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I don’t know about you, but I’m all about my family. I’m lucky enough to have an amazing wife and three incredible boys (and a dog, a cat and a hamster), and I am constantly working to ensure we have the best possible life together. But when I say constantly working I don’t mean that I’m grinding out the hours at the office, slaving away for the paycheck. No, quite the opposite in fact.

I work constantly at improving my relationship with them all by being there, present in every moment I can be; being part of every aspect of their lives. It’s good for them, and it’s good for me too. Society is waking up to the importance of that sort of emotional education for kids, which comes from stable and available parents, and I’m determined to make sure mine benefit from it too. And luckily we’re also working in an era in which it has never been easier to arrange our work to make it happen.

Commit to change

I confess I’ve read a few of the parenting books. Well, more than a few. I love learning about why we behave as we do. It won’t come as any surprise to hear that we’re all messed up pretty early on by our parents, and then we pass those nasty little habits on to our kids. However the good news about reading those books is that we gain a valuable insight into how we can change. We can change how we think and behave, in order to influence how our kids think and behave. It’s not easy, but if you’re committed then it is totally do-able.

The same is true of changing how we work in order to spend more time with our kids, and to be more emotionally available to them. They come hand in hand, in fact. As I spend more time with my kids when I collect them from school each day and take them to sports practice, I get to know them better. We bond over a wider range of issues because I’m there with them for more experiences. I get to support them in more areas of their lives. I love that because I know that our parenting days are too few, as are our chances to guide and support them. I want to max out now before I blink and the opportunity has passed.

Don’t miss those moments

The thing about reading those parenting books, or the blogs, and dreaming of that business you want to start, or that house you want to build, is that eventually you actually have to do something about it. I procrastinated too much about seizing the lifestyle I wanted, and while I am not in the business of regret, I am conscious that there were many missed moments. Everyone who has ever had the courage to successfully follow a new path has always said it – “I should have done it sooner”, and that’s how I feel about my parenting and my work life. However, I’m happy to report that later is certainly better than never.

It’s true that changing how you work takes some courage, and some careful planning too. I certainly wouldn’t advocate just jumping off the train on a whim. However once you see the opportunity and have come up with a strategy then just get on with it. As you procrastinate on the train, the stations go whizzing by. Chances, moments, opportunities, experiences, all pass you by while you dream and plan. Before you know it your kids are teenagers and you’ve been in that depressing 9 to 5 job for fifteen years. None of us see that as a happy outcome, right?

Instead look at the happy ending to the story…you saw that opportunity to work from home, to be your own boss, to work as a social media consultant. You seized it, knuckled down and worked hard in your own time, and made a success of it. You were able to study and work flexibly so you could be there for your kids when they had a sports match, or a flute recital, or for that parent teacher meeting that was always inconvenient because of traffic. You were able to meet your kids from school, ask them right there and then how their day was, meet their friends, if they’d allowed that.

Focus on the happy ending

In ten or fifteen years, or whenever, you’ll look back on that moment when you stopped procrastinating and went for it, and you will see it as the moment that changed every aspect of your life, and your kids’ lives too. It’s said you only regret what you don’t do. Don’t burden yourself with that regret. Go for it. Now.

The Social Media Mafia is a network of social media consultants, working and living flexibly, making their professional and personal dreams come true. Through the Social Media Mafia Academy, social media consultants can gain the knowledge, skills and contacts required to make the bold step towards living how you want to. It’s better than a parenting book or a self-help blog, it’s a lifestyle network. Tap into it now.