I hear you, mama. Do you ever feel like you’re missing out? Do you feel like there’s just no quality time with the kids? Are you forever running from one event to the next and feeling like you’re dropping balls all along the way?
Do you wonder if you’d be happier staying at home with the kids even though you know deep in your heart you’re meant to be a working mama? Maybe you would love to be at home but the budget simply doesn’t allow for that option. It happens.
I wanted to be at the office. Honestly, I needed to be there for myself and my sanity but I wanted to be with my son too. When I was at work, I felt like I was missing out on things at home (because I was) and when I was at home I worried that I was missing things at work (mostly in my mind). There’s an amazing video of my son trying to learn to crawl and who’s cheering him on? His nanny. Not his mommy. She texted it to me while I was at work. Cue the tears. I remember being so thankful that he learned to walk on a Sunday morning and I was there to witness it and celebrate and encourage him. How sad is it that I was excited he hit a major milestone on a weekend so that I could experience it with him first hand? Again, cue the tears but for a completely different reason.
I would race home from work to my baby but rather than snuggle him up and soak up quality time together, I’d have to race to get dinner on the table for the family, bathe him, and get him ready for bed. I’ve spoken to so many other working moms who have the same harried evening routines. The precious hours spent with their children aren’t really quality time and you end up waiting for the weekend. You try to squeeze all of your memories into weekends that end up feeling like you’re running down a checklist – groceries, laundry, birthday party, food, maybe some fun activity of some sort.
I’d been off work for maybe a month when I had breakfast with a friend who had been a co-worker before she got married. She was now a work from home mom who was self-employed. Her son was about a year older than mine. I asked her so many questions about the balance, the difference, etc. She hadn’t ever been a working mom in the corporate world so she didn’t have the same guilt that I did. She had a nanny part-time and worked while he was with the nanny. I confided that I didn’t want to go back to corporate but was afraid I couldn’t make the same income on my own. I was scared to admit what I wanted. It almost felt wrong to admit that I really wanted more time with my kiddo. More than that, I wanted quality time with him.
It’s ok to want something more or something better than what you have today and it’s possible. Is it easy? Not really. I can’t lie to you. Is it worth it? Absolutely 100%. Since I founded Etched Marketing and Etched Marketing Academy, I’ve been there for every major moment in my son’s life. When his teacher needs a parent to come in and help with the Halloween event, I can. I can block out a couple of hours and be there and then go to work. When they have a half-day, I can work in the morning and pick him up at noon, we go out to lunch and then I work while he naps. When there are in-service days, we do fun things like go to the zoo or the kids' museum together because I have the flexibility and control my schedule. And when covid-19 closed down EVERYTHING last month, I had to figure out how to juggle working with him at home but I didn't have to juggle a corporate job and my son. I juggled an already flexible job and my son. It was a lot better than it could have been.
You don’t have to feel like you’re missing out on something. You can have more quality time with your kids. It is possible. They’re only going to be young for a few years. Don’t look back and wish you’d made a change sooner. I know I do. I wish I’d made the move BEFORE he was born. I wish we’d never experienced that first 18 months but we did and I learned a lot and hopefully, my experience can help you find your way to a happier, more balanced life too.
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