The honest truth about how it feels to raise kids while running a business by Nicole Iacovoni
Nicole Iacovoni

Nicole Iacovoni

Nicole Iacovoni is a financial therapist, licensed psychotherapist, and writer for women entrepreneurs who are tired of struggling financially and feel overwhelmed by the emotional up’s and down’s of growing a business.

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I have two, beautiful daughters. They’re nine and eleven.

I love them beyond words and am so grateful to be their Mama.

I know there are many women who have lost babies or who want children and will never be able to have them. So, I don’t take the gift of motherhood for granted.

And I also feel like parenting gets in the way of my professional goals and dreams.

I’ve always been ambitious, driven, and on a mission to do work that has a huge impact in the world. I was like this long before I had kids.

I often miss the days when I could focus exclusively on my work for hours at a time without interruption. If I was in the zone, I could just keep working.

But now, I have to stop the flow to help with homework, drive Adley to her horseback riding lessons, or make dinner because my kids are “starving to death”.

With every interruption, distraction, and the hundreds of responsibilities that come with parenting, I feel pulled further and further away from my business goals.

Not gonna lie- this makes me feel resentful and mildly jealous of the entrepreneurs who don’t have kids and are able to focus 100% of their time, energy, and attention on their business.

They don’t have to cancel a full day of clients and lose a shit ton of money to care for a sick child who’s home from school.

They never had to juggle breastfeeding, pumping at the office, or chronic sleep deprivation due to middle of the night feedings while supervising a team and collecting past due balances from clients.

I often wonder how much more successful my business would be at this point in time if I wasn’t pulled in so many directions- if I could just be an entrepreneur and not also a chef, housekeeper, meal planner, learning coach, taxi driver, pediatric nurse, sounding board, disciplinarian, and children’s entertainment director.

It’s a lot of fucking balls to juggle.

And running a business while raising babies brings up a lot of feelings that seem contradictory to each other (but really aren’t).

I love spending time with my girls AND I want more time away from them to work on my business.

I’m grateful to experience motherhood AND I wish it wasn’t so demanding.

I’m happy my kids are a little older now and more independent AND I still get resentful when their needs keep me from making progress on projects that are important to me.

It’s not one or the other. This or that.

It’s BOTH feelings at the same time.

Togetherness and separateness.
Gratitude and resentment.
Attention and disconnection.

All these feelings coexist, and the perception that these feeling conflict with each other makes me feel really fucking GUILTY.

I feel guilty for wanting more time for my business and less time with my kids.

What kind of shitty mom doesn’t want to be with her kids, right?!

I have to remind myself to stop thinking in extremes.

I do want to be with my kids- just not all the goddamn time.

I’m a smart woman with a brain, ideas, passion, and talents that I want to use.

I’d be lying if I said cooking mac n’ cheese, checking math problems, and folding laundry was stimulating and fulfilling for me.

Just because I love my business doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids.

In a way, my business was my first baby. Why wouldn’t I want to spend time with it?

Does wanting more time and freedom to work on my business make me a bad mom?

I don’t think so.

I think it makes me an HONEST mom- a mom who honors herself, her wants, needs, and desires.

A mom who believes in herself, her abilities, and her dreams…and wants to make them a reality.

That’s the kind of mom I want to be- a role model for my girls so they know that they can be their own person while having a family.

I want them to know that they don’t have to give up their identity, their interests, or the work that makes them come alive if and when they have kids.

But here I am - still trying to prove that to myself, because there are times when it very much feels like I have to give up part of myself to raise my children.

When I’m tending to my kids, it feels like I’m neglecting my business.

When I’m tending to my business, it feels like I’m neglecting my kids.

There’s a constant tug of war between the two.

I’m trying to reframe this and eliminate the word (and feeling of) “neglect”.

No child or business demands constant attention.

Both are fine on their own at times.

Feeling the need to be ever present and constantly nurturing both my kids and my business is an unreasonable, perfectionistic expectation I’m setting for myself.

Neither one need me all the time.

So, stepping back from one or the other for a bit isn’t neglect.

It’s appropriate space.

That space teaches my kids how to self-soothe and gain independence.

And it tests the systems in my business to see if they work on autopilot (like they should).

I’m trying to think in terms of nurturing instead of neglect and ask myself at any given moment, “What part of my life most needs nurtured right now?”

Sometimes, it’s my kids.
Other times, it’s my business.

Or it’s my own self that needs nurtured, or my husband, or my pets, or my house.

Yes, we all still have to dust, clean toilets, and restock the fridge as much as we don’t want to.

I’m also trying to savor and enjoy this time with my daughters, because I know there will come a time in the not-so-distant future when they will have lives of their own and won’t be around as much.

I know I’ll miss them and long for these moments of togetherness.

When that time comes, I’ll have all the time in the world for my business.

That will be the season for nurturing my business more than I can now.

Now is the season to nurture the relationship with my daughters.

Recognizing that doesn’t erase the desire to dive deeper into my work though.

I think most mothers are afraid to speak up about the challenges and painful parts of motherhood because they don’t want to sound like assholes who hate their kids.

They don’t want to come across as selfish or ungrateful.

They don’t want to make their kids feel unwanted or burdensome.

Isn’t it just like women to push their own feelings aside to protect the feelings of others?

I’d like to bring that messed-up cultural norm to an end.

As such, I’m willing to take the risk of getting hate mail and labeled as the worst mom in the world by being honest about how I really feel.

Maybe knowing that you’re not the only one who sometimes wishes your kids would disappear for a while so you can get some fucking work done will help you feel less guilty about it.

If you’re eying up all the uber-successful entrepreneurs who are childless and crushing all their goals, secretly hating them for all the freedom they enjoy, just know that you’re not alone.

I hope that my honesty and candor helps you give yourself permission to be honest and open about your own thoughts and feelings.

You have permission to feel whatever you feel.

Your feelings are valid…and your feelings don’t make you crazy, weird, or a bad person.

In a world that makes us feel separate, odd, and alone, we need to talk about life as it is- not as we wish it would be.

That’s the only way to stay true to ourselves and get through life without losing our damn minds.

If you agree, do me a favor and come hang out with me on Instagram.

I’ve been sharing a lot of live videos about the reality of running a business, dealing with money drama, and doing life on your own terms.

I’d love to connect with you there and share in this crazy journey together.

You can find me @nicoleiacovoni.

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