Freeze, Put Your Hands in the Air!
Around Christmas time, my husband and I had just had our 3rd child and it was crazy busy at my office and he was traveling to London for weeks at a time.
One Saturday, while I was at work, playing catch up, he had the 3 boys, all the while he was preparing to head to Europe for 1 month. It was one of those days when you’re not really sure what the kids are doing, but no one is crying, so you forge ahead.
That afternoon, in a rush to the airport, my husband dropped off the kids at my office. Oh, that was fun. I had a 4, 2 year old and a crying infant to care for until 10pm when I wrapped everything up. My office looked like it had been attacked by squirrels. There were milk bottles, snack wrappers, and banana peels all over the floor.
When I got home that night, I noticed the front door was wide open. I called my sister and told her my situation. She said to call the police, “there could be a burglar in the house.” So I called the cops, waited with a car full of kids down the street, anticipating their arrival. The police dispatcher said to stay where we were and not attempt to come into the house until the police waved to us down the street. My heart was pounding.
Who would break into our house? What had they found? A million thoughts were rushing through my mind. When all the sudden, the police officer instructs us to pull in the drive way. One policemen has a large flash light and the other is walking through each room of the house, pouncing through the door with his gun raised, ready to shoot anything that moves. Remember, it’s Christmas. At that moment, I could see from the driveway, that he was entering the dining room where I had a 5 ft. tall motion sensored Santa Claus Teddy Bear. As I screamed, “don’t shoot, he jumped into the room and that Teddy Bear started dancing, and I tell you, I thought he was gonna blow the head off that thing. I was amazed at his quick assessment and self control. He motioned for me to come into the foyer and asked if I could identify anything that was missing.
I looked around and saw food all over the floor, the recliner had been turned upside down, but nothing was missing. Turns out, my husband was working from the house all day and let the kids wreck the house while I was gone, and had forgotten to close the front door, in a rush to get them loaded in the car and to the airport.
I have to say, that was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life; I almost wished burglars had taken something, rather than the cops explaining to me that my own children had destroyed our house and my husband had just left the door open. I would have loved to have read that report: Busy parents let kids run wild, think they’ve been robbed.
We were doing too much at one time. We both owned successful businesses and had 3 children in 6 years and were frankly, overwhelmed by it all. When you take on that much responsibility, learning the word “NO” can be a valuable asset.
Something has to give. It’s either going to be family or work, but only ONE thing can receive 100% or 2 things can receive 50%. You have to map out a plan of action, a strategic business plan for your family, just as you would, when planning the success of your business. If not, you’re flying by the seat of your pants and your outcome is determined by the wind.