Succeeding as a Super Busy Parent – Introduction

What will success look like for you as a Super Busy Parent? Will it mean having more time for yourself? More time for high-quality interactions with your kids? More time for romantic rendezvous with your spouse or significant other? More time to hang out with your friends? Better opportunities in your career? Or, perhaps all of the above?

Whether you’re working full-time, part-time or not at all, you have a choice about how to live your life. If your life is stressful and unfulfilling, you can begin re-creating it so that you have more balance, joy, and fulfillment.

This book is designed to be a resource for you-a tool to keep handy. You won’t need to read it cover-to-cover (fact is, you probably don’t have time for that!). You can skip around and choose tips based on where you feel you can use inspiration and guidance. Realize that there are some tips you may never use and others that will undoubtedly become your favorites. Remember that you can always go backward, forward, or wherever you like in this book so that it supports you when you need it most. You’re free to tweak tips and add your own so that you have a comprehensive guide that works exclusively for your needs. Several blank NOTES pages have been furnished near the back of this book to provide you with a place to keep your notes, thoughts, feeling, and modified tips.

While everyone is unique, our challenges are often quite similar: How do you get involved in your child’s school when you work an hour’s drive away? How do you keep your marriage strong when it’s been six months or six years since you’ve had a romantic dinner with your spouse? The overall relationships you have with yourself, your family, friends, and co-workers all help determine how successful you are as a Super Busy Parent.

Balance is about living in a way that truly reflects your personal values. It is an evolving process that presents many opportunities to re-evaluate and grow as a human being. Balance is also about autonomy (being self-governing and independent) and the ability to follow through on your promises to yourself and to others. Life is about progress-not about perfection. If you are feeling inadequate, this book will help you acknowledge where you are succeeding in your life. When you do strike a balance that works for you, appreciate the accomplishment of what you’ve created.

As a success coach in private practice, I’ve had the opportunity to work one-on-one and in groups with parents who often feel overwhelmed by all the hats they have to wear (for example, being a professional at work, a taxi driver to baseball games and dance classes, a teacher helping their kids with homework, a housekeeper, a cook, a bookkeeper, a shopper, and, oh yeah, a lover to their spouse or significant other). Often at wits’ end, they seek out someone like me, a professional trained to motivate people into taking action that will simplify their life, advance their personal or professional goals, and ultimately give their life more meaning-even while lowering their level of stress. I teach people how to optimize their situation so that they can function at their fullest potential in all facets of their life.

The tips in the pages ahead are designed to serve as your success coach, as each tip ends with a related action you can take. Some actions are exercises; some involve a conscious thought process, and others offer ways to transform your self-defeating behaviors into more effective ones. Remember, you can try these tips as they are, modify them to fit your current situation, and skip the ones that don’t pertain to you. However, in order to produce results, you must take action; nothing will change unless you take conscious and deliberate steps to improve your personal situation.

This book is organized into three sections that focus on helping you transform you, your family, and your work. Self-care and self-knowledge is first because without taking care of yourself you won’t have the energy and wherewithal to take care of others or your career. Your self is always there whether you’re at work, with family, or alone; devoting time and energy to nurturing your self is highly critical, so don’t let your own needs fall through the cracks! This book will help you build a strong personal foundation so that you can tend to yourself and others without guilt or resentment. When you feel good about yourself, your kids are a lot happier with their lives.

A few of my favorite Top Ten Lists have been added in Appendix 1 so that you have a concise summary of tips you can apply in your own life. This will help you quickly find useful practical information when you’re in a hurry.

There are a variety of Recommended Resources listed throughout this book to help you in obtaining additional support and guidance where you want it. Several Web sites are listed in Appendix 2, as well. I’ve done extensive research to gather the information and compile the suggestions; to my knowledge, they are all accurate at the time of this writing. However, Web sites come and go-if you can’t find something I’ve referred to, use your browser to search for other possible sites. Please notify me of additions or corrections so that I can update my recommendations in later editions of this book. Fortunately for Super Busy Parents, many of the suggested books are also available on audiotape, compact disc or in e-book format for easy downloading.

This book will help you strive to be your best. I invite you to use it to help you consciously make choices that benefit you, your family, and your work.

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