Subscribe to blog via RSS

Search Blog

Entrepreneur Mom

with Aliza Sherman

If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.

To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website,

The High-Powered Mommy Fence

Categories: Work/Life


I sit on the fence between high-powered Internet executive on one side and mom to a 4-year-old on the other.

The other day, I was traveling on business but brought my daughter because my husband had meetings and other plans. I offered to take the responsibility of childcare because…well, it just keeps happening that way because of age-old gender roles no matter how much I try to resist them.

I’ve found an excellent daycare in this particular city that takes “drop-ins” which is the most amazing service ever invented for working women who sometimes travel with their kids. So I dropped my daughter off at this new place, anxious to get started on my work, and as I got ready to leave, she wrapped her arms around my legs. I felt a wave of mommy-ness, and it was overwhelming.

My eyes welled up with tears.

“She’ll be okay,” said one of the women at the daycare.

“I know she will,” I said as I left trying to make sure my daughter didn’t see my tears.

Then I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes, trying not to cry. Every once in a while I have that mommy feeling.

But behind the emotions of leaving her in a new place with total strangers is another feeling of total and utter relief. Finally, I can shake off the mommy role and get into work mode.

I love work mode. I love the way my brain functions when I’m working. I love writing, creating things, getting things done. I love the space and time to concentrate without interruptions.

While some women say they feel guilty about leaving their child at daycare, I don’t. Other than that momentary “oh no, she’s shy and afraid” protective feeling, I simply love breaking away and being away. On business trips, I do miss her and hope she is safe and happy at all times, but I don’t miss her constant chatter and demands on my time and attention.

I don’t ever want anything bad to happen to her. But if I could afford it, I’d want to hire a full-time nanny.

Call me selfish, call me a terrible mommy, but I envy my husband for his ability to leave for work, get work done, come home and not feel obligated to provide or arrange for child care. Don’t get me wrong - he is a very engaged father, and I make very heavy demands on him to take over child watching when he gets home. But he, like so many other men, just take it for granted that all child-related duties will be handled by the woman.

And no matter how I try to resist it, child care and the arranging of alternate care under just about every circumstance still falls to me. Hubby does thank me for my efforts, but when I talk about investing in a babysitter a few evenings a week so he and I can spend time together or do our own thing, he balks at the expense. He’d never go for my full-time nanny idea, that’s for sure.

So I just sit on the fence between being a high-powered Internet executive and mom to a 4-year-old and jump to either side as needed, with the other always pulling me, pulling me, pulling me back.

What side of the fence do you sit on?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Subscribe to blog via RSS
Share this on:

4 comments so far...

  • I love working and having a child didn’t change that. I also love spending time with him and find that going back to work post-baby I was much firmer about maintaining balance. I have those days where I wish I could be a SAHM or a WAHM, but I don’t know if I’m cut out for it. You described it perfectly when you said:

    “I love work mode. I love the way my brain functions when I’m working. I love writing, creating things, getting things done. I love the space and time to concentrate without interruptions.”

    That’s how I feel too - and I don’t think it makes me a bad mom. I make sure that my child is with someone I trust implicitly when I’m at work. We’re not all meant to stay at home with the kids. I think it’s great that so many moms do, and I have nothing but respect for what they do. It’s an extremely hard job. I’m aware enough to know I couldn’t do it, though.

    Karen  |  June 20th, 2010 at 11:54 pm

  • Like you I sit on the fence, but can be more easily pulled to the mom side. Like when my daughter bursts into tears as I leave; a rare occurrence that usually means I’ve been working nonstop in the past couple of weeks. Those are the times it gets hard to get back into work mode after calming her down.

    Mich  |  June 21st, 2010 at 2:19 pm

  • I’m on your side of the fence. It’s definite.

    I actually just read a really cool Newsweek article about this, and did a post here about it too:

    I love your unapologetic tone about loving work and loving breaking away for a while. I need that - heck, I need to hear that other women need that!

    The logistics of pick-ups and drop-offs falls on me a lot, and sick days were always my responsibility, as if what my husband teaches is somehow more important because he teaches older students than I. (Until this spring, when we had multiple issues going on and he ended up with a plethora of sick days while I was in the red.)

    I like the switching-gears thing. I actually find it much harder to switch back into mommy mode in the afternoon than transitioning to professional-me in the morning.

    Meg  |  June 22nd, 2010 at 3:22 pm

  • That’s me too!! I sit on that fence and jump back and forth!! I feel the same way–love love LOVE my work and love love LOVE my children. Thanks for articulating it.

    spacegeek  |  June 24th, 2010 at 5:26 pm