Whenever I ask women what they love about being a mom entrepreneur or working from home, I always get the same response: the flexibility to set my own schedule so I can spend more time with my family. Flexibility is the overwhelmingly popular benefit of owning a home-based business as a mom. But beyond that, what else is so wonderful? What are the other surprises and joys that come from running a business and raising children under the same roof? Here are a few of my favorites:
Ten Weird Things I Love About Being a Mompreneur
1. Saying yes. When you run a business and raise a family at the same time, there are lot of things you have to say no to, but there are also some things that you get to say yes to. Like stopping by the school to drop off a forgotten item, taking a day trip with the kids, visiting a friend in the hospital or volunteering as a Girl Scout leader. If I worked full time in a J-O-B, those things would be out of the question.
2. Soaking up some quiet. If you’re a homeschooling mom or your children are still babies, you may not appreciate this…but I treasure the quiet in my home from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm every day. I don’t turn on the TV or radio at all. I don’t even answer the phone unless I have to. I just bask in the calm between the storms that bookend our daily lives as a busy family. And yes – I get a whole lot of work done, too!
3. The office infirmary. With three active kids in elementary and middle school, we’re exposed to a lot of germs around here. When one of them is run down with a bug, it doesn’t set my world in a tailspin. I can administer Saltines and chicken soup in between writing blog posts and doing radio interviews. Easy peezy.
4. Yoga pants. Enough said.
5. My own cooking. Now, I’m not the best chef on the planet, but I do take the time to prepare healthy and delicious meals for myself and my family. I pack four lunches a day and I love the fact that I don’t have to pack one for myself. I can just go the fridge and grab something homemade for lunch. Of course, I still make time for lunch with friends and colleagues on occasion because I love going out to eat. But on a daily basis, I get to eat in my own kitchen. And I have more time to prepare healthy dinners too. I kinda love that.
6. Not going insane. There is nothing more maddening than taking the day off work to wait for a repair service or delivery and getting the call at the end of the day that they are behind schedule and will have to come another day. There was a time in my life when that kind of episode would send me into a frenzy of frustration and anger. I’m talking an embarrassing tirade void of any sliver of peace or grace. Now…not so much.
7. Sleeping in. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m usually up by 6 am or sooner to get in a workout before getting the kids off to school. I have a predictable routine and I love watching the sunrise and having my quiet time. But every couple of weeks I just need to catch up on my sleep. I need to wake up slowly and stumble out of bed at 7:55 am – just in time to kiss the kiddos on their way to the bus. (Thank you, amazing husband for taking over on those precious mornings!)
8. Bringing home some bacon. As much as I love my children and my home, I never felt comfortable in the role of homemaker or stay at home mom. Partly because I wanted an excuse to not have a perfectly clean house and the most well dressed kids on the street. But underneath that façade was the knowledge that part of my own identity has always been tied to my ability to earn an income. I started working in middle school as a morning newspaper carrier and I’ve always been proud of the fact that I could contribute to the family income. So running a business from home allows me to do that – while still being present for my children. It truly is the best of both worlds for me.
9. Saving on gas. If you drive a mom-mobile like I do, then you know it costs a pretty penny to fill those tanks. You also know that it’s not unusual to spend 3 or 4 hours a day driving kids to school, sports, rehearsals, lessons, play dates and other functions. In fact, I spend more time in my car some days than I do with my husband. How sad is that? So eliminating the office commute keeps me out of the car — at least during rush hour.
10. Loving my work. You’ve heard the phrase “Do what you love and the money will follow.” Well, I’m not going to debate the whole passion and profit issue, but I will say this – when you love the work you do (when it really brings you joy!), then you’re going to be happier, more productive and more effective in serving others. And you can certainly love the work you do in a regular J-O-B, but as a mompreneur, I get to love the work I do in my business AND my home. At the same time. Now you gotta love that.
What do you love about being a mom entrepreneur or running a home-based business? Tell us your weird and wonderful story!