In the nearly 5 years that I've been in business I have learned that trying to juggle the role of being mommy and business owner in the same block of hours doesn't work for me. My kids, now 6, 5 and 3, really enjoy having interaction and being so close in age still need that close monitoring for everyone to get along (read that as "not kill each other").
Somehow I thought I could do it all. And for several years, that's what I was doing. When I would try to catch up on my emails or watch an online seminar to learn about marketing my business, I would have constant interruptions. On the flip of that, when we would be out somewhere and I'd get a call from a potential client, my kids weren't getting my undivided attention. I'd read books about the juggle of being a momprenuer and how to "creatively" wear both hats at the same time. Those tricks work in an perfect world, but not for me. Taking the plunge to have the kids in preschool full time or hire a sitter for blocks of hours meant that I could focus more. Higher focus leads to more productivity, more productivity led to higher income, more income means I can better provide for my family and afford those luxuries I once had before becoming a mom and momprenuer. One of the internal battles I had was being able to afford regular childcare, and with my business coach I realized that when you put a plan into action, somehow the laws of attraction work their magic and connect the dots. I finally bit the bullet, put the boys in preschool, and Amberly was already in Kindergarten.
Now that it is summer we have a babysitter twice a week for nearly a full day. By planning my schedule such that I could work one day less a week and my husband was willing to make some schedule changes at work we are doing 2 things for our kids:
One - spending more of our time with them to do fun stuff
Two - saving money on a sitter and using that money to do a lot of that fun stuff
Note: A lot of fun stuff costs money!
To stay on track with our time with the kids we even created a Summer Bucket List. The next step is to migrate that "wish list" into a solid schedule so we stay committed to the plan.
This is all in an effort to spend quality time together, create lasting memories, and build that family bond that sometimes gets the short end of the stick when you're building your business. IT IS an ongoing delicate juggle, one that is worth the effort as I love both being a mom AND helping families through my Sign4Baby venture.
When a good friend of mine returned to work after having her first baby, she reduced her hours at work and was torn between having enough time to complete projects and being able to live up to her own standards to be a "good mommy." She was bringing her work home on her day off. What she came to learn is that for most of us it is hard to be "great" at both, but if you focus on one for those dedicated hours you CAN be really great at the one thing you are giving your attention to. People talk about moms being great multi taskers, but I've read that we accomplish less when we are always multitasking. If juggling people, especially little humans in our care, is part of the mulitasking I think it is best to find an alternative.
If you are at an impass such as I was about a year and a half ago, I encourage you to make the leap of faith, spend the time seeking out quality care. Your kids probably will enjoy the fact that there is someone new to play with and they will learn YOU become a better playmate when you are NOT split between juggling mom and entrepenuership.
Does this resonate with you? What have you done to solve the childcare dilema?