How Kindergarten Made Me a Better Mom and Entrepreneur

I‘ve been dreading my son starting Kindergarten. My first born, my baby boy…a Kindergartener. I hated the thought.

Hated it so much that I celebrated when we missed Kindergarten registration day because he got a stomach virus and thought it was a sign from above when school was delayed by three days because of no electricity.

But alas, the night before the first day of school came, and after rah-rahing to him, cheerleader style, for thirty minutes about how great kindergarten is, I sat in my bedroom and cried and cried and cried.

So now here we are, three weeks later and I can’t tell you the last time I felt so good about the routine I finally have in my life and my business and it’s all because of Kindergarten.

Let me explain why:

  • Rise and shine: For the first time in a very long time, I’m getting an early start on my day. I’m notorious for being a late-riser and although it’s great to sleep in, I was easily losing at least three hours of my day. I would try to make these hours up late at night, but would end up making careless mistakes on my work because I was getting tired. So in the end I would just have to go back the next day and fix the sloppy mistakes I was making the night before.
  • Getting my day off to a healthy start: The kids and I are able to have breakfast together every morning now. I use this time to go over what both of my kiddos are going to do that day. In the past breakfast was sent with them to daycare or ate while they laid around on the sofa.
  • Making the most out of the time I have with my children: I have two days a week with my daughter that are predominately mommy and daughter days. In the past, her brother has been here to keep her entertained and I would find myself drifting back to the computer to do work.  Now she gets the attention that she deserves and I’m more then happy to give it to her. Some days, she loves going to a coffee shop or a cafe for a little change of scenery. She happily eats and works on my mini computer while I’m able to bang out some emails and catch up on what’s happening with my clients.
  • Making time for work: On the days that I have my support systems in line to watch my daughter, I’m spot on with focus and drive that I haven’t felt in so long. I no longer feel guilty for not spending time with my children because the laptop is always there. I’m giving them the time they deserve.
  • Making time for my kids: My work day is officially over when it’s time to pick my son up from school. Working from after I drop him off in the morning until I pick him up in the afternoon are longer stretches than I used to work. We come home, have a snack together and then go through his bookbag together.
  • Creating systems that work and sticking to them: The bookbag. What a magical thing. We go through his bookbag together, talk about the next day and get the whole family’s stuff ready at this time. Homework is finished, lunches are packed and everything is stored in one place (the same place) for the next day. There’s no more running around in the morning like a crazy disorganized mama because we all know where everything is now.
  • Shut everything down at a decent time at night: When it’s time to go to bed, I’m not rushing through the routine so I can immediately get right back to work. We take our time and pick out what everyone is going to wear the next day, read at least four books per child and talk about who’s going where the next day. After the kids are in bed, I finally have a choice of what to do with my spare time. Sometimes I do work, other times I read a book or spend time with my husband.
  • My heart and mind’s back in the game: In general, I just feel better. A few months ago I made the decision to make my business fit my life and it was one of the best things that I have ever done. Now I feel like my life finally fits my business.

Has a change in your life made you better at something? Tell us all about it!

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Rebecca Buscemi

Rebecca Buscemi helps professionals and businesses to cut marketing costs and increase their visibility across the Internet. An expert in Social Media marketing, her professional experiences are with entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations of all types. She effectively streamlines and automates her clients’ social media presence through consulting, coaching and professional speaking.
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43 Comments

  1. Jaimie Skultety

    I love your blog and especially this article. I have recently published these similar articles on my blog (related to business):

    Should We Have Stopped at Kindergarten?
    http://yourpartnerinproductivity.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/should-we-have-stopped-at-kindergarten/

    Happy “Business” Campers – Badges Of Wisdom From The Boy Scouts
    http://yourpartnerinproductivity.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/happy-business-campers-badges-of-wisdom-from-the-boy-scouts/

    I hope you and your readers enjoy! Feel free to leave comments.

    Jaimie

    Reply
  2. Tracy

    I can definitely relate to your decision to make the business fit your lifestyle. It reminded me of a quote: “You CAN have everything, just not at the same time.”

    Enjoy your business and your family.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      Perfect quote for the moment! Thanks Tracy!

      Reply
  3. Stacey Agin Murray

    My son started Kindergarten this year, too–it’s a half day program in my town. My little one goes to a babysitter 2x a week so I can see clients, keep up with social media/administrative tasks and do something for myself once in a while.

    Right now I’m maintaining my business and taking baby steps of growth. I know that my own babies won’t be little forever so I’m trying to balance work and family life (and a little bit of ‘me’) to the best of my abilities. I remind myself often that I have the rest of my life to work but my kids will only be little (and oh, so cute) for a short time.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      Good for you Stacey. Our childcare setup is similar. I regret not having a better schedule when my daughter was a baby…I just didn’t know how to get one started. That’s why at least I know that things are better now and this is the time that she is remembering mommmy and daughter date days. 🙂 Keep up the great balance!

      Reply
  4. Christa

    Thank you for the article. With two kids, one in school all day and the other home with me a few more years, I can relate to both worlds.

    I struggle with the “work” schedule and the “Mom” schedule. And I often wish I could finish just one task from either world from start to finish. But I realize that the time with the youngest won’t be there forever. I see the eldest and wish for time back.

