One year ago today, I was lying in a hospital bed gazing at a miraculous tiny baby that I had just given birth to. Joshua Littletree was tiny and perfect. I was on a tremendous high from making it through the most intense experience of my life. (During the peak of labor, I can only say that the world’s strongest riptide held nothing to the power I felt in my contractions. How all the world’s women make it through birth is a true miracle).
Prior to being grounded for a huge pregnant belly, I had flown 50 out of 54 weeks back and forth from Phoenix to the Bay Area to complete a large corporate consulting gig. This included 7 1/2 months of incredibly nauseous pregnancy, where I would throw up in various bathrooms or curbs along the route. But as challenging as it was, I knew precisely why I was doing it. By working my tail off to bank up money, I was able to take almost a year off to stay at home with my son.
A couple of months after Josh was born, I was walking with him in circles to rock him to sleep. I got a sudden, strong and clear message from the universe: NOW was the time to stop my corporate consulting work and forge ahead with the entrepreneurial coaching work I had been wanting to do full-time for years. I suddenly realized that my choices didn’t just affect me anymore; my son was feeling and watching my moods and energy levels. If I was doing work I didn’t enjoy, he would pick up on that and feel my angst and discomfort.
Many people tell me that they put off their dream work for "the sake of the kids." In my own case, I beg to differ. The biggest lesson we teach our kids is what we DO, not what we SAY. If you go to work hating your job every day, you are telling your kids that this is an acceptable way to live. If you tolerate an unhappy relationship, or continually choose to live in financial chaos, this is the behavior your kids will emulate.
I want Josh to grow up free, creative, productive and joyful. So that is what I must demonstrate to him every day. Thank you for the lesson Josh and Happy Birthday son!