Sometimes it’s hard to set priorities and to uphold the boundaries between family and work, right?
Today is such as day – client conversations scheduled since weeks and a little accident at home this morning has me decide that my 4-year old will stay home. Give him some extra time, some rest and make him feel loved and cared for.
Great idea. And it seems to work. Little man plays peacefully in his room, my client call starts and then a little face appears in our FaceTime conversation. Unfortunately not just the little face comes in, but also many words…
Here I am, in the middle of a deep conversation with a client and little man wants attention and someone to talk to. I feel bad about my interrupted conversation and I’m trying to offer him things he can do, some audiobook to listen to. It works! For 3 minutes… then, against my convictions, I give him the electronic babysitter and Fireman Sam does the trick.
I can go on with my client conversation. We explore and go deeper – here I am again, Miriam the coach, not Miriam the mum. While it is a rich conversation, I can still feel that I’m not quite in my usual state, a bit embarrassed about the interruption .
My client has a quite different view, she’s happy she saw my son. She feels more deeply that I know a multi-layered life from the inside out, that I can relate to her struggles. She even saw me struggle to respond to both my roles. And my son? He’s happy that he gets to watch some youtube clips, which he usually doesn’t.
And me? I am not quite sure how I feel about this. In a way this did not match with my idea of professionalism as a coach or skillful parenting as a mum. Yet, when both roles can’t happen sequentially, I may need to live with “good enough”. I’ll carefully see which clients will be OK with an interruption or maybe hire the electronic babysitter a bit earlier.
How about you? What are your moments when boundaries between roles collapse? What are your strategies to deal with them and what expectation do you need to let go of to be able to navigate those moments?
As for me, I’ll be working a bit on the elegance of my navigation and make peace with little man watching a few more youtube clips…