Let’s imagine a simple choice: you could pay $50 to make $400 OR you could pay $200 to make $400.
Which would you choose? I’ve yet to encounter someone who would consciously choose to pay $150 more to make the same amount of money.
The key word here is consciously.
How much would it cost for you to hire a nanny for a half-day or put your kids in daycare? $50?
How much would it cost for you hire a high quality VA for a morning’s worth of support? $200?
When you look at the numbers involved, many mom entrepreneurs are choosing to pay $200 to make $400 simply because they have a lot of guilt around having some personal help with their children. Rather than freeing up their own time, they choose to buy someone else’s time.
Let’s be very clear here: as the sole executive in your business, no one else’s time is more valuable than your own. No one else can do the client-, customer-, or partner-facing work that you can do. The highest value activities of your business come from the work you can do.
And it’s really hard to do that work in 2 minute bursts as you’re watching your kids or spending unconscious mental energy making sure things sound right and that the kids haven’t decided to skip Spongebob and go outside.
Yeah, but …
It’s at this point that my mom clients give me a “Yeah, but.”
“Yeah, all that’s true, but I’m supposed to take care of my children.”
And there are an assortment of reasons why they’re supposed to. Because their mom did. Because their mother-in-law did. Because their husband expects them to, even though he goes to “work” and doesn’t have to worry about it. Because their friends do. Because they don’t want to be “that kind” of woman who has people take care of her children in another room while she works on something else.
If you want to live someone else’s life, go live their life. How many of them are running a business? How many of them spend their days talking to clients, reporters, and interviewers?
And, no matter how progressive your mom was, she didn’t live in the fast-paced world we live in. Look at the lives of high-achieving women of yesteryear and you’ll see two trends: they either didn’t have children or had careers that enabled them to have other people tend to their kids.
Underneath all the stated reasons and rationalizations often lies guilt that she can’t be superwoman and pay attention to her kids and her business at the same time. Add to that the general fear and worry that comes with running a small business and it’s easy to understand how hard it could be to see things clearly.
Does this sound like something you’ve felt before? Well …
Getting Help With The Kids Doesn’t Make You Any Less of A Superwoman
You know what?
The fact that you’re building a business that supports you and your kids in a way that allows you to live on your own terms is pretty freaking superhero.
The fact that you’re showing your daughters that they don’t have to live by the social norms and expectations handed to them is pretty damn epic.
The fact that you’re a living example showing your kids how to make it in the new world of work and business rocks the casbah.
What example does half-running your business a quarter of the time show them? What good does bearing the internal pressure of not being able to both care for your kids and business do them? How much better might your relationship to yourself, your children, and your partner be if you could spend dedicated time with them because you had the space to take care of things and put food on the table?
Make The Choice Clearly
If you’re choosing to spend quality time with your children instead of building your business, that’s pretty awesome, too. My main point here is that I want you to be making the choices clearly.
If you’d rather spend that $150 because you want to hang out with your kids at the park, take them to the zoo, or play in the backyard with them, then it’s totally worth it.
But if you’re doing it because you’re supposed to … please check that assumption. There are plenty of things that we’re “supposed” to do and starting a small business is a complete act of defiance on all fronts.
The mom-guilt isn’t serving you, your business, or your children. Who are you carrying it around for?