The Growing Pains Podcast

Uprooting Your Family

June 19, 2024 Alyson Caffrey Episode 70
Uprooting Your Family
The Growing Pains Podcast
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The Growing Pains Podcast
Uprooting Your Family
Jun 19, 2024 Episode 70
Alyson Caffrey

Summer vacation can make balancing a home, business, and kids feel chaotic. But today I'm sharing how to turn this time into rejuvenation and strategic planning for your business. Learn from my experience running an operations agency while parenting - how to manage operations without sacrificing family time. We'll explore strategies to pare back involvement, creating space for rest and clarity to prepare for busier months ahead.

Keeping kids engaged requires balancing structure and creativity. I'll share how activities like camps and outdoor play can be a way to reduce screen time. We'll cover the importance of scheduled free time and consistent routines to help kids feel secure and minimize conflicts. Let's foster independence and imagination through creative quiet times for a productive, enjoyable summer for you and your family.

Topics covered in this episode:

  •  Managing a business while kids are on summer vacation from school.
  • Tips for balancing work and family life during the summer.
  • The importance of scheduling free time and creative thinking.
  • Getting kids engaged in outdoor activities during summer.
  • Using summer as an opportunity for strategic planning and reflection for your business.
  • Taking time off from work during the summer to recharge and gain clarity.

RESOURCES FROM ALYSON:

The Kid-Proof Business Checklist
https://alysoncaffrey.com/checklist

Maternity Leave Planning Guide
https://www.mastermaternityleave.com/guide

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Summer vacation can make balancing a home, business, and kids feel chaotic. But today I'm sharing how to turn this time into rejuvenation and strategic planning for your business. Learn from my experience running an operations agency while parenting - how to manage operations without sacrificing family time. We'll explore strategies to pare back involvement, creating space for rest and clarity to prepare for busier months ahead.

Keeping kids engaged requires balancing structure and creativity. I'll share how activities like camps and outdoor play can be a way to reduce screen time. We'll cover the importance of scheduled free time and consistent routines to help kids feel secure and minimize conflicts. Let's foster independence and imagination through creative quiet times for a productive, enjoyable summer for you and your family.

Topics covered in this episode:

  •  Managing a business while kids are on summer vacation from school.
  • Tips for balancing work and family life during the summer.
  • The importance of scheduling free time and creative thinking.
  • Getting kids engaged in outdoor activities during summer.
  • Using summer as an opportunity for strategic planning and reflection for your business.
  • Taking time off from work during the summer to recharge and gain clarity.

RESOURCES FROM ALYSON:

The Kid-Proof Business Checklist
https://alysoncaffrey.com/checklist

Maternity Leave Planning Guide
https://www.mastermaternityleave.com/guide

Speaker 1:

Are you juggling the challenges of running a business while raising your little ones? Do you crave more ease in balancing your professional ambitions with the demands of parenthood? Well, sit tight, you're in the right place. I'm your host, alison Caffrey, and I understand the growing pains that come with building a business while nurturing a growing household. Think of this as a soft spot to land when you feel like your ambitions are starting to become just a little overwhelming. Welcome to Growing Pains. Hey, and welcome back to Growing Pains. I'm your host, alison Caffrey, and today I'm going to talk about summer vacation and what to do when your kids are out of school and you've got a business to run at home.

Speaker 1:

So if you're watching the video of this, you'll see my lovely, wet, curly hair. It is almost officially summer, which means the humidity here in the Northeast has taken its full form and my hair has gone officially crazy. And so it's funny because when I was sitting down to record this episode, I started thinking about. You know, my kids are not old enough to be in school, so if you are in a position where you've listened to the show for a while, you might know you're like Allie. What's going on here. Your kids are not of the school age, but over the years of running operations agency and working one-on-one with parentpreneurs, I know that summertime is super hectic and for people who have kids at home and are also working from home which is so much more common now that we don't have a physical office space to go to, summer can feel like this beautiful, crazy right we're like our hair doesn't always cooperate and so we might not actually feel like we are able to provide our best value through the summer. And something I know to be true about again working with folks over the last seven years in operations agency, running companies and growing families is that literally like everybody has a strong Q1 and Q4 because of the way that businesses invest, especially if you're working B2B, and we've always had really strong Q2s and Q3s because we know that the people that we serve are going through these seasons of like spring cleaning and the kids are getting out of school and sometimes business slows down, and so that's like the perfect time to start to work on your core systems and actually develop some things that are going to bring you through those harder seasons of work in the fall and in the wintertime, when business might be booming again. So I'm going to talk about a couple of things that I've personally see work really well for families who have kids at home over the summer, and how you can really structure this time to be really beneficial.

