I think it’s safe to say that most parents aspire to be wonderful parents. We all want the same basics for our children. We pray for their good health and happiness, and sincerely want to do our best to insure that they will have bright futures.

Yet so many of our children grow up to go out into the world woefully unprepared for the challenges and demands they will face. Why? Too many of us simply cannot find the time we need to be the parents we wish and hope to be.

 

The Myth of “Quality Time”

I suppose there are many reasons why some of us don’t live up to our own aspirations to be wonderful parents—but all too often we simply lack the time we need.

Too many of us have bought into the idea that the quality of time we spend with our kids is much more important than the quantity of time.

As a parent rushing to be home from the office by 5:30 to get the sitter out on time, I frequently found myself too stressed to spend quality time with my children. With 8 p.m. bedtimes, there was no way I could make up for the lack of time quantity with an increase in time quality. With a mom working outside the home, our family barely had time for a bedtime story after getting through the rest of our evening rituals. And even when we could manage to find a little time, we couldn’t always find the patience to go with it!

This is not to say that two parents working outside the home can’t be effective; it just wasn’t working for us. For several years, our family was running dangerously low on both time and patience. Perhaps the same is happening to you.

 

Parenting and Priorities

We are the parents of two incredible boys, now eight and 11 years old. We joined the ranks of parenthood through the incredible love of birth parents who found it in their hearts to be the best parents they could be—by allowing us to adopt the babies that had been born to them.

We brought AJ home when he was just one year old, and RJ followed about two years later when he was only six days old. The joy that we felt as new parents (and continue to feel today) is difficult to put into words. The stresses of parenting along with the demands of two full-time careers outside the home is a little easier to describe.

As our children grew, life brought us the joys and stresses of day-to-day family life. A couple of our business ventures resulted in some very serious financial consequences for our family. Our dream of me being a mom who could be home with our kids did not look like it would ever become a reality. Like many families, we desperately wanted off the fast-paced treadmill that two parents working outside the home frequently find themselves on.

Then one family challenge arose that made it crystal clear: we had to figure out a way for one parent to spend more time at home.

Both our boys are very healthy, but when AJ started school it became apparent that learning basic academic skills was a real struggle for him. For several years, we went through a journey of doctor visits, tests, and consultations with experts in our efforts to learn how to deal with AJ’s learning disabilities. The good news: the experts were able to identify the issues. The bad news: they had no idea how to address those issues!

The stress on our family during this time was tremendous. How could we live up to our dream of being great parents when our very bright and capable five-year-old son was struggling to learn his alphabet? Our quest to find answers took up more of our precious time—and our friend “patience” was in ever shorter supply. We were running so fast on our treadmill just to survive, we couldn’t see any other options.

As time passed, we gradually learned more about AJ’s learning disabilities and he made progress, and it soon became quite apparent that our family would benefit by having one parent at home. I wanted to be that parent—but how?

 

Surprised by Network Marketing

Exploring new options for earning a living was a challenge for me. I grew up with a very traditional perspective on how to earn a living. I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad, and realized that my paradigm about making money fell squarely into what he calls the “rat race.” I’d become very proficient at trading hours for dollars—and I was in control of neither which hours I traded nor how many dollars I received for them! I had to change the situation; I just didn’t know how.

When I encountered network marketing, I already had some very negative ideas about it—but my desire to be the mom I’d always hoped to be was stronger than my bias. Could network marketing really be a viable vehicle to accomplish our family goals? It was worth looking into—and as soon as I did, everything about the experience surprised me.

The people who would later become my upline actually had time to answer my questions. Even stranger, they seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me. They also talked a lot about personal growth and development. Time and family seemed to be priorities for them also. They talked about concepts like “succeeding by helping others succeed.”

And they talked about hard work and dedication.

That was critical. If someone had promised me that I could make a fortune overnight with very little effort, I would have run the other way as fast as I could. But they gave me no promises of great fortunes next week. Instead, they made it very clear that network marketing is a business that most anyone can succeed in—but that only those willing to do
the hard work actually will succeed.

I liked what I heard. It made sense.

I began to meet successful network marketers and it became apparent that I was with a group of folks that had goals and priorities similar to my own. Do network marketers work hard? Absolutely. Play hard? Definitely. Is family a priority? I have found that to be the case without exception. And yes, we can actually earn a pretty good living. As I sit in my home office on a holiday with both of my boys in the room with me, I know that I now have the time and patience to be the mom that I have always aspired to be.

 

Our New Life

Since I began building my network marketing business, we’ve had the luxury of enrolling AJ in a computer-based charter school in our community that can meet his unique needs. AJ “goes to school” at the computer next to mine—and he’s doing better than ever. He made all A’s on his first quarter report card. And what a treat to be able to have lunch with my 11-year-old on a Tuesday afternoon.

I have spent the past two years pursuing my own personal growth and development through books, videos, tapes and trainings. And while I began this pursuit for business purposes, it has overflowed onto the family. I am amazed at how much better my children’s communication skills are since I have learned better communication skills myself. In an age where communication often breaks down between parents and kids, my conversations with AJ are filled with volumes of information and experience that would all be left unsaid if I had a “job.”

Dale Carnegie’s famous How To Make Friends and Influence People contains some incredible parenting concepts. It’s so easy to fall into the rut of criticizing our children for the things they don’t do well. When I listen to strategies for working with potential business partners, I can’t help but learn new techniques for parenting my children.

Are we completely out of the “rat race”? No—but the pace of the treadmill has slowed. Working out of my home office is fabulous. I go from bedroom to office in less than 30 seconds, and the only traffic I contend with is my 110-pound Lab who loves to sleep in the middle of the living room.

We now have a chance to take in a little more of the scenery. We have the time for bike rides, for Wednesday afternoon movies, for conversations whenever we feel like it…for a luxurious sleep-in morning every now and then, an outing to the library, a tour of the state capital, and so much more.

The increase in both quality and quantity time has enriched our lives in so many ways. I’ve learned so much about my children simply by being the mom who picks them up directly off the playground. I hear so many more details about my children’s day in the car ride home at 3:20 p.m. than I could while rushing to get dinner on the table and homework done before hockey practice between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m.

 

Your Reasons

If everyone understood the real benefits of network marketing, it would be tough to keep any parent out of the business. The truth is, we can all be the excellent parents we wish and hope to be. We simply need to have the time to spend with our children so that we can know their challenges and strengths first-hand.

Our family was blessed with two reasons to join network marketing. Your family may have more than two. Even if you only have one, network marketing can help you find the time and patience to be the mom or dad that you’ve always wanted to be.

 

 

JULIE ABARZUA (jabarzua@msn.com) is a mom,
networker, and consultant.
She lives with her husband, Kurt,
and two sons, AJ and RJ, in
Las Vegas, Nevada.