Eliminate Mom Guilt As a Work At Home Mom
I hope you’re sitting down for this because this is going to be a game changer.
It’s ok if you don’t want to be with your kid(s) 100% of the time as a work at home mom.
There. I said it! No need for Mom Guilt.
Do you ever feel that when you’re reading about all of these women that are working from home that a huge part of their conversation revolves around how amazing it is to be with their kids now?
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my son so much. In fact, he is a big part of why I wanted to work from home, but honestly, he isn’t the only reason.
There are a lot of reasons that have to do with my own interest in being the boss, having a say on the hours I work, and being in charge of how much money I can make. All of these things impact my son and are driven by the desire to give him a better life than I ever had, but my goal is not to stay at home with him 100% of the time.
And that’s ok! No mom guilt necessary!
Staying At Home With A Toddler Can Be Stressful
This all started when I started working from home, and I quickly realized some things about being home with a toddler all. day. long.
- Toddlers LOVE pushing limits. And I mean LOVE. I knew my son liked to push boundaries a little bit, but it went to a whole new level when mommy was with him for three days in a row and counting.
- Life revolves around nap time, snack time, and play time. Basically, your mindset becomes hyper-focused on these things, and it’s super easy to lose sight of yourself as an adult (anyone else find yourself saying “oopsie daisy” to the cashier that dropped her pen?).
- Getting work done with a toddler is very challenging. Unless you can squeeze work in before they wake up (mine wakes up at 530 am!), during nap times (if I can get him to actually nap), or after they go to sleep (if you’re still awake by that point).
It was at this point that I realized that I was trying to be this super amazing mom by staying home with my son (and supposed to LOVE every single second of it) and working from home.
But who made that rule anyway?
You always have to do what’s best for your situation and your family.
It’s 100% ok to either send him to daycare, get a sitter to come to the house, or ask a family member to watch the kids.
Reasons To Eliminate Any Mom Guilt for Getting Help Watching the Kids
Here are 5 BIG reasons it’s perfectly ok (and maybe even better) for you to get help watching the kids while you work on your business.
1. Social interaction for your child.
This is especially true if you’ve only got one child like I do. It’s very important for children to build their social interactive skills as they are developing their little minds. If you are working from home and your business doesn’t allow you to spend hours with your child at the park or a play date. This is definitely my case and would be the case for a lot of people starting out in their business.
Through social interaction with other children, your child learns how to play with other kids, share toys, deal with conflict amongst peers, gain an understanding of action and consequences (if I poke that kid in the eye, they cried!), how to be kind to others (when that kid poked me in the eye, that wasn’t nice!), and so much more.
Some solutions would be to either start an in-home daycare yourself and watch a couple more children (they say 2 kids are easier to watch than one, right?). This has the bonus of a little bit of extra income as well.
Another idea is to have a family member or in-home daycare watch your child where they have at least 1 other child they are watching as well. For us, we had the chance for my son to have his aunt watch him a few days, and this was great because a) she is family so we know she cares about him above the average kid and b) he was getting to spend time with his cousins.
Of course, the ultimate amount of social interaction would come from a daycare setting. I didn’t even know this was a thing, but a lot of churches offer “moms day out” or part-time daycare (tip: they call it preschool). This can be a great option if you are needing care, but don’t necessarily want your child to go 5 days a week. Even just those two days a week can be an amazing boost in your productivity.
2. Allows you to have dedicated and focused work time.
Jumping from task to task can really impact your productivity. Every time you are shifting your mindset or getting interrupted from what you are working on, it takes you 25 mins to get back to what you were doing in the first place. Imagine every time you sit down to work and your toddler interrupts you or the phone rings or you decide to do some laundry. All of those little interruptions turn into LOTS of lost time.
If you have the dedicated time to work on your business, then not only can you move your business forward faster, but when you are with your child, you can be 100% present in that moment. That’s part of the reason you’reworking from home in the first place, right?