Speaker 1:

Because here's something I know to be true and I've taken one month off in the summer for the last three years. So my son Frank will be four this summer and this will be the fourth year now that we are taking a month off in the summer, and the reason I do this is because I personally love summer and I, as a very structured person, kind of need that like free space or that chaos, if you will, to kind of bring me the next round of clarity in terms of where I want to go next and all those things. So, big picture mission statement of what summer vacation can look like is it can look like an opportunity for you to get out of the weeds of your business and really get up above things and consider what is next for me, right, what is next for my family, you know, really soak in the time with your kiddos and really be present, while also, you know, really doing the work that is required from a leadership perspective to guide your business to the next stage, and I actually personally think that summer is an incredible backdrop for this. There's lots of long walks. Naturally speaking, like I have such higher energy in the summer I'm sure lots of people can relate to this. The sun is literally out longer, so you literally can stretch your days from a physiological perspective. Right, we're supposed to be kind of hibernating in winter and then being out and doing a lot of outside time and doing a lot of work in the summertime. So I actually think that embracing the season of summer as an opportunity to just kind of soak it all in and do all the things and get curious and understand exactly what is going to be next for some of those seasons that feel a little bit more disciplined or regimented or you spend lots of time inside with your head down working, you know, getting up above and just kind of taking a peek around feels really, really great.

Speaker 1:

Okay. So number one for you know, those of you who have kiddos in school and are now going to welcome them back into your home day to day, the first thing you can do to prepare for summer break is pare back your involvement, and the reason why I say this is because I actually work a lot with moms who are preparing to go on maternity leave and they work for themselves, they run their own companies and one of the biggest things that we do with them is we like teach them how to rest. We're like you need to put your pen down, stop your camera, don't type, don't do any of those things. And it's because they've gone, you know, and burned the candle at both ends. They've been going so fast for so long and we love our businesses. So it might not actually feel bad for us to be like working a lot or, you know, being super involved in our companies.

Speaker 1:

And there is definitely a time or a season aka postpartum, aka summer vacation and summer break so just relax, right, to just press pause and be in a position where you can actually soak it in. So pairing back your involvement is helpful because it doesn't leave your team or your clients in the lurch. Right, you're in a position where you can pair things back and be really confident that people can step in and take your place in some capacity. Or, you know, it's not kind of the bait and switch or the kind of switch overnight where all of a sudden, you're, you know, working super hard in your business and then all of a sudden it's summer break and now you're completely off, so you can kind of pare back your involvement and then, you know, really be in a position where you can soak in some of that restful time. So, as of this recording, it's like beginning of May and I often find that creating some really strict guidelines around my calendar is super, super helpful. So I literally sent over to my team a couple of weeks ago. This is what Allie's schedule looks like for the summer and here are the calls or meetings I will take and these are the ones I won't. And I try to put all of my meetings as much as possible batched into one or two days of the week that way as my kids are, you know, excited to go do things outside, or I'm even excited to create content or jot down little frameworks that I'm excited to teach my community. Those types of things can come in organically, which we're going to talk about in a second here.

Speaker 1:

But the next thing is get your kids busy. When we first got our dog Lucy, I remember she had such high energy she's a German Shepherd and the biggest thing that happened when we went to dog training with her. So we did 12 weeks of dog training when we first got her and the trainer said a tired puppy is a happy puppy and I was like okay. And then she said and a tired puppy is a happy puppy is a well-behaved puppy. And I was like, oh, okay, so your kids listen better, they are happier, they are more responsive when they've got stuff to do, when they're like outside playing, and so I know that as a parent and this is no judgment zone, full on no judgment zone Like I put our kids in front of the TV for a movie the other day because I was just like I need to like get some stuff done, but at the end of the day, the most helpful thing for your kids, like moods and attitude and all that is literally going to be going outside and drinking in the sunlight, it's going to be playing in the grass and like getting dirty, and I think it's going to be really helpful for us because they'll my opinion and I've got two little boys four and two they are so much happier, they sleep so much better, they listen so much better when we just like get them outside and let them run around like crazy people and building in that time to get your kids busy, to do things like that.

