One of the big reasons many moms choose to work at home is so that they don’t have to pay for childcare. It’s a huge savings on the face of it. But would paying for a little childcare allow you to earn enough to make up for it?
It’s not something that all moms want to think about when they decide to work at home. You have your goal of being there for your kids, and it’s hard to say “but I’ll pay someone else for just a few hours so I can really work.”
Is It Fair to Your Family?
Depending on just what you’re doing and how many hours a day you really need to focus on working, it can be too much. Sometimes by far. You really need to be able to figure out whether or not you’re being fair to your family.
Working in spurts as the kids let you can mean you spend more time working and less time with your family than you would by paying for a little childcare. You may not have time to build the focus that you need to really get projects done.
You may also be building your frustration level. Believe me, I know exactly how frustrating it is to get interrupted while working on a project. It’s pretty miserable.
It’s not exactly fun for the kids either to have a mom who is grouchy from being interrupted, or to always be told they have to wait. Hearing that sometimes is fine, even a good thing as kids need to learn that they are not the center of the universe. Hearing that all day, every day isn’t so good.
Is It Fair to Your Marriage?
It’s not just the kids you can be unfair to when you work at home. It’s your marriage. Skip out on making time for your marriage isn’t a good plan.
Working all night, every night, plus all weekend, really doesn’t leave you much time to build your marriage, which really needs to be more important than your business. A supportive spouse is a good thing, but you can take their support too much for granted.
No, putting your husband into daycare isn’t the answer. I doubt the daycare provider would appreciate it. But using childcare enough that you have time for your husband and a break from your business is a good thing.
Is It Fair to You?
If you’re working yourself so hard that you don’t have time for anything else, yet you still struggle to get anything done with your business you probably aren’t being fair to yourself either. Using childcare can mean that you get a break for yourself later on.
Is It Fair to Your Business?
No, your business won’t care if you neglect it or are distracted, but it won’t grow as fast. If you have clients, on the other hand, they will care if you aren’t able to complete in a timely manner the work you agreed to perform.
Only you know exactly how much you want to grow your business. Not everyone wants a multi million dollar income from their business. It can sound nice, but if the work required doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, you probably aren’t going to welcome the idea so much.
But if you’re running a home business you need to be able to reach the goals you do have. If you aren’t working toward them because you need more time for your family, are you being fair to your business?
How Do You Find Childcare?
If you don’t already have a provider, finding one can be a bit tricky. There are services such as Sittercity that can help you to find a caregiver. You can also check for ads in the phone book, talk to friends about who they use or check newspaper ads.
What If You Can’t Afford Childcare?
I know this situation well. It’s not cheap to pay for childcare. But if you’re lucky you have options.
Local family is the best. From my own experience, I can state that retired, local and eager grandparents are absolutely the best. One of the hardest things about moving last year was moving away from my inlaws, who had previously taken my kids overnight once a week most weeks. A hard benefit to lose, as it gave me both work time and time alone with my husband.
If local family isn’t available or isn’t willing, it’s time to start looking at trading childcare with friends. Make friends with the parents of your children’s friends and you can make arrangements to trade care. Many families will appreciate the idea.
This means you will sometimes be caring for extra kids, but if they play well together that can mean you get more work time. Busy children don’t need as much direct supervision after a certain age. That means you’re freer to do what you need to get done.
Whatever you do, find the right balance between caring for your family, your marriage, yourself and building your business. It’s a tough balance, but one you need to figure out.