Parent Entrepreneurs: Are You Present During Family Time?

As a tech entrepreneur who is rabid about giving outstanding service to my customers, I struggle to disconnect from work, even when I’m supposed to be spending quality time with my family. So much so, my wife used to constantly be “on me” about putting my phone down to engage with the twins.

I am not proud of this.

I recently spoke with my wife, Ayana, and asked her what she thought about how “present” I am with her and the kids now compared to the last eighteen months.

Fitting The Twins In Between WeMontage

The twins are twenty-two months old; when they were born two and a half months prematurely, I spent the next several months in a startup accelerator to launch WeMontage and was fortunate enough to raise capital. I knew I only had enough cash to last twelve months, maybe eighteen months, if things went well.

Right out of the gate, things weren’t going well.

The developer I hired, while incredibly smart and talented, had serious personal issues which made him extremely unreliable. Things got really bad when he changed the software and made the website unusable and, for a variety of reasons, I fired him.

It took me several weeks working with consultants to repair the damage he caused, during which time the website was effectively closed for business.

Needless to say, I was extremely edgy and under a lot of stress; this experience set the stage for my anxiety level for the next twelve months. I think this is the reason Ayana says I would, “Try to fit the twins in between WeMontage.”

I tried to fit the twins in between emails, Twitter, Facebook, customer messages, and other work crap.

As I said, I’m not proud of this.

Fitting WeMontage In Between The Twins

Ayana says I’m still obsessed with my laptop and phone, but I’ve got a lot better. I now use things similar to these sms for eloqua services to help me automate marketing text messages, meaning I no longer have to painstakingly do it all myself. This saves me so much time and helps me to disconnect from my phone, giving me more time to spend with family. Ayana says I’m more engaged with the twins now – playing with them, reading to them, and taking them places. I think the transition happened once I became a stay-at-home dad/entrepreneur.

I now “Fit WeMontage in between the twins” and try to find time for myself as well by accomplishing things of my interest. I can take twins to a sports event or a game, and in this way, I can give time to them while enjoying my favorite sport. Taking children to a live match can be a bit of a hassle, but I try to get affordable season tickets for the seats near the aisle through websites similar to Every moment spent with the twins is an unforgettable experience that I don’t want to miss.

I am thankful that I have gotten better, but I still have a lot of improvement to make. Being a great dad is extremely important to me.

Do any of you struggle to be more present with your family because you’re too wrapped up with your business? If so, how do you disconnect from work and focus on family?

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This was the twins’ first real Halloween and their God Mother got them the cutest costumes. Here’s a pic of Thaddeus, Zoe, and Ayana at music class the day before Halloween. I’m pretty luck to have such a beautiful family.
Feature Image Credit: birgerking Weapons Of Mass Distraction


  1. Its tough not being there but the reward is well worth it because as parents we work to provide a better future for our kids. With a supportive spouse, the load and balance of family/work is a little easier.

    1. True. My problem is I’m here and I’m not always present. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Adler.

  2. It is definitely a struggle to balance it all. Family time typically consist of going to the movies, grabbing a Redbox or heading to the park. I am present during it because it also helps me relieve some stress and gets the creativity flowing. So family time is just as much for them as it is for me.

  3. You said a mouthful. And as someone who is a proponent of Work Life Balance, I understand the importance of being present and “off the grid” for family time. It’s a must, and I am glad to see others like you talking about it 🙂

  4. Absolutely! More and more I’m trying to make a concerted effort to disconnect. The MAJOR thing recently was my upgrade to Windows 8.1 on my phone which means I have Cortana to manage my schedule and institute what she calls “quiet hours”. During that time, there are NO dings from my phone. No emails, texts, FB pings. It will allow folks in my inner circle to get through the quiet time but it means that it allows me to focus on my girl.

    I will say that, working on a project that has required me to look over documents and connect with other folks has meant that I have had to break through quiet hours in order to get the work done. But I’m trying hard to make sure that for a chunk of time in the evenings, I am all hers.

    1. That Cortana thing sounds great-similiar to setting sleep hours on the iPhone, which I use late at night.

      I need to figure out a way to detach from this thing all together. It’s hard though because customer emails and phone calls come to my phone, and they help me convert users into paid customers, which is naturally key.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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