Queen Elizabeth II had just returned from a six month trip abroad. Her kids had been aboard the royal yacht for days, eagerly awaiting her return. Did she have presents? Would she tell them wonderful stories? Would she smother them with kisses?
As she stepped aboard, Prince Charles ran to her. Always a stickler for protocol, however, the Queen politely greeted a group of dignitaries first. “No, not you dear,” she chided him, finishing her business before embracing her family.
Even some 65 years after the fact, even if you have an important job, even if you’re an avid rule follower, even if you don’t like Prince Charles (who does?), it still breaks your heart. That much time apart? Those are her first words to her 6 year old son? She couldn’t see the awful symbolism? Literally putting work before family? After having already put them on pause for six months.
We’ve said this before: Your kids must come first. They are not a distraction from your work. They are your work. In Elizabeth’s case, this is quite literally true! Yes, the duties of her office are important, but one of those duties is raising well-adjusted heirs. The leaders of tomorrow.
Well, that’s one of your duties too. Which is why you must put your kids first. You must treat them like they matter. Like they are your job, your life’s work. You must say to them, “Yes, you dear,” and never ever the opposite.