Octagon Rooms

How To Balance Parenthood & Entrepreneurship

Posted on: November 14th, 2016 by The Moderator No Comments

Dami: Lol at corporate policy. I think it’s easier for a guy to run wayward on balancing family. I often get out of sync. Also i think one of the most instructive things i learnt about Life, Work and Balance is a book i read a while ago It’s titled “How to Measure your Life” by Clayton Christensen. You all should check it out, its from a Harvard professor who was friends with some of the brightest and controversial people. He chronicled how after 40years at a school reunion. He and his class looked back and looked at all they had achieved and sacrificed and key elements came through. Family once lost will leave you empty , Health once lost cannot be reclaimed, Integrity and personal character once lost is truly damaging. So if i start to act like the Octagon moderator we can all agree that Understanding spouses are critical to our survival. Here’s a drink to all the fighting spouses keeping us entrepreneurs alive. Plus 21 gun salute.

The Second thing i’ve also learnt is to recognize and take advantage of the small opportunities that i now have. Example when i had a 9-5 i couldn’t dream of dropping of my daughter at school and us walking in and joking together. i do that now and the teachers at her school don’t understand why i wont let them carry her in.

Sam: Top guy Clayton.. Top Book!

Isioma: Thanks for the book. There is a TED talk on the key to happiness from a 99 year long harvard study. Here is the link — https://go.ted.com/CefP

Tola: Definitely, both and like Labake said , the support from husband and family makes it all worth it.

Labake: As a mother of a toddler who does not play by the rules, I try not to make promises I can’t keep. Plus when we have a play date, I keep it. I work with an aggressive visionary and we are constantly trying to push ourselves. But i think for me the first thing is having that discussion with my wife where she understands that things have changed from when i had a 9-5 gig and i had a closing time. So like you’ve all said having an understanding spouse is key. My husband does not have closing time. He has never had, but he has learnt to close shop – especially when he needs to be available for the family.

Isioma: So working it out with self is the first step to me. Then your partner, then your work. Underlining success at work-life is self-awareness and time management.

Uju: My husband is a surgeon in training here in the US. So work hours can easily be 80-100 hours a week. So it requires flexibility on my part and a lot of understanding. It’s a lot of team work. It’s important to take care of you in the process. If you aren’t at your best, then everything else will suffer. Eat right, sleep right, exercise right, all that great stuff. For single parents the struggle though must be harder. It’s always challenging when you alone have to be the sole cheerleader. Support must be crucial.

Isioma: So companies have everything to support and help but the rate of subscription is low. why?

The octagon: Great comments from everyone. Do you think the people you work with should be “more conscious” on your responsibilities as a parent ? Do you set your own boundaries ? Eg. No work calls after a certain time.


Dami: I fail alot with sneaking off to have lunch with the wife, her office is slightly farther away.

Uju: I work, and my Oga knows that if my child is sick, then I will be out. Again it’s just what it is. Priorities. I could never work in an environment, or with folks that don’t understand and respect that. If you respect what I am bringing to the table, then you accept what comes with it. Would turn down bigger opportunities with more income potential to make that a reality. I think when you are single, priorities are obviously very different. I would say more people should take advantage of that, and start chasing their dreams pre settling down, so a foundation is already built.

Labake: I think will all should be more conscious about our colleagues responsibility

Dami: Hmmm. Good point. Yeah but what i utterly can not stand is people who then use this as an excuse to under-deliver. So as much as i possible try to give our people the right examples. i.e. My people know i have a family and that they are priority in my life but i also drive myself really hard and they are not an excuse for not delivering. So like Uju has pointed out, we must also seek an environment that helps us keep the family together. I cant even begin to image what it most be like for single parents. Its mad enough with someone to help.

Sam: I was just going to say something similar. The tendency to plead family first especially from junior staff here in Nigeria is pretty much abused to the point of being fraudulent – Guarding against this can be tricky.

Isioma: Things that can be improved in the workplace;

  1. Meeting Scheduling. You have a nursing mum and you schedule meetings back to back till 7pm every day.
  2. Communication: You intentionally announce all the graces you are granting parents e.g “we have to reschedule the meeting because Jane has to go for her kid’s immunisation.”

Teasing male colleagues when they take time out for immunisation or school events. Simply put, In your sphere of influence, be fair… be considerate and help people to deliver daily.

Tola: I can’t categorically say that my office understands when I say my son is Ill, I can’t make it today etc. But I don’t let that bother me. Why? Cos I realised work will go on whether or not I am in the office. I have made it clear (without being rude) that I will work between 8 – 5 pm. And after that I’m off. I also do not answer calls after 8pm. I have an inner circle in my phone so I get to pick calls from these people only between 8pm and 8am the next day. This is because I realise that I have to be happy and be in right mind to function both at home and work. I like me time a lot. 8- 5 I give my best. I don’t carry work over to the next day because I always want to be accountable.

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