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This Is Still Who I Am

2
The World I’m Trying to Create
By Becky Robinson  |  Apr 23, 2015
My youngest daughter, around the age she began appearing on my video calls.

Late afternoon call with a potential client.

I return from picking up my daughter and a friend. They’re hungry, but I don’t have time to stop to get them a snack, so I direct them to ask my oldest daughter to help them.

Except that my oldest daughter has reasons why she doesn’t want to help, right or wrong, and I didn’t take the time to set expectations with her for the afternoon.

And the end result is my youngest daughter coming into my office — more than once — to interrupt the call.

Perhaps I should learn not to, but I apologize profusely, using the word mortifying.

As in, these interruptions and the noises of my children are mortifying.

But are they?

This is who I am.

Though I am building a growing company, I am doing so while working at home and being present with my children.

I have heard stories of people who worked at home a decade or more ago who worked very hard to maintain the appearance that they had a more traditional office. I have never tried to pretend.

Part of what makes my company work well is that it works well for the people working in the company. This means me, too.

Though I would prefer that my children view a closed door as sacrosanct, they are still learning. It’s not realistic for me to set an expectation that they will never interrupt a call, no matter how high the stakes.

And so I must learn to deal with this tension between who I am and who I think the world would want me to be. I wonder and worry that potential clients, no matter how understanding, may get a negative impression when my family needs infringe on my phone calls.

Though we don’t live in a pretend-you-don’t-work-at-home world, I wonder if we still live in a world in which interruptions by children are a major problem.

I want to create, for my employees and subcontractors, a world in which there are no penalties for child noises and inconveniences, one in which a toddler can crawl into mom’s lap during a video call, or where a child can occasionally play nearby while dad stops by the office for a few hours.

One in which they are free to do work they love while they remain present for their families.

And the word mortifying is never used to describe children.

What do you think? Do we live in a world in which interruptions from children are acceptable?

About Becky Robinson

I am an entrepreneur who is energized by creating opportunities for others. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, running, and reading  »  Learn More

What People Are Saying

It all depends on how you want to represent yourself in the professional choices you make in the world of very competitive market. If I chose to work at home, which I did for 3 years, it is inevitable to be not interrupted by your children. However, setting boundaries and limitations to how often they interrupt you is a a key element in working out of your home. The children must understand mother’s choice to work at home is not a free will to do as they please. They must understand the rules. On the flip side, if you own your own business, then what the heck,why not allow yourself to be available for your children. After all they are your priorities given that you own your business. The term “mortified” should not be used at any time in a relationship to meeting the needs of your children. Their needs to have their mother’s attention out weights the need to bring in the money.

Becky, I appreciate what you have shared in this post. I have to think it through before a more detailed response. What I do know is that it has never made sense to me to have such rigid boundaries between work and family (except for obvious professions such as a police officer on patrol, an ER doc on duty, etc. etc.). As a Weaving Influence team member, I am grateful every day that you value my role as a parent/caretaker of an elderly relative and realize it is a priority for me. This is rare.

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