How Becoming My Own Boss Has Made Me a Better Mom

In January of this year I took the leap to start my own private practice, which basically means starting a small business to do therapy. It wasn’t an easy decision, and these days I fluctuate between feeling like I am rocking it and feeling like I’m going to epically fail about ten times a day. But, one thing that has made this feel like the exact move I need at this season of my life is this. I feel like a better mom. 

kids on floor with momI spent the majority of my career up until now working for a large agency, and while they were great at offering flexibility and accommodating the needs of people with kids, I was still constrained to the structure of a typical business. The 40 hour work week. The meetings that could have been an email. The other people making decisions that affected my day to day, and then having to conform to them. No matter how flexible the work, it still was fitting my kids in around the work I had to get done. And whether conscious or not, that meant it felt like my work came first and my family came second a lot of the time. There were deadlines to meet, people to answer to, and metrics to perform. 

Prioritizing My Time and Energy

I am a type A perfectionist and also a bit of a teacher’s pet. That means I am going to feel the urge to do whatever I can to look like a “good” employee, especially when I feel like I haven’t proven myself yet. Gotta get that A in project management right? But at what cost? I found myself taking meetings while I set my kids up with shows, or planning our activities for the day around where I could get some work done. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it felt like it was wearing on me, and not prioritizing where I wanted to spend my time and energy. 

The one thing that owning my own practice has given me that I love more than anything is full control. Control over when I work and when I don’t. Control over how much work to do, within financial constraints. Control over my boundaries between work time and family time. I don’t have to answer to that supervisor or pushy client that my agency says is important. I can set my own expectations, my own systems, and build my work around my life, not my life around my work. 

How Has That Made Me a Better Mom?

How has that made me a better mom? Well, now I can decide when I am going to be fully on as a parent. I don’t have one eye on the kids at the playground and another checking email. I’m not taking a meeting while in the school drop off line. I can create the life I want, which in this season means finding time to have fun with my kids, not just manage or occupy them so I can get work done. And it also means having work that I find challenging and fulfilling, because I’m not just a mom, I’m a fully-rounded human with mad skills and interests. 

It’s both really, the pride I feel when I overcome a challenge or figure out how to get past a setback in my business. The joy I feel in simple pleasures like going outside after school on a beautiful day and playing, or hearing their stories at bedtime. The freedom to build life the way I want, leave behind what I don’t, and thrive as a person and a parent. So even though being my own boss is low key terrifying, it’s also amazing. I can’t wait to see what this new season of life brings. 


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