To help with this, you have a number of options and which one you choose will depend on your specific business model.
If you’re needing more of a super part-time option like a few hours once or twice a week, then you could hire someone to just come to your home and watch your child for a few hours when you get things done. A high school student would love the extra cash.
The amount of daycare you use will depend on the needs of your business.
Then you are faced with the question of how much you could get done if your toddler was in daycare all the time….hmmm.
3. Helps the relationship with your child.
This is a terrible thing to say, but sometimes if you’ve been spending all day with a toddler going through the terrible two’s and have been hit with flying objects multiple times in one day and told “No!!!” more times than you can count, then you really just don’t like your kid. You love him. Always. But doesn’t mean you have to like everything he does (yes, even at 2).
For me this kind of culminated when my son had his tenth meltdown because I was attempting to have him ride in the shopping cart (otherwise he runs away in the store maniacally laughing like he’s escaped prison). I started realizing that the constant tantrums and defiance were wearing on my patience and my perception of my son. I was finding myself avoiding taking him places so that I didn’t have to deal with the constant battle the whole time.
I realized that it would be way better to get my work done and not be stressed about that so that when my son inevitably tried to throw his tantrums, then I could have more patience and be more understanding with him.
It is much better to have quality, devoted time with my toddler that isn’t clouded with the stress of not being able to fit my work into my day.
4. Gives you the chance for some adult conversation.
Let’s be real. No one really prepares you for the sudden shift in mindset from being in corporate america to being in toddlerland. As a work at home mom, everything revolves around your toddler. Half of the time, he doesn’t listen to you or says “Huh?” with the most perplexed look on his face because he doesn’t understand half of the words you are using.
Common household objects and everyday things suddenly get new nicknames, and time is now given titles of designation based on the activity that will be taking place. Snack time or nap time or play time (imagine that in the workplace: boring meeting time, sit at my computer and browse facebook time, make an excessive number of copies time haha).
Being able to have the chance to have some adult conversation can help you keep your sanity and remind you that you are a mom but you are also an adult.
Go to a coffee shop and work, join a local meetup group of other women that work in a similar niche and have a work “date”. Join in on live chats happening on youtube and facebook that you otherwise miss because you are busy. These are your coworkers after all so it’s important to show your personality through conversation.
5. Allows you to pursue the dreams you have for yourself and for your family.
If you’re like me, then you started this whole entrepreneurial venture to follow a dream of improving your financial situation, owning your time, and being home with your kids more.
If having your child at home is preventing you from getting work done or not allowing you the time to be thinking up new creative ideas to move your business forward, then why are you working from home at all?
For me, this really came to light in the first month of working from home. I looked at our finances and realized that I had not made as much money as I could have with my ebay business and that was because my business hadn’t really grown much at all. When I reflected back on why this was the case, I realized that I didn’t have much time to do anything on my business because I had my son full-time. So when I thought I would have more time working from home when I quit my full-time job, I just exchanged my full-time job for being a full-time mom of a toddler which is way more time consuming than any 9-5 I ever had (haha).
Not being able to work on your business means that you can’t make money. If you can’t make money, then that leap of faith you took when you quit your job to do this was in vain. You have to have the time and mental clarity to be able to work on your dreams of having your own business from home.
Imagine having just an entire dedicated day to work on your business. That kind of time is essential for your success so nothing is wrong with needing to get some help with childcare in order to make that happen.
I would much rather be able to provide for my family, take my son on awesome vacations and provide an example of an amazing work ethic to my son than not doing any of that just because I thought a “good” mom kept her kids at home when she was there.
I hope these tips have given your comfort and even permission to look into getting help with childcare for your little one as you pursue your own business ideas. Of course, it’s ultimately up to you and your family, but I hope that I have given you proof that you don’t’ have to feel guilty about what’s best for your family. Even if that means sending your little to childcare. After all, you’re doing all of this for your kids anyway. It’s up to you to make the best effort you can to accomplish those big business dreams of yours.