I founded my software company when my kids were little.
Founding a company takes a lot of time. When you are a solo founder, you’re in charge of everything. You have to create the product, do the marketing and the sales. Depending on your product you may have customer support to do as well.
There were many times that I worked in the evenings and on the weekends as well.
I Felt Guilty
As the kids got older and eventually left for college, I had a lot of guilt over the time that I spent working instead of with the family.
My perspective was one of being a workaholic. I spent time thinking about the business even when I was with my family. I felt that I worked too much. This happens to a lot of founders. Time goes so fast and one day you look up and the kids are grown and you think where did the time go.
A Difference of Perspective
One holiday, when both kids were home from college, I apologized to them for working so much while they were growing up.
I told them that I felt like I had short-changed them during their childhood and that I was sorry.
They both started laughing.
They said “Dad!, What are you talking about?”
You may have worked a lot but you were always there. Your office was at home for several years. You were there when we left for school and you were there when we got home. If we had a snow day, you took time off to come out and build snow forts. On nice days you took us on hikes.
Their perspective was entirely different.
Children Remember Moments
What I remembered was the quantity of time. What they remembered was the quality of time. They remembered the moments.
Think you’re short-changing your kids by working so much?
That’s probably not their perspective.
Focus on the moments!