Being a Mom-Owned Business Is Not For The Weak.
By Casey Quist
Photographs by Casey Quist
What do you do when your sitter cancels on you the very last minute and you have no one else to rely on to take care of your kids – but you still have a business to run? That is the plight of not only a mom of three beautiful kids, but also the plight of a mom-owned business as well. First of all, we are a rare breed – us mom-owned business owners! It’s not for the weak, and quite frankly, I believe there are many dad’s who couldn’t handle it.
There are definitely moments in this busy life I live when the warrior inside me will take my cape off, break down, buckle at the knees and have a moment – maybe a long moment too with lots of crying. This is literally me when I have ever had to cancel on a client for the day because one of the kids got sick, or hurt at school, or even worse got in trouble. If I get hurt, don’t feel good, or get really sick, my clients timeline doesn’t freeze while I get better. Asking my husband to take a day off of work is completely out of the question in my household. He is the “Bread-Winner” after all.
When stuff like that happens, many of my clients can be quite understanding and kind. They are mom’s too and have experienced first hand the perils of people in their household getting sick; They get that emergencies happen – but it doesn’t change the fact that it feels like the rug gets pulled out from under you every time something like this happens. On top of the mom guilt we all feel on a regular basis, I them get to feel guilty for letting my clients down too. Now that my kids are older, they spend a lot more time at home alone than I ever wanted for them. It’s not easy to decide between making mom, or business owner the top priority for the day; and that can sometimes be a daily struggle. A struggle that I experience so often it’s unfair.
One thing I know my husband rarely experiences is the job of driving back and forth to the kids’ schools several times a day and the time commitment that requires. 180 days a year, I have to put my photography work, clients, and schedule on hold at intermittent times throughout the day to drop them off, and pick them up at different times. It can add up to hours per day of what feels like wasted time.
This is literally one of the biggest pains of my existence as a mom and business owner. Three kids at three different school’s a NIGHTMARE; and don’t even get me started on the fall, summer, spring, and winter breaks, early pickup on Wednesdays, staff development days, conference week & the parent-teacher meetings. It’s A LOT to manage.
I have to say that even though my children are older now (which allows me more freedom and has majorly lessened my need for childcare), they are busier, and have more demanding schedules than ever! Between school, tutoring, gymnastics, dance, softball, their social-lives, dinners, shopping, errands, and everything else each and every day demands, I often don’t know how I get it all done. At this point I am just so thankful we can afford house-cleaners. Many mother’s can’t!
I remember the days of just being a stay-at-home mom to three little munchkins, no business, just being mom and wife. I thought those days were difficult – but now that I own my business, my responsibilities have easily quadrupled. I look back at my life before now and think there’s no comparison!
When it comes down to it, I really can’t say it enough how much I love my family, and how much they mean to me. My family is the reason why I work so hard at my business. I want to set an example of what hard work looks like, and what it takes to truly be successful in your endeavors. I also want my daughters to know you can do both, and make it work. You don’t have to give up on your career dreams just because you’re a mother! Yes, It takes a crazy strong mama to do-it-all, but if they are willing to put in the effort, it will all work out in the end.