Speaker 1:

If you have older kids, it might be in a position where you're like signing them up for some summer camps or giving them some things to do during the day, because I think in the past, when we hadn't done that, we would get up and be like, okay, wait, I have to get out these couple emails, and then it'd be like nine o'clock and then our kids would have been in front of the television and, namely Frank, like we were much better with this when Jack was um was first born, but for the most part it was like, honestly, kind of confronting, like as a mom I was like, oh man, I don't want my kid to watch as much TV. So, pulling that back, um, and not like relying on the television, but also, of course, giving yourself some space and opportunity to be able to, you know, let your kids have some quiet time or let them read a book or let them sit in front of the TV for 20, 25 minutes, that's totally fine and I think getting your kids busy, busy is a little bit less of like having, you know, this super structured you're in the car all the time, cumbersome type of schedule and really just telling them like, hey, listen, we're going to go do sidewalk track today, or we're going to go play outside with this fun new thing that we're doing, or let's just go take a walk or let's go to a park. Being outside is so helpful and it's going to help you as well, and one of the other points I will make here in this podcast about just being able to soak in new ideas and being able to consider what's next for your company. Okay, so third is provide as much structure as possible, even for free time. So it's funny, I'm super type A, very, very organized and, as y'all probably know from listening to the show and I got some feedback, one time I was at a bachelorette party and I was like, yeah, I'm super type A, very, very scheduled, and the gal I was talking to about this was like I don't experience you like that at all and I was like that's interesting, because this is my scheduled free time.

Speaker 1:

Like I'm here at this bachelorette party. I had a glass of wine in my hand. I was just like ready to be on no one else, like on their agenda right, like somebody else had prepared all of the stops and like told us that we were going to eat and all of those things, so like I had nothing to do. And it's funny because that was my scheduled, like, brain off time. That was my time, where I was just supposed to be at a certain place at a certain time and then someone was going to tell me where to go from there. So the reason I bring this particular story up is because that was how I responded to this gal who was telling me I was like this is my scheduled free time. So for me specifically, I think it's super hard to find some time to just be creative and to let thoughts come into my brain and just even like shut my brain off for a second. If I don't have that scheduled free time, I won't take it. I'm super cruel on myself. I'm like the worst boss I've ever had. So I'll never take that time if I don't actually schedule it in.

Speaker 1:

And it's really, really fun to consider how we can do this. So, first and foremost, I feel like my kids, particularly, and others that I've talked with, thrive in like really structured environments where, even though we might not be doing the same things every single day, there's a general flow for how the day goes, and my opinion is that if we are embracing that summertime is chaos for our businesses and for our family, then the best thing we can do is start to create a really rhythmic structure as soon as possible to prepare us for that time. So I find this to be true when, like, we're going through big projects, or if you are going through a big launch is like it does start to cannibalize other things inside of your life or inside of your business, because your business is natively pretty chaotic, or if your family is natively pretty chaotic, then adding one more chaotic thing makes things feel exponentially more chaotic. So how can we like start to create a rhythm out of things? So, for example, like our kids, whenever we come in from being outside, we always go to the bathroom.

Speaker 1:

My son is four, can't hold his bladder for that long. It's usually, like you know, an every like hour-ish kind of invitation like hey, do we have to go potty? So what we do is now, when we walk in from inside or outside, excuse me we just walk in and he just goes right to the potty, and so it feels like he is making some of those decisions and it feels like he is kind of leading the charge and he's still kind of following the schedule that we've laid out for him. And so I find that when our kids feel like they don't know what's coming, they try to take charge. And then there becomes an argument right, there comes in and there's like this, you know this thing where you're like, oh, I'm trying to get this four-year-old to understand, like why we need to go to the bathroom after we come inside and why we don't want to pee our pants, and then it feels like you've taken now 15 minutes to explain to a four-year-old what you're doing, old, what you're doing. So instead, set the schedule, live the schedule, just be like, hey, listen, we're doing this, we're doing this, we're doing this. And then they start to kind of follow that, at least in my experience, like a little bit natively.

Speaker 1:

And folks that we've worked with and I think at the same time too, that you know, as you can schedule in time where, like, they can be creative, where they're reading a book or they're doing something on their own, or you're able to just like journal during their nap or you know, go out and take a walk and just be like we're just going to go do this for now. This is our free time, this is the unscheduled time. It I personally think it feels really, really relaxing. So fourth is leverage the time to think strategically. I have read a lot about like tangential activities and I personally get my best ideas when I'm working out or I'm running or I'm out on a walk or something like that. And it's because and it's funny, because they did this study, I think with cortisol levels in the shower, right. So when you are, when your cortisol levels are low, you're able to think more strategically and you're able to like use more of your brain. Basically, you can get new ideas. And I personally believe that summer is like the most incredible backdrop for this, because you're always doing something. So if we're disciplined about what we do and maybe how we think about some of that, so maybe even placing in some strategic journaling time, like at the end of your walk or at the beginning of your walk, right, something to like think about while you're there and while you are doing an activity.

