My wife and I welcomed our second child into our home this past week. As with our first child, it has been a wonderful, emotional, hectic, sleepless adventure that we will remember for the rest of our lives. As things began to settle down I started to think about how having children has changed my wife and I for the better.
Although I still consider myself a novice when it comes to parenting, I’ve grown in many areas of my life during the three short years we have been parents. So far, here’s what I’ve learned about a career from having children.
1. Be Intentional. I have a certain amount of work that needs to be done in a given day. It’s also important to me to be with my family as much as possible. So when I’m working I have to be intentional to accomplish what I need to get done in order to maximize the amount of time with my family.
2. Prioritize Your Life. Having children has allowed me to really evaluate how I spend my time. Now I have to make a daily decision about how much time I am going to devote to work and to my family. Zig Ziglar said, “True success begins at home.” I happen to think this is wise counsel and having children has sharpened my focus on what I truly value in life.
3. Put Work in Perspective. Although work is important it’s really only one component of what makes a great life. Having children is one of the most challenging and humbling things I’ve ever done. Sometimes it makes work seem like a walk in the park.
4. Work Harder. When I’m working and making money, it is no longer just for me. There are others counting on me now. It’s a big responsibility and the only way to handle it is to work harder than before. There is more at stake.
5. Focus on Others. In my opinion, there is nothing better to teach you how to be selfless than to have children. When I take that focus on helping others succeed and apply it in a work setting I find it helps me to succeed as well.
Regardless of whether you have children or not my hope is that you can learn from my experience so far. I hope you’ve learned these things faster than I have.
What have you learned about your career from having children?