In a few weeks my wife will give birth to twins. Life as we know it will never be the same again.
In a good way of course 🙂
The excitement and anticipation is mounting, especially for our two older children. However, with double the joy comes double the work with less sleep and less time. If I was on the wrong side of busy before, I’m now headed straight for perpetual delirium!
It would be nice to take paternity leave so that I can be there to help. It would also be nice to just ignore those things that take up the most of my time – emails, phone calls, admin tasks – so I can spend time with our new arrivals. However, when you’re the business owner that’s not always possible. I can see myself now – a baby in each arm whilst trying to sell a mattress!
Whilst having a third child was something we planned on, having twins wasn’t. (It’s not really something you can plan!)
For years I’ve been dealing with unexpected situations in my business, so now it’s time to take on board those lessons I’ve learned and apply them to this new challenge of raising twins.
Here’s what I’m going to do:
1. Be brutal about what I can actually do
I’m going to make a list of everything that I do or need to do. Then I’m going to ask myself: “If I can only achieve one of these, which would I choose?” I’ll do that thing first. Repeat.
I’ll also need to decide if some of the other things on my list are even worth the stress. And I’ll outsource whatever I can, especially the things that need a high level of daily focus.
2. Find someone to be a sounding board to help keep things in perspective
I know that checking-in with other people (especially those external to my business and immediate family) is always a great circuit breaker that often gives me a new perspective. Reading articles and connecting with my ‘soloist network’ is a good way to step back and look on the problem with renewed energy and focus. A quick chat with a friend or colleague often helps me feel more assured and less overwhelmed. After reading articles (like the ones here on Flying Solo) I always come away with a tip to make life easier or advice I can use straight away.
3. Remember that done is better than perfect
Having unrealistic ambitions and expectations is not a good way to reduce the pressure that’s going to be coming my way over the next year. So I’m not going to over-promise. Rather, I’m going to be realistic about what I can deliver and when. I’ll work to deadlines to harness stress in a productive way and aim for progress, not perfection.
4. Remember to look after myself but more importantly my wife – as she’ll be busier than me
We’ll go to bed early. Any sleep we get before midnight will help us cope better with the disturbances that come during the night, not to mention the early morning starts. We’ll need to have realistic and manageable routines that adapt to our family situation and make space for both enjoying our growing family and managing our business well.
Hopefully, these strategies will help me to stop feeling overwhelmed in the coming months (and years) of juggling a growing business and a growing family. I’m determined to enjoy every second with my family and not let myself become too overwhelmed.
After all, my family is a key reason I chose to be in my solo business.
Meanwhile, if anyone has any advice for me about raising twins, I’m all ears.