    There will always be regrets, guilt and what if’s. I realize that taking it one day at a time and give as much eye contact as possible helps me keep breathing. While it can be frantic with the little one at home I do appreciate being able to see the funny things he does. And I do also appreciate the schedule of school being back in session.

    Here’s to not wishing away any moments we are given, no matter how hard. It can always be different but not always better.

    Here’s to all the Moms. Keep up the good work…and get some rest!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      I hear you Christa. I don’t know a mom that doesn’t have what ifs and regrets. I look at my precious 3 year old daughter and I’m so sad sometimes because I secretly battled post-partum for so long, that I can barely remember her first year with me. It’s so hard not to beat yourself up :o) But these past few months have made me realize that straightening out time, money, business and life now, will make the difference in the years that they need me the most.
      Cheers moms!!!!

      Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      Thank you favorite business coach in the world :o)

      Reply
  5. Mommypotamus

    I’m putting myself in your shoes and imagining what that must feel like. We’re going to be homeschooling our kids, so it will still be a challenge to make quality time outside of schooltime a priority.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      Have you talked to or found any other moms that are local to you that are homeschooling also? This might be a great help for you to find out how they are balancing their time. Good luck 🙂 I admire that you are home schooling!

      Reply
  6. Rachel Titsworth

    I am so encouraged by this article, and am looking forward to next fall when my little one starts kindergarten. This article gives me hope for my future business/home life to have more balance!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      Stay in touch Rachel! I would love to know how things work out for you.

      Reply
  7. Nan @ Playful Decor

    I have mixed thoughts about kindergarten: great that the kids are out of the house all day for me, BUT I truly do not believe most kids are developmentally ready for the all day program. Love the routine to our days – couldn’t wait for it in July! 😉 Now if I can only get off the computer long enough to finish the office so I can open my biz!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      Hi Nan! Believe me, I totally agree with you when it comes to my kiddo and the toll it may take on him due to an all day kindergarten routine. There are days that he can barely stay awake the 2 min. car ride home. (This opinion comes from both an anxious mommy and early childhood degree speaking 🙂 ) But since kindergarten is mandatory, we try our best to space out the homework and reading that he has to do with plenty of downtime interspersed in between. Thanks for your input!

      Reply
  8. Sarah Hopkins

    This is great! Sounds like you have things blissfully organized with sufficient time to enjoy some “you time” – Good for you Rebecca 🙂 These routines are undoubtedly helping to set a great foundation for your kids too!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      We all need ‘me time’ and I’m VERY grateful that I’ve finally made time for it! Thanks Sarah!

      Reply
  9. olivia thompson

    Wow this post was right on time. I just learned how to pull myself away from work so that I can give my 2 year old more attention. I find that we are both much happier when the focus is on her.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      And they stay out of trouble too! Good for you Olivia!

      Reply
  10. Andrea Pokorny

    Wow, that sounds exactly like my home! …Only add one more kid to the mix =). School has definitely brought some structure to the chaos and trying to get everything done. I even sneak in a 30-45 minute work out four times a week now!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      Hi Andrea! It totally was a blessing in disguise for me :o) I love the structure that I so desperately needed.

      Reply
  11. Renee @ Get Innergized!

    this is wonderful! i can’t wait until i feel this way one day…but, i always think of the day when my little one is off to Kinder as well…right now she’s 2. i always wondered if after she goes if it would FEEL better once an elementary school routine is in place. so this is great to know! right now i’m trying to fit my life into my biz and struggling…would love to know more about how you work in childcare with your little on still at home. i’m thinking of putting 2 year old in a mommy’s day out program b/c i want that routine of do work when it’s only work time – play with daughter when it’s her and i time – but her and i time right now is consisting of me doing work….i want them separate. oh man! lol. 🙂

    Reply
    • Rebecca Buscemi

      Hi Renee! I would love to share more. A little background, I started my at home biz when my son was 2 and I was pregnant with my daughter, out of necessity. I was a stay at home mom for about a little over a year prior. I always worried that I ripped my son’s childhood out from under him because I chose to start working from home. And on the other side of the coin, I felt that my daughter never knew what it was like to have mommy to herself because I was always working. Currently my daughter (3 yo) is in daycare two days a week and I also have a nanny that helps with pick up/drop off/meetings and things like that. I’m determined to dedicate Mon. and Weds. to my baby girl and it’s been great. Everyone has their own schedule that works for them and I promise that you will figure yours out too!

      Reply
      • Renee @ Get Innergized!

        oh my gosh! thank you SO much for this. right now i’ve been in the back and forth decision mode for putting my 2 year old in a mother’s day out for a few hours a few days a week, but i have major mommy guilt about it. but i truly want to set up a schedule where i don’t think about work when i’m with her. i did have a sitter come in and watch her for 2 hours a few days a week, but i just lost her b/c she had to go back to school. i’m in the process of hiring another one…but i think she needs to be around kids (since we’ve just moved to a new city and we’re far from friends and family). i feel that we would all be better off if everyone had their own schedule. ah, decisions! 🙂

        Reply
        • Rebecca Buscemi

          I totally agree that kids need to be around other children so school isn’t a total scary shock. My kids go to daycare two days a week to keep their social skills on par 😉 And the nanny helps with some of the running around so I’m still able to concentrate at least another full day to my business. Good luck and stay in touch!

          Reply

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