The Family Business

I have four amazing kids. Three boys and one girl, ranging in age from 5 to 13 years old. So yeah, our house is pretty crazy. 

It does not take much for the “wheels to fall off the wagon” around here. At any given time, you may walk in my front door and see our kids (and likely half the neighborhood kids) running around our house, fighting with light sabers, walking down the road with a wagon full of dolls and our dog jumping and barking at everyone who passes by.  It is chaotic and I love/hate it. 

Several years ago, when our family was transitioning into this middle ground of parenthood (not babies but not teenagers either) I had a really hard time letting go of the control. 

See, when my kids were babies, I felt like I could control(almost) everything. I could keep my house relatively clean without driving myself crazy. I knew where they were every minute of the day. I could closely monitor everything they did. I loved that control.

But as they got older, I felt the control start to slip through my fingers. The messes got bigger.  Their playground wasn’t just my house anymore. It felt strange and unstable and I didn’t know how to deal with it. 

One morning as I walked with one of my best friends, who is an amazing mother and has several older children, I learned an important principle that has saved my sanity many times since and completely changed my perspective on parenting.

She told me that as we head out of the baby stage, our role as mom has to change. We can’t be the doer of all the things anymore. There is just too much.

My role had to change to the manager of all the things to the manager of a team.

This concept sparked for me a perspective that has changed everything. From that day on, I began to see my family as a business. 

My husband and I are co-CFO’s of our little team. 

We have goals for our family business. We have family values, a family mission statement and even take yearly Farmer Family Executive Retreats (vacation without kids). We organize our time, duties, activities and priorities all from the perspective of those goals and values. 

This change in perspective has been pivotal for me because it changes my relationship with every member of my family. 

I feel empowered to fulfill my purpose. 

I am an equal partner with my husband.

I am a teacher and leader to my kids.

We are not just moving through these years with our kids just trying to survive, but we have purpose and direction. We have a plan to get where we want to be. 

My kids have responsibilities within our family business, each according to their abilities. 

Our family is a living entity that changes and evolves all the time. We change and evolve with it.

This perspective helps me stay calm when my house isn’t as clean as I’d like for it to be or when one of my kids breaks the TV (which has happened…twice).

The purpose of our family business isn’t to have a clean house all the time. 

The purpose of our family business is to teach my kids. And the best time to learn is in the middle of failures. So those moments when my kids aren’t doing things perfectly become opportunities to fulfill our purpose. To teach. 

This perspective changes everything. 

Have you ever thought of your family from a business perspective? Have you sat down with your spouse to write down your family values and goals?

If this seems a little overwhelming, let me know. I can help you come up with a plan to start making this shift in perspective for yourself and your family. Just click the link below to set up a free call to get started.