Imagine if you were working a 100, 120-hour week, without being paid. You certainly wouldn’t be working to your best abilities, and you’d probably want to walk out!
But that’s what stay at home parents do every week. If we can learn to set boundaries in our work lives, can we learn to set certain boundaries with our kids too?
Watch the video above (or listen or read below) for the full lesson so you can take the next step towards creating and maintaining a #4DayWorkWeek
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Have you ever talked to an entrepreneur who is supported by a spouse who stays at home and helps raise the kids? You'll often hear the entrepreneur say that the other parent works harder than they do. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a working parent, or somewhere in between this episode is for you.
Parenting: The Hardest Job of All
A lot of people don’t realize how difficult the work of parenting can be, mainly because it's not treated in the same way as a paid job. Imagine if you were working 120 hours a week, and you were getting paid a really low amount. You’d probably have some complaints. You’d make sure you took breaks or had certain times off.
When a child is first born, it’s almost impossible to take any time off, unless you have a nanny or a helper. Most new parents don’t get much rest: they’re just trying to keep up.
But these times don’t last forever, and eventually there comes a time where the kids become more and more independent. They don’t need constant attention. At this point, it can be helpful to say, “Mommy doesn't work past this hour” or “Daddy doesn't work past this hour.” “At 6 or 7pm, the kitchen's closed.” “At 6am I don't get up yet. I get up at 7am.
Whatever that might look like in your household, it can help to create boundaries in a healthy way, so that you can be a better parent, a better and more supportive spouse, and a better, more supportive help to your person who's an entrepreneur.
Tempering Entrepreneurial Craziness
As an entrepreneur, sometimes we get really crazy or stupid ideas and we're all set to embark on them. And sometimes we need our spouse to say, “No, that's not a very good idea.” But if the criticism comes as just a straight “No no no no no,” it can be very difficult to hear. As the entrepreneur, you just think, “Well that's another person who says I can't do it. I'm going to show them.” And you probably lose a bunch of money just to prove them right.
However, if the supportive spouse is centered enough to be able to say “Ok, you're excited about this. I like that idea. But you're not excited about that. Let's talk about this,” then this can be a lot easier to take than a straight “No way!”
Carving Out Some Time for Yourself
Some people might think this is just unrealistic. Sure, it's unrealistic if you're not getting enough sleep. It's unrealistic if you think it’s your job is to give everything you have to your kids 24/7, all by yourself.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a co-working parent or a full-time working parent, this all comes down to thinking about how you can create a situation where as a parent you can have times where you don't work.
If you’re one of the people telling me, “Wade, why the heck would I want a 4-Day Work Week? I'm just going to have 3 days of taking care of the kids and being their chauffeur and their taxi driver and their servant...” then this is for you!
It all depends on how you define your relationship with your kids. I encourage you, whether this is you as the entrepreneur listening to this, whether it's your spouse who needs to hear this, or maybe you need to hear it and think about how you can support them, consider what sort of boundaries you can experiment with. Then you just need to slowly move towards implementing them.
Maybe your kids are used to having your support 24/7, and you don’t want to pull the rug out from under them. You don’t want them to think they did something wrong, or that they’re being punished. That’s totally fair!
But you can start small: maybe you begin with sticking to bedtimes. My way of doing this with my kids is to restrict their device time or TV time the next day if they’re not in bed on time. After all, I like hanging out with their mom!
If you start with something small where you can create boundaries, then you can begin to create windows of time where you have time to be yourself. This is time to be not just a parent, but to be an individual. It’s time where you can still have the energy and the time to be an awesome parent to your kids, but also have the time and energy to be awesome to yourself as an individual and have the time and energy to devote to your relationship.
I hope you find this helpful. If you have any questions or comments on this, you can drop me an email.
As always, I look forward to helping you make more money in less time; do what you do best, so you can better enjoy life with your friends, with your family, and everything else you do.
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