Because I coach virtually from home, I hang a sign outside my office door to inform my family what time I’ll be out of a call. If it’s an emergency, they know to come in.

Recently, during a debrief with a new client, about 40 minutes into the call my son had an emergency. The door quickly swung open and he strode in smiling from ear to ear. He held out his hand to reveal a small white tooth between his little fingers.

This warranted an interruption!

After handing me the tooth, he quickly turned to go back out of the office. With a gut feeling, I called him to come back. The administrator, sitting in another state, met my son and shared in the excitement of the loss of the tooth. I felt appreciation for the man on the other end as I watched him light up and share in my son’s joy.

After congratulating my proud 7-year-old, we all carried on.

Three years ago I would have felt pressure if my child walked in on a professional meeting. I remember the first time it happened and in a millisecond I judged the situation.

Ack! He shouldn’t be in here! It’s unprofessional to have interruptions from my children! She (my client) is going to be upset and think less of our time together!

Those were the days I was striving, grinding, and using grit to achieve and accomplish. I don’t really know what I was searching for, but in hindsight, I think “it” had just walked into the room in which I was working.

Intentional and present parenting is important to me. I’ve watched working parents struggle with guilt about “not having balance” because they see their children only 1-2 hours a day. They tell me things like “work gets the best of me, and my family gets the rest of me.” They’re striving to serve and love at work, but by the end of the day they’re wasted. Tired. And if worry, fear or guilt aren’t already in the works, anger and snap-reactions are close behind.

If you’re a parent who wants to spend more time with your kids, let me tell you what my friend told me early on in parenthood: It’s not too late.

You may have to review your values. You might need to adjust your meaning of success and come to honest terms about what you’re doing and why, but I’m telling you, being able to share in the joy of your children is something you don’t want to pass up. I’m writing as a professional who helps others professionals gain clarity, and I’m writing as a mom.

I almost missed tooth number seven.

(Coincidently, the administrator asked for the call to be recorded so he could view it again later. Because of that, this image was available!)

Rachel is a certified coach & familiar with “mom guilt”. Learn more about working with her here.

Emailrachelt@essdack.org

INL Websitewww.inspiredleadershipwithin.com

Facebook Communitywww.facebook.com/leadershipbeginswithin

Twitter:  @RachelThalmann

 

 

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