One of the biggest worries I had when I began my journey as a single mom was that I would have no time to spend with my kids. I could not envision working a 9 to 5 (or worse yet a 2nd or 3rd shift) job and needing to put the children into daycare for several hours after school and for a major portion of their summer time days.
I learned about being a Virtual Assistant through an article that was written about Becki Noles of Virtual Accuracy. After reading this article I decided this was just what I wanted in order to be able to be a single mom and still have plenty of time to spend with my kids. A short while after starting my own Virtual Assistant business (Expert Business Results) I joined the Virtual Assistant Revolution . This online forum is a wonderful resource for Virtual Assistants to learn from each other and build their businesses.
My business is now three years old and I have been thoroughly enjoying the time I have been able to have with my kids.
I have to admit though that there are days when I wonder if I am doing the best thing for them since money is often a bit tight. A lot of families today are barely making it on two incomes and here I am working from home supporting a family of 5 on just my income. This past weekend my step-dad was telling me all about his son and daughter-in-law sending their daughter for horseback riding lessons and how she was going to be riding in the fair this year. I couldn’t even begin to think about something that extravagant for even one of my children. It actually made me cry to think that maybe I was being selfish in staying home and fulfilling my dream of being a stay-at-home, single mom and caring for my children. I finally reached the point where I had to find out about the children’s feelings and what they wanted. I was fully prepared to go out job hunting today if even one of them gave me the word.
I started by asking the children to write a list of things they would want to have if money was no object. They could have anything on that list that they absolutely ever thought about having. Surprisingly enough to me their lists were relatively short. My daughter wanted a better MP3 player that actually worked all the time
I told them that I was going to go out and start looking for a job and that they would be going to daycare while I went to work. I was amazed at how fast those lists disappeared and the whining began. Absolutely NOT was the unanimous response; to them the privilege of being able to stay home and be with me and their friends was worth more to them than any of the things they could possibly want. They started coming up with ideas of their own about how they could (1) get those things on their own and (2) if mommy really needed it how they could earn extra to help pay the bills.
I guess I’ve done pretty good so far with these kids — I remember being raised by my single dad and we didn’t get as many things as he would have liked to provide for us. But I know that I would have most likely sacrificed a whole lot if he could have spent less time at work and more time with us.