How to balance your business with a growing family (ep 77)

Show notes from Podcast episode 77.

Its not easy. There will be sleepless nights. Its definitely a sacrifice. Kids are tough. I’m no expert. Take this with a grain of salt and get a lot of advice on this.

Going without sleep makes you delusional and emotional and it kills your critical thinking and decision making. I’ve been there. You’ll lose deals. You’ll mess up and lose sales. You’ll make mistakes that will cost you money.

Like with anything else thats really hard and worth doing its really easy to fall into a victim mentality. To point at the family stuff and blame it for lost business or use it to justify working less hard or less smart or giving up all together. Its easy to just stop working on your business and let it go away because family is more important and its “too much” to keep going. Its easy to think that the family needs you more than the business does and you should quit and make changes.

Thats the wrong way to think about it. Thats victim mentality. Thats what will get you back in a desk job working for the man 60 hours a week and missing the important stuff for the rest of your life.

Your number one job as a parent is to care for, love, and spend time with your family. Your second priority is to provide for them financially and pay the bills.

You don’t have to chose between your family and your business. You CAN do both. You can balance being a great parent and running a successful business. Its hard. But you CAN do it if you work smart and do the hard things.

You need to do some things that might help your baby sleep better so you can function and stay productive.

Do some reading. Babywise is the one we read but there are many that say the same thing. A 3 week old is pretty young to get serious about any kind of sleep training but there are some things you can do so here is my 2c.

We had our first one sleeping through the night at 12 weeks old and our 13 day old baby is sleeping in 2 hour chunks all night and not doing any significant crying. I can sleep all night and my wife can wake only to feed him. My 2 year old’s sleep routine: bath, brush teeth, goodnight hug and kiss and then I walk him into his room and lay him down on his big boy bed. No stories. No cuddling. No laying together. No rocking. He just says “night night daddy” and then falls asleep. He does this because we have worked with him on it and he is comfortable doing it.

First of all you and your wife need to be on the same page. If she isn’t on board you’re in for a long road and it will not work because she is with him more than you are. Remember its a tough time for her – especially the first baby. Emotions rule and logic is fleeting. Go easy on her and COMMUNICATE vs draw hard lines and making mean remarks about it being her fault.

The main concept: If you hold and coddle your kid all the time you are in for a nightmare. If you rock him to sleep every time you’re in trouble. If you aren’t comfortable letting your kid cry a little bit you’re in trouble. My friend still has to lay in his son’s bed for an hour every night and for every nap to get him to sleep. Most nights he wakes up and goes into mom and dad’s room and sleeps between them. Its ridiculous. Try having a normal sleep schedule and a normal relationship with your wife in that situation. They complain they have a tough kid but its 100% their own fault for allowing it.

Coddling and holding all the time develops horrible habits like co-sleeping and a ton of sleepless nights. Also creates kids that know a single cry can get them anything they want and they’ll use it until they are 10+ years old.

I’m not suggesting ignoring your children. I’m not suggesting letting them scream bloody murder for hours. I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy cuddles and holding. There is a fine line between neglect and working to form healthy habits.

I don’t really believe in “crying it out”. If you have to cry it out you haven’t worked hard enough during the days and leading up to that moment. There is a system called “eat, play, sleep”. The main concept is don’t feed the baby to sleep.

For a 3 week old it might just mean changing the diaper after the feed vs before it and then laying the baby in the bassinet before he is all the way to sleep. If the baby starts to wimper put your hand on his belly and talk to him. Don’t pick him up. If he starts to cry hard pick him up, calm him down, and then put him right back down in the bassinet.

I spent hours with our first one doing this pick up, put down routine. It helps to start doing this in the day time. Don’t hold the baby all the time! Don’t use a swing or vibrating bed. Don’t use those pouch things for the mom to have the baby up against her body all day.

Laying in a crib or bassinet without a warm mother’s touch is uncomfortable for babies. It takes a while for them to get used to it and get comfortable doing it. You have to work with them. You have to avoid holding and coddling the kid and most importantly get your wife on board with that. If the baby isn’t crying it should be in the pack n play, on the floor on a blanket, or in the bassinet.

If the baby is still just really not doing well its easy to think its colic. But it likely isn’t. Only like 3% of babies really have colic but around 40% of parents say their kids do. Its likely an insensitivity to something mom is eating. Cut dairy first. Then soy. There are lists online of common things that irritate babies. If the baby is formula fed then switch formulas cutting out key ingredients (proteins first). Go down the list. For my son it was dairy. We nipped it quickly and he was a new baby who wasn’t in pain anymore.

Hope this helps and good luck!  

Don't know where to start?
About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.