Tough choices

>So pretend you started a company to occupy yourself in a creative and challenging way, not necessarily because you needed to bring money into your home. (Though, hey, the extra money is always great, right?) Let’s say you’ve worked extremely hard to build this company into something that provides other people with an income, and customers with products they love and seek out. Let’s say that the company is something you’re very proud of, and that it has been the reason for many wonderful opportunities over the past five years.

But let’s say that before this venture, you had decided to leave the workforce specifically to spend time raising your kids. That you wanted to be the one caring for them daily, taking them on trips, playing games, having fun, and teaching them everything you could before they go off to school.

And here’s the curveball: let’s say that this company you’ve built is now forcing you into a corner where you can’t live up to the expectations of it without hiring external help for the kids you wanted to care for by yourself. And let’s say even part-time care isn’t really giving you enough time to give the company the attention it needs… that it takes up more time than you ever dreamed, and that this wild success is both a blessing and a curse?

Gone are the days of midday swimming classes for the kids. Gone are the carefree day trips to the zoo, to play centres, to friends’ houses, the library. Gone.

What do you do when something that was supposed to be casual, part-time fun is now so “successful” that it really requires more than full-time hours? What happens when the whole purpose for your being in this position to begin with has been the very thing to lose your attention? What happens when you feel guilty for working so hard to be home with your family at a job that takes more time away from them?

What will I do?

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11 thoughts on “Tough choices

  1. >It is a gut wrenching fork in a road. I'm at a similar one. My "part-time" business is in addition to my full-time job. This translates into my "time off" becoming the only time I 1) spend time with my kids and husband and 2) can book work for the "part-time" job. If I book a shoot I am taking time away from my family – precious time. If I don't do the shoots that's extra income to make life more comfortable that I am not bringing in. But where do you draw the line? Obviously time with my family is the priority but what if that business is also fulfilling and is a creative outlet and you meet so many wonderful people through it? Then what?
    It is a blessing and a curse.

  2. >This was recently a tough choice for us too..what started as kind of a hobby, has become a successful little venture for me, and DH and I had some tough decisions to make, because I stopped working to raise my girls..because we wanted to raise our girls, not anyone else….it's really hard trying to have it all…luckily, we were able to make it all work out…good luck making your decision…

  3. >I have no idea. But the question I'd start with is, what will happen if you just don't work as hard? Will your business fail, or just slow down? What would happen if you just let it not consume all your time for the next couple of years, until your kids are in school?

    They're only little once. Your youngest is what, on the cusp of turning three? It's only a matter of time before he's in school and you'll find yourself with less available time with them anyway.

    Obviously the right answer is the one that works for your family. I suspect that your amazing ideas will help your business flourish both now, and later too. A wise friend once told me that you can have it all… you just can't have it all at once.

  4. >What do you really want?
    What will make you happy?
    In five or 10 years, when you look back, what will you wish you were doing? If you make decision A. or decision B. how will you feel about it then? 🙂

  5. >Samantha, a business can't be run "slower". Especially not one like mine… it has taken on a life of its own and is so incredibly busy I just can't slow down. What I CAN do is shelf it for now. And that's something I'm considering.

    For me, success is defined by my happiness and that of my family. I think the answer is pretty clear, but it's one I've been avoiding making.

    Thanks for reading and commenting, everyone. :o)

  6. >Hmm, I think it would be a shame to out everything on the back burner to pick up again in a few years time. You've put all the hard work in, you've got the customer base & the word of mouth. You can't guarantee that they'll be there in a few years time.

    How are you at hiring and delegating ?

  7. >Ahh, that sucks… I don't run my own business, at least not one that I can't step back from and say "that's enough for today". It's too bad that it can't just adjust to your availability. 🙁

  8. >Oh hun, I hear you, with a big huge side of "hell yeah" thrown in. Believe me. But I come bearing good news. In a matter of a mere couple years, when both kids are in school full time, the home business becomes 500% easier. So until then: what to do? You have to muddle through. Give yourself permission to let the business slide if you want to be with the kids. With bb's and iPhones it is SO tempting to "always be at work" – answering emails at all hours, etc. You gotta stop that and make a conscious effort to say "For the next hour, I am going to devote 100% of my attention to the kids." Even an hour a day, be it, a fun trip to McDonalds playland or a midday swim lesson IS quality time. Make that your goal, and see how it goes. You're doing a great job, believe me.

  9. >Have you considered bringing in a Manager of some sort. Someone who can deal with the admin work, and make some decisions? Instead of getting full time help with the kids, get full time help with the business.

  10. >It really sounds like you know the decision, or at least a temporary one (maybe not getting rid of business, but holding it etc)

    In what you've written you want to spend more time with your kids and family, less time on work and it sounds like it can happen.

    I know how tough these decisions are, but you'll never regret the time spent with them now. Things will change as they get older.

    And I speak this as someone who was a hobby blogger, now making an income online and say NO to a lot of opportunities because now isn't the right time (it doesn't mean there will never be a right time, that's the difference).

    Hugs and I wish you nothing but the best in your decision

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