I own a business, and a small child.
I know I am not alone in navigating the crazy seas of entrepreneurship and parenthood at the same time, and recognize that every “mompreneur” and “dadpreneur” out there faces regular challenges, in childrearing and business planning alike. We made the choice to be a lifestyle entrepreneur for a reason.
Kudos to us … for living the dream?
There’s that joke out there that depicts friends without kids talking to friends with kids. One minute the parent is complaining about this and that about their children. But then, the mood shifts: “No, really, being a parent is greatest thing. There’s nothing like it. We love them.”
Yeah, it’s pretty much true. We all have our moments. Whether running our own business or not, with kids or not – there are days that are up and days that are down.
What I love about owning my own business while raising my daughter is the flexibility it gives me as a lifestyle entrepreneur to capture time together and flex to our family’s needs, while also caring for my business. There are different kinds of babies that need different attention.
One issue in particular, I am sure many parents especially of younger children can relate: SLEEP.
Our daughter has never been a great sleeper. When some parents say, “Yeah, she started sleeping through the night at 4, 6 … 9 … months,” I sit here saying, “Well, I think there was maybe one night at 4 months and then again at 9 months – but who’s counting?”
We finally transitioned to full-time co-sleeping when my daughter, at 2.5 years old, continually woke up at 2 a.m. with an alarm sounding scream. Sitting straight up in bed, she’d yell crying for me until I stumbled my way across the hall to her and then spent the next two hours attempting to lull us both back to slumber. Eventually, i found this process was quicker if I just brought her to our bed when she woke up.
And then: lightbulb! If she started in our bed, I would miss out on those wonderful 2 a.m. wakeup calls. GREAT! So now, we share sleep space. And, we sleep.
Now I have another magical thing to share with you: my daughter sleeps until about 9 to 9:30 a.m. most mornings. Most people when I say this think it is soooo great! But the truth is, it’s because she’s a night owl, up who-who-ing into the wee hours of the night with energy sent from above or who knows where … because it keeps coming. So, her bedtime is really between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.
But this is one of those places where the crazy seas of entrepreneurship and parenthood blend and we find some calm: Because I own my business and can generally set my own hours. I can stay up with her when needed, and I can let her sleep in.
Some might be thinking: If you wake her up earlier, then you can get her on an earlier bedtime schedule and then you can shift everything. Not possible! We’ve tried it. It always backfires, results in a 3 to 6 p.m. nap followed by a midnight (or later!) back to bed time.
So, rather than stress about this, we take advantage of the benefits of being a mom and a lifestyle entrepreneur, building a business that suits how we live and how I can best serve both my clients and my family.