Speaker 1:

I was actually doing this the other day when I was power washing our sheds. I kid you, not love power washing. It's something like I just can kind of turn my brain off. There's like clean or unclean, and then you just like use the little sprayer and it's just a whole thing. So I'm out there, I'm power washing the sheds and it's just a whole thing. So I'm out there, I'm power washing the sheds, and I start to have like this, like a couple of these ideas, and so I had to like stop and like write it down on my phone and then, like keep going and then once that like flow of information or those flow of ideas started coming into me, I actually like wrote down like five or six new blogs that I wanna write. And it's really, really fun because it doesn't put the pressure on. When you sit down you're like I have to write five blogs. You now have this well of stuff that you can go back to. That actually makes your summertime time, in my opinion, a little bit more of like an integrated balance between like work and life.

Speaker 1:

And thinking strategically during these types of activities is so, so great, because I think when our cortisol levels are low, it's really, really simple to consider that you just want to think about the thing that you're thinking about. So for me, the other day, when I was power washing the sheds, I was thinking about this idea of like legacy and I was like what does it really mean to leave a legacy? And what did that used to look like in the early days, like the 1800s, when people were like, you know, apprenticing people, right, and you pass all your knowledge to just one person. And now we have like almost infinite ways that we can share our knowledge with other people and we can invite them into our world and we can show them a little bit about ourselves, and before it used to just be this one-to-one experience, and so there's beauty in that, there's absolute beauty in that, and there's also beauty in being able to support people from a one-to-many capacity, right, like giving people your knowledge and helping them understand exactly how you would approach things, perhaps. So I started thinking about this and I was like, yeah, like I am super obsessed with legacy and that that idea is just like living in me. Now. I'm like, oh, okay, if, if, if, this is the, the lens or the frame that we want everything to, to kind of live through.

Speaker 1:

I would have probably not had that breakthrough as quickly as I had had I not been doing another activity and really like digesting some of the next steps that are happening for the, for the business and so, um, I encourage you to do all of the fun summer things. So pare back your involvement, really get your kids busy. So get them outside, you know, go drink in the sun and the air and all the things that you're doing and try to be like present during this time. I know that it's a really, really hard time in a lot of families to have the kids home and be trying to juggle all the things. So really consider what it would look like for you to work like half the time or three quarters of the time and like be able to build in that additional 50 to 25% of your schedule to just actually be with the kids and go do some activities and go have a good time, but structure them in a way that makes sense for your family, right, if it's summer camps, if it's just free time outside, if it's, you know, being inside of the routine, inside of the home during the day, you want to make sure that things feel consistent and block in that leadership time for yourself. Because if you can couple some of the activities with some big strategic thinking and understanding about where your company is going, then you can when you send the kids back to school in September or when schedules start to get a little bit more hectic in the beginning of the school year. You feel like you at least have the clarity on where you're going and what your input might even be.

Speaker 1:

And I'll bet you, based on a lot of the work that I've done with families in the past, is I bet you that if you take some time off in the summer, you will likely realize that you know everything in your business hopefully doesn't come to a screeching halt and you can start to get above some of the day-to-day inside of the company. That's something that I am excellent at helping founders with, so if you're struggling with that, I hope that you'll reach out to me personally. Instagram is usually where I hang out at Allie Caffery, and you know we do this all the time with founders who are leading families and leading businesses, and we want to make sure that they have the capacity and the space to be able to grow it and to delegate effectively and to centralize their knowledge. So if you go through this experience and you actually take some time off the summer, you actually may be setting your business up for massive growth in the following months because you may be able to enlist some more support. You might be able to document some of the things that you're doing inside of the business and even be able to grow a team if you haven't done that yet, or maximize the current team that you do have and centralize some resources for them. So summertime is a really impactful time. We personally love it in the Caffrey House. There will be a month off for us in the summer and I'll tell you guys about all of the fun and exciting things that we have coming down the pike for our summer experience and what's new for us. There's some big changes happening which I'm excited to share in a future episode.

Speaker 1:

But thank you so much for tuning in to Growing Pans. I am so excited that you have joined me here and, hey, listen. If you're loving the podcast, please leave us a review. It means the world for our listenership and just to reach more incredible families who want to, you know, hear some of the stories that we're sharing on the podcast about growing a business and growing a family. We've had some incredible guests. We have much more coming over the summer to share so many different things with you guys and thank you again so much for being such incredible listeners, and I will see you guys next time.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for tuning into today's episode of Growing Pains. I know that you have so many things vying for your attention right now, so I am so grateful that you just spent the last hour or so with me. So I hear all the time from mompreneurs Allie, allie. What systems do I need to have in place in order to thrive in business and in parenthood? If you go over to alisoncaffreycom slash checklist, you can grab my kid proof business checklist and it will get you started in the right direction around making sure that you build a business that doesn't steal all of the time away from your family. If you loved today's episode, I would be so, so, so honored if you would leave a review on the podcast. It helps us reach even more incredible mompreneurs just like you and give them the resources they need to be wildly successful in business and wildly present at home with their families. Thanks so much again and I'll see you next time.

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