I once believed that, as a parent, my job was just to raise my children to be as independent as I could so that one day they would leave the house. That was it. That was the goal. So many people told me that. The literal goal was to spend 18-24 years or so putting all my effort and energy into these humans who just so happen to share my last name so that they would go on to do their own thing where I would no longer have any influence or impact in their life. I was taught that the “goal” was to, at some point, be able to do whatever I wanted to because I would no longer be “held back” by having children around.
I feel like that is such a dim and short-sighted view of what being a parent is.
Now, what I’m not saying is that I want my kids to be 30 years old and living in the basement with no prospects or plans for the future. I’m not saying that I want to baby them forever and never have them know what it’s like to work hard or sacrifice. I want them to have goals and dreams and plans and to take action on what they want in life.
But would it be so bad if that action, if those plans, revolved around being a part of what our family does as a team and that I would get to have an impact and influence in their lives for the rest of my life? That doesn’t sound bad at all. In fact, it sounds amazing!
I love my children and I want to be able to spend time with them on a regular basis for the rest of my life. I don’t want to push them out and tell them to never come back because now it’s “me time.” “Listen kids, I’ve put in my 25 years with you. Now I’m going to go do all the things I couldn’t do because I had to feed and clothe you.” That sounds horrible and completely selfish. My job is to raise my kids and that job doesn’t end until I’m dead.
I want my kids to be around forever if they want to be. I want to build a compound and let their families live near us. I want to build our family as a team that has an impact on the world for a thousand generations.
I’ll be talking more in the coming weeks about what it means for our family to build a “family team.” But let me end with this:
If you want to do something, whether it’s building a family, making a website, starting a business, or even changing the world, it has to start with you. This whole change I want to see in my family thing … it has to start with me. I have to be the one to start it. I have to want it with everything I have. No one is going to do it for me. If I let it slip then it will be another generation that has to pick up the slack and who knows if they will? Change has to come from somewhere and it has to start with me.
What kind of change do you want to see? It starts with you. Make it happen.