Arnold Schwarzenegger was used to a busy lifestyle when he went into his California governorship in the early 2000s. But he soon found out that politics was a completely different career with stresses he was underprepared for.
The Terminator star served as governor from 2003 to 2011. At that time, his four children; Katherine, 33, Christina, 31, Patrick, 30, and, Christopher, 26, whom he shares with his ex-wife, Maria Schriver, and Joseph Baena, 26, from a former relationship, were still children. Before becoming a political leader, Schwarzenegger had been juggling his family with his high-profile acting schedule, and he’d found a reasonable balance.
However, the strains of politics proved to be much more serious than those of stardom, and not just for him. Not only did he have to be available for crises, PR events, and more at a moment’s notice, but his children were thrust into the public eye. They had been able to hide from the limelight until that point.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Asked His Children to Help Him Find a Middle Ground
Years after ending his term, a fan asked Schwarzenegger how he managed to balance his large family with the stresses of governorship, and he admitted it was a struggle. He published his response in a newsletter, per Cinemablend.
“I’ll be honest,” he wrote, “sometimes there isn’t balance. When I was governor, my kids hated it. I was missing recitals and football practice all the time. I didn’t have an option. If there was a fire, I had to be there. If there were budget negotiations, I had to be there. But after they sat me down and went around the table and shared their feelings, I found a way to make it a little better.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger prided himself on being an open-minded parent. Instead of telling his children to simply deal with the situation, he asked for input. The family discussed ways to make the situation easier for everyone, and they eventually found a middle ground.
“I committed that instead of flying up to Sacramento on Monday and coming home on Thursday,” he continued, “I would fly up every morning and back every night unless there was a major crisis. It cost me a fortune (I wasn’t going to charge taxpayers for my plane), but it was worth it. Things were much better when I made the switch.”
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