Work at home mums often have mixed feelings about whether, or not, to invest in childcare. Some see it as a positive investment… for both their business and for quality family time, whilst others see it as a wrong turn, a decision to put money before family.
The question is often raised once New Year resolutions for our business have been made, action plans drawn and we start focusing on how we are going to achieve our business goals for the year ahead.
Many people feel the childcare dilemma is an impossible one to make any good decision on. This can lead you to suffer from a lot of undue stress, guilt and pressure, as you juggle the roles of both mother and business woman.
After all, your main reason for deciding to be a work at home mum was to enable you to spend more time with your family, whilst saving unnecessary spending…right?
So is there a right answer to the question of childcare?
The childcare issue will always raise a heated debate, with strong feelings and opinions being raised on both sides. The main reasons a lot of mums put off making a decision on childcare, are:
- Worry about being a bad mother
- Worry about what others will think and say
- Worry about putting business before family
It’s easy to forget that what’s so great about the time we now live in, is that we actually have choices! We have the freedom to work (and whether that’s from home, or not), the freedom to choose our own hours, and we have the freedom on how we choose to spend our money!
And the freedom to choose to spend more time with our bubbas… as I am now, with James.
The real question you should be asking ourselves is:
What is your definition of being a positive and nurturing mother?
Investing in childcare is a highly personal decision. It is dependent on your own unique answer to this question, along with your own thoughts around nurturing yourself… not only physically, but also financially and emotionally.
In short, the question of childcare doesn’t have a ‘one size fits all’ kind of answer, it is really what works for you; it’s about making a decision that is right for you. It is about ensuring you spend dedicated, quality time on YOU first and foremost, then your business and your family… to ensure they all can grow and flourish.
What are your thoughts on childcare? What solutions have you found work for you? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Oh Joanna – a topic that I have lived in for the past 25 years. The first part of my in home childcare career was supporting mums in business, many of whom had home based businesses, then later working as a Nanny Mummy, when I had my own children. It was those experiences that led me to starting my own businesses, where I was able to work around my kids and whoever else ended up in my loungeroom through using systems and feeding off the energy of the kids. My feet never seemed to have left the sandpit.
There are MANY options for mums to access the specific type of support they need for their situation. Centre Based Care, Occasional Centre Care, Private and Registered Family Day Care, then there are all the options within the nanny community for care within your own home – Aupairs, Live in Nannies, Live Out Nannies, Share Nannies and Nanny Mummies. Some of which are not very well known in the general community.
There is always an option that will suit every child’s need and family’s budget.
If you are reading this and need to chat about what is available for you – please don’t hesitate to contact me. More than happy to send you in the right direction – just have a pen and pad with you to write down what I share with you 😉 Marina – M 0439 210 816 (No this is not a service you will be charged for, I hate hearing the horror stories from parents at their wits end, I’d rather point you in the right direction before things get stressful and if they have – I can help you find some sanity in your childcare arrangements).
Marina thanks so much for your truly considerate offer. The world needs more people like you!
I can’t say I’ve completely cracked the guilt thing, even though my children are older now and need me less. My problem was that my work requires me to travel, but not on a regular basis. But no childcare provider is willing to accept a ‘pay as you go’ method, where I might have them going every week to the carer for a month, and then hardly at all the following month. So I had to hire a regular nanny or childminder and send the children there every week, even when I wasn’t working, which felt like such a waste of money (and money was very tight at first).
Initially, I felt really bad about that and would spend all the day moping around the house, imagining what fun we could have had together, watching the clock… Then I realised that there is always something to do when you are running your own business, or (as I started earning more money) that I could even (shock, horror!) invest in some me-time, have a haircut or meet a friend for lunch, but I still feel that I am ‘on the clock’ and tend to spend it on serious rather than frivolous things.
However, what I do enjoy about this freelance way of life is that I can ring-fence the school holidays or Christmas/New Year and decide not to work then and dedicate myself whole-heartedly to the family at those times.
Hey Sanda- at least you can be totally present in the holidays huh?! I think guilt is just a natural part of being a Mum. Let me know if you ever crack it!
I went back to corporate after mat. leave with my 2 boys on a 4 day week. I employed my Mum as their nanny so they were at home, with family, and it worked really well. My eldest boy got a late diagnosis of cerebral palsy at 2 and a half and things got complicated so I went freelance, still on 4 days. When they were in primary Mum switched to after school care for my 2 and my sisters 2 with another lovely older lady to help her at mine or my sisters house. By the time they were at senior school my mother in law was living with us and there as a responsible adult until I got back from work. They are now teens on full school days and don’t get home until when my husband and I are returning from the office so I don’t have Childcare. We are blessed to have such a fantastic Mum who was happy to take early retirement from teaching to look after my boys, and we’ve been flexible and adapted in the moment, all the way. I love my kids and my career and am happy not to have had to give up my work.
Wow- April. Sounds like a great set up. My Mum lives a long way from us. I’d love her to be James carer while I work though. We brought her on a trip to UK with us and it was so great that they bonded so well. It’ll be a totally different kettle of fish for us when we move to the UK too!
It took me a long time to realise that the stress I was feeling about childcare was actually me struggling with what I wanted to do vs what I thought was expected and how I’d be judged by grandparents and friends.
As soon as I decided/accepted that what I wanted and what was best for Dexter – everything fell into place. Often we forget why we chose to run our own business – for a better quality of life right? – and we can’t do that if we don’t have the time & support to make this happen.
I always knew I wanted Dexter to go to nursery so that he got to socialise with other children and have some structure. He is now at pre-school 4 days per week and every Wednesday is Mummy & Dexter day. No work, no phone calls, just me and him exploring the world and having fun.
Don’t feel guilty or bad – just think or write down what is best for you and what is best for your child.
So true Sam. So much energy of parenting is spent on managing what others will think. I always catch myself making decisions based on not wanting other people to comment! It takes something to do it your way huh?