Life from the sideline

07.05.13 | Posted in General

I’ve never really been that good at watching on from the sideline. I’m more of a ‘get in there, get on the court, get your hands dirty’ kind of girl, but I am learning the patience and wisdom that comes from letting others do what you could do yourself.

I’m now four days overdue with my third baby (my bubs tend to stay put for ages – my first daughter was ten days ‘late’ and the second was fifteen) and this means that I’m missing out on a few things that are important to me.

My best friend turned 40 last weekend in Melbourne and because I couldn’t fly I missed her party. And for the past season, I’ve missed out on playing netball with my beloved Business Chicks team in our corporate comp. I also sit here with my big belly lamenting the fact that my team are now in Adelaide, about to pull off our biggest ever event (with over 1,700 people) tomorrow morning with Sir Richard Branson. Then they’ll fly straight to Brisbane to do it all over again the next day. This happened last time Branson spoke for Business Chicks – I was overdue with my second bub, so I missed out on that too. (The pic below is when he spoke for us in Sydney and hooray – I wasn’t pregnant and about to give birth!)

Em and BransonAll these experiences are designed to teach me patience, and teach me how I can still lead and inspire without being ‘right there’. So I made sure my bestie was spoilt with flowers, a little gift, and surprise champagne at the place she dined at her for birthday. I got me and my bump down to the side of the netball court on a few occasions and yelled my heart out in encouragement for the netballing Business Chicks.

And today, I know I’ve done all that I can to support my team to pull off the biggest events of their life without me. I know they’re going to be fine. In fact, they’ll blitz it! And while they’re at it, I’ll practice the art of letting go, trusting others and cheering on from the sideline.


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  1. Bronwyn

    What a lovely post. It is a perspective we all need to take from time to time. Thank you for your wonderful insight and wisdom. Your children are lucky to have your guidance and leadership as they navigate the journey called life!

    Good luck with number 3! Take care xox

  2. Emma

    Thanks Bronwyn. Yep, the good ol’ back seat is where we all need to sit (or be seated) every now and then. Thanks for reading and for your comment. Happy hump day (and PS – my team aced it this morning in Adelaide with Richard Branson. Knew they would!)

  3. Deborah Claxton

    If I didn’t love having my own business and working with the amazing speakers we represent, I’d want to work with Emma and the team at Business Chicks ! Be kind to yourself whilst you count down the days to baby number three. We all know that you are exceptional at managing, life, friendship, motherhood and business from the side line.

  4. Emma

    Oh Deb, you’re the best! Thanks so much and will be sure to keep you posted on our baby news!

  5. mish

    I can only imagine how keen you are to have your baby. It is also physically demanding being so big! Please give yourself ample recovery time before you hit the netball court!

  6. Emma

    I’m all good Mish. Not sleeping well but trying to find the lessons in this beautiful time – the thing that keeps coming up is patience, patience, patience (not my strong suit!) and trust. Trust comes easier to me, thank goodness!!

  7. Jodie @ parentwellbeing

    Emma- it was a fantastic event this morning with Sir Richard. Your team were superb, like you knew they would be. Enjoy these last moments before you enter baby land once more!

  8. Shivani

    Well done on your patience Emma!

    It is hard missing out on such big things and babies teach us that.

    All the best


  9. Christina

    Hi Emma, I extend my best wishes to you for baby number 3. It will be a very lucky bub to join your wonderful family and be surrounded by such positive outlooks. Will be thinking of you and can’t wait to hear the good news.

  10. Deborah Protter

    Emma, what a great post. I love what you shared. Maybe the expression of a great leader is letting go, empowering others and watching your people as they grow and develop into leaders themselves. My great lesson from The Hunger

    Also as you prepare to bring new life into the world you are connected in so many wondrous ways to women through out the world. Its so cool.

  11. Emma

    It’s the coolest Deb. I had a blessingway ceremony for this bub a few weeks back and one of the things the group was asked to do was close their eyes and send out energy to the other 300,000 women on the planet that were birthing at that same moment – pretty powerful stuff. We’re all connected!

  12. Fiona

    Em, it’s a credit to you. Today’s event in Brisbane was perfect as per usual. Your team did you and the business chicks community very proud. Enjoy the next few ‘quiet’ days.

  13. Emma

    Thanks so much Fi! I have the best team in the world, undoubtedly. I’m doing my best to enjoy these last few days (says she sitting away at her desk, typing away and doing radio interviews after this morning’s event!) I’ll be sure to keep you posted on bubs’ arrival.

  14. Samantha

    Great post Em, its hard sitting on sideline, I have to agree! All the best with the birth of number 3 (if its not already happened) x

  15. Emma

    Thanks Sam, it hasn’t happened yet – still plugging away! Thanks so much though!

  16. Tanja Lee Jones

    Mamma Emma, I love your real, raw vulnerability.

    The true definition of leader is one who says…. ‘there goes my people, I best follow them for I am their leader’!

    You are the essence that has this rich ‘BC’ flavour permeate our nation.Whether you are at an event in ripe fleshiness or not, your presence is always felt.

    I hear you, I hear your ‘missing outness’ and your willingness to embrace the gift of the lessons life consistently teaches us.

    It is your humanness and honesty that I continue to fall in love with, for this shows the truest colours of courage.

    Bless you and babalicious for the arrival of their being.

    Sending much love to your and your family

    A fellow business lovin, life givin, lesson learnin chic


  17. Emma

    Thanks Tanj, feel really filled up after reading your words, thanks again. xxx

  18. Karaline

    God Emma that is so inspiring and could’nt be more fortuitously timed for me to read right now. Sending you lots of positive energy for your 3rd birth experience. xxx

  19. Denise W. Barreto

    I love this post as I too struggle with being on the sidelines – tough being a follower but I love the perspective you bring forth. And since I’m not having any more babies, I’ll have to find ANOTHER way to intentionally miss stuff and let go. Thanks Emma – great name. My first born, favorite late aunt and favorite sis-in-law share that glorious name.