October 27, 2019

Why I Decided to Give Up My Nanny & Go Back to Being A Full Time Work From Home Mom

Somewhere between the murky world of being a full-time working mother and a stay-at-home mom are the moms like me who choose to both work and be at home with their kids.  I say murky because there is really no neatly defined category for us work from home mamas.

The one thing that unites all of us though, is the desire to be with our children as much as possible, while knowing that we would most likely go bananas without having an outlet to the adult world known as “work.”  I remember when my son was an infant, walking him around the block and to the park, and thinking there was no way I could do this every single day.  I would literally drive myself insane.  At that time I only had the basic idea of being a Work from home mom for Club MomMe in my head, yet I was making baby steps towards my goal of starting an events community for moms, moms-to-be and families every day.

I knew from those first days that I was not designed to be a stay-at-home mom.  But the alternative didn’t appeal to me much at all either.  I knew I wanted to be around as much as possible with my kids, to take care of them, play and enjoy as many of the little moments as possible.

Fortunately I became a Work from home mom during the digital age, when work only requires a smartphone and internet.  We are at a precipice for a major shift in how people “work.”  Gone are the days of having defined work spaces and working hours.  Work today is all about constant access and being able to do almost anything anywhere.  I was recently in Hawaii and Mexico, and barely missed a beat when it came to work.

The problem though is, we are always “available,” always “on.”  Gone are the days of punching out of work, and hello work emails and calls on Sunday night, often during dinner.

What this means for me, as a mom of a 3 and almost 6-year-old is defining what I want my work situation to look like, where I want it to be, and how I want my days to be scheduled.  The BEST thing about being an entrepreneur is the continuous ability to decide exactly how and when you WANT to work, and then setting up your life around those plans.

On my recent Hawaiian vacation to the magical Aulani (yes, we already want to go back!), I realized one day that I no longer needed a nanny.  This was a HUGE epiphany for me.  Our nanny had become a part of our family.  When I sold my company, I agreed to work for the parent company.  In an office.  Which involved set hours, a commute, etc.

I no longer could rely on part-time help or the mix of my parents and sitters.  I needed full time, 8 am – 6 pm childcare for my kids.  We settled on a nanny share, which meant in-home care for my daughter with another little boy around the same age.  She had a friend to play with, we split the week between houses, had a built-in housekeeper and occasional cook, and we were able to lower our childcare costs.

Ohhhhh the cost of childcare in 2017.  If I told you how much we paid for our nanny in Los Angeles, your jaw would like drop and you would try to do some quick computations in your head about how this was even possible.  Believe me, I often have done the same thing.

Childcare in Los Angeles is ridiculously expensive. It costs more than I paid for a private law school education.  Oh, plus room and board.  And I told you thus cost is actually split in half right?  Yes, the cost of 1/2 of my nanny is MORE than a year of law school plus housing.

But my decision to make this massive life change was not just about economics.  The real impetus for this change is that my kids are growing up wayyyyyy too fast.  That old adage about the days being long but the years being short is sadly so incredibly true.

After seeing how busy my son has been this year in kindergarten, I realized that NOW is the time for me to spend quality time with my kids, every single day.  Because soon, they will have ballet, gymnastics, homework, this and that occupying their time.

Soon, they will prefer to play with friends instead of playing with me.  And for real, just the thought of this happening is enough to make me well up inside.  {Softy alert: I am crying as I type this right now!}

Time is flying, and now that I have started and sold a business, now that I have started a new blog and social channels, and know that I CAN achieve what I set my mind to do, now is the time for me to take a step back.  Now is the time for me to just be with my kids.  Yesterday, my daughter and I went on our first “big girl” shopping day together.  Harper excitedly woke up and told her brother and dad all about out upcoming day, and how she was going with just her mommy.

We listened to our Disney princess station on the way there, and we sand the lyrics together even as we were stuck in horrible Memorial Day traffic (seriously people!).  We parked and walked hand-in-hand, no longer needing a stroller.  We were twinning, of course, wearing matching lemon dresses.  And we had the best time together, just being mommy and mini, doing our thing.

Some of my fondest times with my mom are shopping with her, the excitement of what we were going to see and find together.  I don’t want to miss out on one moment of this, just because deep inside I feel the need to achieve and success, to create and always do more.

What I realized is that I CAN do all of this, and be a full-time mommy at home and also a Work from home mom.  Sure, I may get frustrated.  I KNOW I will get frustrated when I am up against a deadline or just trying to get something done and getting constant requests to play play-doh.  But that’s okay.  I know I can do it.

On our first day together, Harper came to a meeting with me at Starbucks with a new potential sponsor.  She was charming, and pretty good.  On our way towards the door, we ran into an old friend, one of my “super mommes” who always volunteered to help me when I still owned Club MomMe.  We ended up walking to the park together and playing for two hours.

At one point, the kids all stripped down to their underwear and ran through sprinklers.

We said our goodbyes, and as I was putting Harper into the car, our next door neighbor pulled up to take our spot.  When she recognized us, she invited us to lunch at my favorite restaurant right there.  I have barely seen my neighbor in months, with her mom passing and other life events getting in the way.  Our girls played while we caught up and enjoyed ceviche and watermelon margaritas.

That night, another friend came over for dinner and our kids all played together.  It was the perfect day.  I worked yes, and checked my phone every so often.  I was on my phone, but not excessively.

Why i decided to give up my nanny and become a stay at home mom

It’s my new normal.  I encourage you to constantly re-evaluate your situation and needs, and make the changes necessary in your life to create the life you want, not just the one you happen to be leading.  By being intentional in the design of your life, and reassessing as you go, you ensure that you are not only achieving, but also happy and fulfilled for today.  Maybe not tomorrow, but that’s a whole new day, right?

Check out 10 signs that shows you are an LA mom.

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