding the loudest after she speaks.
Someone once told me “your net worth is your network.” Wise words, those. Getting out there, being visible and connecting with like-minded women is not only fun, it’s good for business. It’s after events like these that I walk away with incredible new contacts that lead to partnerships and relationships that help my business grow.
Sometimes we get so busy being busy, we don’t even come up for air. When life turns into a human-sized hamster wheel, sometimes you need to hop off and find inspiration. Listening to the stories, journeys, and successes of other entrepreneurs is just the inspiration I’m looking for after a long winter. I know it will be like a breath of fresh air, and I look forward to breathing it in deeply.
So why don’t you take one day on May 29thth to be inspired, catch up with amazing women and hang out with the likes of Martha and Liane. Believe me — you need it and you’re worth it. Hope to see you at The Art of Leadership for Women Conference 2014!
Discover how you can close the gap to achieve the career you want and deserve at The 2014 Art of Leadership for Women Conference: One Day, Six Inspiring Women.
YMC Members receive a special discount of up to $100 off admission by simply using promo code YMC32.