While watching the Tony Awards the other night, I witnessed actor upon actor receiving awards and, without missing a beat, all of them mentioned either their children, their spouses or their parents as having been significant factors in their successes.
The camera would then pan the audience to locate the family members being mentioned. It was truly heartwarming to see their appreciation for being recognized.
I may be giving my age away, but 20 or even 10 years ago, one would rarely have heard an actor thanking their children, much less have their children in the audience with them! It just wasn’t done. Children were kept separate from their parents’ work, show biz or not, and that was the way it was.
How wonderful that all of that has changed and children are being welcomed into their parents’ working lives.
All of this comes with its own challenges, of course. My husband and I are both solopreneurs. Neither of us has really ever had a “steady job,” and so when we had children there was never any thought of that changing.
Ah, but things DID CHANGE. Immensely. Things changed so much that although my husband has never admitted to this, I am sure there were times when he almost ran screaming into the night. I know I did. We had no family to save us during deadlines, no money for nannies, and although we have incredible friends, it just didn’t seem right to ask for their help, especially since many had kids and businesses of their own.
Back then, there were no Meet-Ups, no blogs about being a Work-From-Home Parent, and nowhere to get support. None of our childless friends understood — after all, since we worked for ourselves, we could eat, sleep and work when we wanted to, right? Explaining just how hard it is to rock a baby to sleep while you’re trying to code a website or have a client meeting was fruitless.
Now that our children are older (and we survived!), I can honestly say it has gotten a little easier. Just a smidgen. I thought by now I would have at least some answers, but the truth is, I don’t. I only offer one solution, and that is to remain flexible in body, mind and spirit, because as a Solopreneur Parent or Caregiver, life is unpredictable. It just is. Learning to quickly accept this universal truth is a very wise thing, indeed.
For the first time ever since I began my business 12 years ago, I will be attending CFC and Ilise is being so kind as to allow me to lead a Roundtable discussion with like-minded Solopreneurs who either have young children or aging parents to care for. Let’s face it — both have their own challenges, but both also have their own, unique rewards as well.
Will you join me in sharing your own stories and wisdom at the Creative Freelancer Conference? Let’s all share our challenges and celebrations so we can help to support each other, shall we?
Oh, and in case you’re wondering — yes, my children will be traveling to Boston with me — as far as I know, they won’t be attending the Roundtable Discussion. Of course, all of that could change in a heartbeat….