Married to the CEO: Who Takes the Lead When Raising Boys?
Raising boys is definitely a challenge. No shocker there. But how do you do it when your wife is a CEO? No one single answer here other than partnership. That has to be your foundation. Crazy schedules sometimes dictate one parent or the other being the lead, but that doesn’t mean that it still isn’t a partnership. So, which one of us is out front getting all the bugs on our preverbal windshield when it comes to raising our boys? Depends….;->
School… Heather is much more the leader here. Being the consummate organizer, she ensures that the kids are on top of their homework, prepared for tests, have all the needed school supplies, are signed up for the field trip, bring cash for the book fair, remember doughnuts for advisory snack, celebrate their teachers properly, read every single day. The list goes on and on. When she is out of town or investing in other women, I take on the roll. Hopefully, the homework or tests that particular night are in math or science and not that ole English and grammar stuff. That is where I have to bow out and get her help, even if it is via FaceTime. And we are always utilizing spare time whether it is in the car or at their brother’s practice. Dixon told Heather recently that he was so glad he played sports because it made him better at managing his time. (Mind blown.) The partnership connection here for Heather and I is that we stay engaged with the kids consistently. And our presence as a unified front matters. Are we perfect? No… there is inevitably something that may slip through. That is fine. There is a lot of room for grace.
Sports… I like to take the lead here. Whether it’s how to practice, how to be a good teammate, how to win or lose graciously, or how to lead well, ultimately we are encouraging the boys just to have fun. Admittedly, I am tougher on them sometimes. Sports can be hard and good life lessons come as a result. That’s not always easy to watch as a parent. Heather is great at keeping them positive. Sports can be so many things to a boy over the years – transformational in so many ways. What we are so desperately trying to avoid is it being a burden. Our three rules in the Adams House, in very specific order: have fun, do your best, never give up. It’s what we try to communicate to our boys every single practice or game. That’s where our partnership comes into play.
Life… This is probably where we partner the most. Jesus must be first. At the end of the day, He supersedes everything else vying for our attention. We have to instill in our boys that their identity is in Christ and not what the world values. And that is hard sometimes in a very crazy, hectic fallen world. School, friendships, family, sports – it’s all so tough to navigate for kids these days. Being kind to others, being respectful, having good manners and doing your best are mantras that we emphasize every day. We try to create a household where the kids want to be. Let me digress on this point for a second. We recently had a smack yourself in the forehead moment. Heather and I attended a parenting seminar at church, led by Andy and Sandra Stanley. The one thing that stood out the most? The thing that both Heather and I looked at each other and went “Oh, crap!” was when Andy and Sandra stated (and I am paraphrasing here): “What is the point of having the most well-mannered kids on the planet if when they move out, they never want to come back home?” The point being that parenting sometimes should be more about connection than following rules. This doesn’t mean the kids get to run the household and there is no discipline; it just means that we want to try and create an environment where the kids want to be. Not have to be. And, where they want to return when they get the option.
Heather’s number one core value at Choice is “Relationships Matter.” And that is intentional both at her office and in our home. Life is about partnerships. I’m grateful to partner with my CEO wife who happens to be one great CEO mom. I am also really grateful that our partnership has us raising boys. I have no idea what I’d do with pigtails!