I stood in the car park listening to Lilia crying… It felt like I stood there for 5 minutes debating with myself, but it was probably less than a minute. When Lil was about 3 we started her at a nursery 3 mornings a week i think, and for some reason, that we’ll never fully understand, she just didn’t like it.
Vivid memories of driving to the nursery, Lils in the back crying and I’m saying “Be a brave girl for daddy, you are a brave girl aren’t you?” “Yes daddy I’ll be your brave girl” she was 3! I don’t know how long she went there for, it felt like months but it probably wasn’t. I walked back into the nursery, saw my girl lying on the floor crying her eyes out and maybe most shocking, nobody was tending to her in any way that I could see. I took her home with me.
It seemed that day, that everybody else’s child went to nursery but maybe ours was going to be different in some way. I wondered how I would be able to meet my clients’ deadline that day, but had no real options at the time.
Over time there needed to become increasingly good reasons for going through the ordeal and somehow those essential meetings became less frequent. Did business suffer substantially? Not at all from what I can make out, what we created was a new business model that allowed me to stay at home.
The Digital Baby-Sitter
As I write this they are debating on Radio 2 about putting technology like phones and tablets into the hands of babies. This problem has quite a different angle to it when you are staying at home with the little darlings and you need to earn money as well.
I would be working on a project for a client and Lilia would be watching the Teletubbies or Peppa Pig or numerous other quality programs. Kids tv is an art form when created by the BBC. Peppa Pig well… she loved it and you can see why.
We went to playgroups, we spent hours in Parks, with friends and family. We had loads of fun they were the best years of my life, I’d do it all again tomorrow if I could. There were times when I had to work, and Lil never really slept during the day, so she would watch stuff on the iPad and she was very happy. When we said she had watched enough we turned it off and she’s never really complained much.
You can get it very clearly in your head that you want to spend as much time with your child/children as you can, and hence you need to find ways to reduce the effort or time involved in earning money – so that you can spend that time with your family. Striking the right work/play balance isn’t always easy. I’ll argue that when you’re running your own show and you have only yourself to answer too, then it may even get more difficult to strike the balance right. We were lucky because my mum lived in the same town and she loves being a granny, so that saved my bacon many a time! Use the grandparents, don’t feel guilty they love it.
In the next blog, I will talk about Automation, the biggest non-secret in getting the job done good and FAST.
We eventually got Lilia into a nursery that was very near home and had a very ‘homely’ feel to it, it was a lovely group actually, and Lil went there happily a couple of times a week. I would drop her off and almost RUN home to get on with my work.