Published on |  August 23, 2023

Satyen Raja, CEO of WarriorSage Trainings & author of “Accelerated Evolution”

In the whirlwind of modern parenting and professional responsibilities, many of us constantly feel like we’re walking a tightrope. There’s a recurring worry – are we doing enough on either side? And the heart of this inner tug-of-war often boils down to a single emotion: guilt.

Navigating our careers while ensuring we’re present for cherished moments with our children isn’t just a matter of splitting hours in the day.

When you think of balance, it’s not just about a neatly divided 24-hour pie chart. True harmony is where you pour your heart, soul, and undivided attention. For instance, reading a bedtime story with your full presence for fifteen minutes can be more valuable than a distracted afternoon at the park. Remember, it’s the quality of connection, not just the quantity of hours, that counts.

Yes, our children learn from observing our dedication and work ethic. These ‘get-up-and-go’ virtues show them the importance of ambition and perseverance. But equally essential are the ‘stay-and-cherish’ moments – those spontaneous dance parties, the laughter over dinner, or simply listening to their day’s story. By integrating both, we impart a holistic life lesson: the value of hard work and the beauty of being present.

The juggle between career and parenthood sometimes leaves behind a trail of unresolved feelings. This emotional baggage, if left unchecked, can cloud our interactions at work and home. The key is recognizing and addressing these feelings. When we transform guilt into understanding and connection, we pave the way for stronger bonds and a more fulfilling professional journey.

Navigating the demands of the modern world as a working parent is no small feat. We often find ourselves in a balancing act, ensuring our career doesn’t overshadow those precious family moments. Remember, it’s okay to sometimes feel the pull between the office desk and the dinner table. By giving our best to both worlds and addressing our emotions head-on, we can find a rhythm that aligns our professional aspirations with our cherished family times.

At the center of this balancing act is a feeling most of us know too well: guilt. This feeling pops up when we think we’re falling short, causing us to question our choices and the quality of our efforts in both our personal and professional lives. It’s like a nagging voice in the back of our minds, making us doubt whether we’re truly giving our all to the things that matter most.

Managing our professional lives alongside making time for invaluable moments with our kids goes beyond merely divvying up the hours in our day. The concept of balance isn’t about meticulously allotting a fixed set of hours to each role or activity. Instead, it’s about the depth, intention, and sincerity we bring to each moment.

When considering balance, it’s crucial to visualize more than a clock or a daily planner. It’s about where your passion, dedication, and genuine focus lie. Take, for example, the simple act of reading a bedtime story. If, in those fifteen minutes, you’re wholly present, engaging with your child, and immersing yourself in the shared world of the story, that interaction can have more significance than spending an entire afternoon at the park while your thoughts are scattered or preoccupied.

Moreover, children have an uncanny ability to sense genuine engagement. Their perception of time is less about the ticking clock and more about the moments when they truly feel seen, heard, and cherished by their parents. It’s these moments, irrespective of their duration, that leave a lasting impact and nurture deep bonds. So, in the grand scheme of things, it’s essential to recognize that it’s not merely about “how much” time we give, but rather “how” we spend that time. The depth of our connection in those moments, regardless of their length, is what genuinely resonates and makes a difference.

Certainly, our children absorb lessons not just through our words but predominantly from our actions. Watching us navigate the challenges of our professional lives, the dedication we bring to our tasks, and our unwavering work ethic provides them with a firsthand view of the significance of ambition, diligence, and perseverance. These moments, where they see us pushing through obstacles and pursuing our goals, ingrain in them the ‘get-up-and-go’ spirit that’s pivotal in shaping their understanding of responsibility and determination.

However, life isn’t just about achieving and relentlessly chasing goals. The ‘stay-and-cherish’ moments play an equally, if not more, crucial role in their emotional and social development. These are the moments devoid of distractions – be it the impromptu dance sessions in the living room, the hearty laughter during family meals, or the simple, yet profound act of lending an attentive ear to their tales from school or playground escapades. Such moments are imbued with pure joy, connection, and love, teaching them the importance of being emotionally present and valuing relationships.

By harmoniously blending these two aspects – the relentless pursuit of goals and the cherished moments of togetherness – we offer our children a well-rounded perspective on life. It becomes a lesson that moves beyond textbooks or moral stories; it’s a lived experience. We teach them that while hard work is indispensable, taking the time to relish life’s simple pleasures and fostering deep connections is what enriches our existence. This duality underscores the essence of a fulfilling life: balancing the drive for accomplishment with the profound joy of the present moment.

Navigating the realms of career and parenthood simultaneously is a challenging endeavor, frequently evoking a plethora of emotions, from joy and pride to stress and guilt. Left unchecked, these emotions can begin to color our perceptions and interactions, creating unnecessary barriers in our personal and professional relationships.

Addressing these feelings isn’t just about self-awareness; it’s about ensuring the health of our relationships and maintaining our own mental and emotional well-being. When we ignore these emotions or push them aside, they tend to accumulate, acting as a filter through which we see the world. This can inadvertently influence our decisions, responses, and behaviors in both familial and professional settings.

Taking the time to acknowledge and process these feelings is crucial. For instance, confronting feelings of guilt can lead to moments of profound understanding. By doing so, we can often find clarity and perspective, allowing us to approach situations with a renewed sense of purpose and empathy.

Moreover, addressing our emotions fosters open communication with our loved ones and colleagues. It becomes an opportunity for growth, leading to strengthened bonds in our personal lives and a more collaborative and understanding environment at work. Ultimately, the journey of balancing career and parenthood is enriched when we actively engage with our emotions, turning potential hurdles into stepping stones toward a more harmonious and fulfilling life.

Satyen Raja is a distinguished mentor and coach to prominent CEOs, business leaders, and global influencers with 40 years of personal development experience, blending Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, science, and practical tools for growth. As the founder of the WarriorSage Group, Satyen offers exclusive Transcendent Leadership programs tailored for CEOs and entrepreneurs, guiding them towards deeper work-life balance, self-realization, and soul mission. In his latest book “Accelerated Evolution,” Satyen expertly guides participants towards increased self- awareness, practical results, and heightened creativity and flow.