NEW: Samantha McDonald

I hope every mum out there had a fabulous Mother’s Day. The focus on mothers got me thinking about family time and remembering why we work.

Family time

I hope every mum out there had a fabulous Mother’s Day. I certainly did. My two year old somehow knew that Mummy wanted a yummy massage and a deluxe facial! Unbelievable!

With the focus on mothers for a whole day, it got me thinking about family time and the fact that a lot of people go all-out for their families on “special” days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, birthdays and Christmas, but what about all the other “normal” days in the year? Why is it that it takes one of these special days, which some would argue have been hyped up beautifully by retailers to celebrate the wonderment that is family?

It seems that most people are so busy worrying about work they forget what they’re actually working for. I’ve had clients come to me at the end of their tether, after making really great money and holding all sorts of investments, and they have no one to share it with because they alienated their own family on their way up. What’s the point of being up the top of that ladder if you don’t have anyone holding it steady?

Personally, I spend a lot of time with my family. One of the best things about having my own business is that I can choose the hours and work around my own personal commitments. Having said that, I know a lot of people who have their own business and work ridiculous hours and then complain that their children are growing up way too fast and their relationships are feeling more and more distant.

To these people, I say this: When you’re figuring out the systems for your business, how about sticking an extra one in there – a system for spending more time with your family.

Try this one: For every full work day, put aside two hours of quality family time. Mark it in your diary so you commit to it. Or how about this one: At the beginning of every calendar month, have a look at your diary and block out a specific number of family events before your work events take priority.

Or maybe this one: Make a mental commitment to treat every work hour as a work hour and every family hour as a family hour. This means you must not take family issues into work or work issues back home. That way, you’ll be totally fresh in each part of your life, and you’ll probably find that you are able to get your work done in less time because you have no distractions, and that means you’ll get more time with your family!

Otherwise, what are you really doing all of this for?

To read other Samantha Dowling blogs, click here.


Penelope Herbert from writes: I read today, “Don’t worry about your life ending, worry about it never beginning”. Samantha’s timely reminder is so relevant – it’s too easy to spend more time working than with families.

I recently took five days off work to spend time interstate with my partner’s family – and I was TERRIFIED. Did I really think all my clients would leave en masse because I wasn’t there? Did I really think that I would miss the most important opportunity of my business life because I wasn’t in the office? Did I think the wheels would stop turning?

Yes I did. Did they? No. And I had a wonderful time feeling refreshed and vibrant upon my return. Nothing is as important as time with people who love you – why do we feel so guilty leaving our work to enjoy it?



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