When you are involved in running a high-growth international company, then a lot of hours has to be put into working for the company. There is no easy way out. It is either take the job, and do the job – or stay away. Doing the job means doing what ever it takes to keep up the momentum. Rewards are absolutely their: building a truly international success, getting a passion for takeaway, working with great people, potentially earning good money, etc.
In my case, with a family of parents and three fantastic kids, the work/life balance is tricky, so I am 100% dependent on my wife will run the home front. I can be close to my kids even though I work an insane amount of time every week, but it is completely dependent on my wife being very close to the kids 24/7. If she is close to the kids, then she can help me to get the most out of my time with them and understanding where they are in their life. If my wife had not accepted that split of roles (and she is a well-educated lady with her own work experience), then I would not have been able to do what I am doing today.
Of course, we could have done what many do: outsource everything to an au-pair, etc. It might work for some, but it is important to understand, that if too much time with the kids is outsourced to other people than Mummy and Daddy, then you do risk, that the parents are not completely intimate with the kids, knowing exactly where they are in their life etc. “Quality time” is fine, but if both parents only have “quality time”, then a lot of stuff is lost. Often it is in the dull or maybe stressfull moments that bonds and insight is build. Life is not straightforward rides through Disneyland, and it is important (my opinion), that parents and children are together in all aspects of life.
So am I a hypocrite when outsourcing a lot of this this to my wife! I don’t think so. Takeaway and running companies is a passion of mine, but it will business part of the equation will have to be scaled down at some point in time. I am trying to very disciplined and being together with the kids every evning for 2-3 hours before they go to bed and I start my work day part II. And my wonderful wife accepted the split for some years completely voluntarily!
Anyway, that is my take. At the end of the day it is up to everybody to find their balance – just important that you are honest about what is achieveable and how great it is to follow your kids up close. And share a good curry takeaway from time to time when you want good food but don’t have time to cook.