At the beginning of this year, I was faced with a hard decision. I could either stay at home with my son after he was born, or decide to return to work and have someone else raise him 9-5, Monday through Friday. Financially staying home full time was not an option, so I settled for going back to work part-time. Then my son was born, and I held him for the first time.
How could I ever leave this sweet boy at all, especially into the care of someone I didn’t know! Right then and there I decided that going back to work was not for me. Fast forward to two months ago and my husband and I were drowning, between moving and buying a new house, and basically starting over we had drained our savings! I had to take action. I was not about to let my husband get a second job, we would never see him! So why did I start my own business? These are the 5 main reasons why.
1. Financial contribution
I think besides leaving my son in someone else’s care, not contributing to our family’s finances made me feel the most guilty. My entire teenage and adult life, I worked to support myself and the needs of my family. I was scared that not contributing would somehow drive a wedge between me and my husband, and I would continue to think less of myself. In addition, I knew we couldn’t live off of just my husband’s income. So when I found Virtual Assisting and realized I could work only 15-20 hours per week, not miss out on the most precious time in my life, and make the same wage and possibly even more than before, I jumped right in!
2. Creating my own schedule
This was a huge factor in deciding to start my own Virtual Assistant business, I wanted to be able to set my work hours around what I had planned with my son. I wanted to be able to take him to playdates, or story time at the library, or swimming lessons, whatever it was ,those activities during the day were important to me. Missing the milestones in his life was not an option, flexibility was mandatory.
3. Keeping my sanity
I have to admit, I knew going into the stay at home mom game that I would likely go stir crazy and feel like I needed something else to focus on. While being a mom is the best job I have ever had, it was really easy to lose sight of my dreams and goals, and who I was outside of being a mom. Starting this business was the best thing for my mental health that I had done in months!
4. Community and support
This was not a reason I knew existed until I was actually on the journey to starting my business, I found it in the midst of everything. I had no idea how many other moms in the world wanted the same exact things I did! It was amazing to me to see that as women we were fed up with society’s plan for us once we became moms.
It was either stay at home, or go back to work. If you go back to work you are a terrible mom for leaving your kids, but if you stay at home you are giving into the cliche of motherhood, and settling for less. Loose loose! But I found this network of moms wanting more and wanting to break down barriers becoming fully capable “mompreneurs”, I was hooked!
5. Setting an example
When I started thinking about how I want my children to view me in the future, I wanted to be able to show them how strong, independent and capable of anything I am. I want them to ignore what society’s rules are about how you should live your life, and instead create a life you love, and are proud of.
You should never have to sacrifice your dreams because they don’t fit into someone else’s box. Leading by example is the best way I know how to achieve these things. If they see me working hard for my dreams, and to provide them with a life I am proud of they will hopefully follow suit!
Building a Virtual Assistant business has been the most challenging, scary, and exciting time of my life. I revel in the joy of waking up to the sweet smile of my little one, and being able to be present without fearing that I will miss so many important moments. Being a “mompreneur” has given me the ultimate balance in my life and I will never look back!
Alysa is a virtual assistant who strives to give time, and creative energy back to female entrepreneurs who want to continue to love, and grow their business. When she is not working she loves to take in the beautiful outdoor scenery Central Oregon has to offer with her 8-month-old son, and loving husband.