Parenting

An Open Letter to Work-at-Home Moms

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Dear Work-At-Home Moms

You could be living in the best era ever to be a mom. You have, literally at your fingertips, the ability to create, design, and even work for hire — all from home. You’ve chosen to embrace your children’s upbringing. You also want to contribute to the household income, or maybe motherhood has ignited your passions.

Unlike the generations before you, you really can have it all. My generation was told we could have it all, but it was a lie. For me to become a business owner meant I had to hire someone to change my newborn’s diapers, care for her rash, and bathe my toddlers in Epsom salts when they got chickenpox. In life, there are always trade-offs.

Just for clarification, my children were well cared for. My babysitter was a licensed nurse, but most importantly, she loved my children. They loved her — and still do to this day.

From the outside, I “had it all.” I had a beautiful family, we had four children the time, and a thriving business. What I didn’t have was the ability to be in two places at one time.

Here’s what you need to know. The biggest enemy to your relationship with your children is going to be your success in anything else that you do, even from home. I realize that is a loaded statement, so let me unpack it for you.

Life is filled with trade-offs. Think about this: If you manage to have perfect balance in your life, that is still a trade-off, because you are not giving 100% to something else that’s important. You’ve traded time for something else that is important to you. For example, reading Facebook isn’t a bad thing, but it is still time spent not reading a novel, or having a face-to-face conversation.

So too, is working from home.

Decide what your priorities are. Sometimes you need to spend more time in one area. It’s not hard to set goals for what you want to accomplish when it comes to business. It’s harder to set goals for what you want to accomplish with your children, aside from keeping them alive, clean(ish), and well fed.

To find your goals, play my three-to-five-year game. How old will your children be in three years? Now try five years. That’s surprising, isn’t it? There is a major difference in a child when he is five and when he is eight.

What do you want to be able to look back on with fond memories while your child was this age? What kind of a relationship do you want to build with him or her now so you will enjoy that age?

Don’t be afraid to jump off the train you’re on if it’s not taking you where you want to go with your children. The magic of being a mother in this era is that you have the flexibility to continuously choose what’s best for your family — without sacrificing your entrepreneurial spirit.