Pressure To Have Children

SCENARIO

You and your partner have decided not have children; you’re happy with your life as it is. However Mom, Aunt Sally and your best friend just aren’t listening and are pressuring you to start that family. How do you tell them to mind their own business without hurting their feelings?

CONSIDER THIS

JILL:
Life decisions such as not to have children come from a deep and private place. I want to emphasize ‘private’. You have to make a decision that is right for you and your partner and at the end of the day that is all that matters.

One of the quickest ways to bring this to an end would be to have the family together for dinner. You need to tell them ‘we know that you love us and want the best for us but we have made a decision to not have children. We are asking you to respect this by not pressuring us anymore. Now we want to get on with our lives.” The words will come to you.
While it feels a little overwhelming to do this en masse, having to deal with each person one on one is difficult and besides you want to get on with your lives. For those that didn’t come to the dinner the words that you used there will work with them. Confront these people together where possible, it will help.
For the really persistent use the ultimate words ‘this is really none of your business.” If certain people still don’t get it and respect your choice then they are a negative voice and you have to decide if you really want them in your lives as you move forward.

VICKI:
Believe it or not most people don’t realize that their probing is either uncomfortable or hurtful. It really isn’t their intention to be that way, they may actually believe that they’re helping because if you listen to them they believe you’ll be happier. It can be a big case of misguided love.

Respond by letting them know how their comments honestly make you feel. An example would be: “My husband and I have decided not to have children, please don’t ask me again as it makes feel very uncomfortable and judged.” When they understand they are upsetting you they will be more apt to stop.

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Being A Mom Entrepreneur

QUESTION
My youngest started grade one in September, I am a 36 years old & have a home based business. My business is doing OK but I feel lonely and kinda isolated. My friends are moms too but don’t have businesses so we don’t have a lot in common anymore. When the kids get home I feel guilty that I didn’t get more done with my day. Got any suggestions?

ANSWER

JILL:
When your youngest was at home you probably stuck to a routine, what you need to do is to create a schedule for yourself; that gives your day structure. Be in your home office at the same time every morning and get your day of to a positive start by taking care of your clients or customers first thing.

If your office is bleak that can make you feel isolated. Play some music in the background, decorate so that it represents your tastes and invest in flowers or plants. Keep it uncluttered and clean.

There are a few ways to conquer the loneliness.

1. Look for business women’s groups in your town so that you can network and connect.
2. When appropriate arrange to meet colleagues or clients for coffee, breakfast or lunch; that gets you out.
3. Google what you do ie accountant, virtual assistant, graphic design etc…. and look for an association that you can join. They may have events or meetings that you can attend.
4. Here are some examples of some virtual business women’s groups that will have you feeling less alone
> Women in a Home Office
> Women Can Do Anything
> Company of Women
> eWomen Network

Even with all that there will still be the odd lonely day but overall working for yourself can be very rewarding. For one thing, you have no boss to tell you that you have to stay late so at the end of the day you can usually close up and enjoy your family.

VICKI:
This is one of those times that it’s about changing your thinking. Your guilt is about what you believe that you should be able to get done during the day and the pressure you put on yourself to do those things. The irony is that the more pressure you put on yourself the less you’ll be able to get done due to the stress you’re self-inflicting.

It’s time to relax and take a deep breath or five. You need to center yourself and start slow.
1. Make a list of what you have to accomplish this week; know that you may need to add or remove things as your week goes by.
2. Every morning look at the list and choose three things that you will get done that day. Then go ahead and complete them. Be realistic, don’t choose three large things that each take two hours to do. Choose one large task and two small or if you have one task that will take five hours only do the one task. Be honest with yourself when making the daily list.
3. Leave room for incoming and outgoing business phone calls and should you have extra time once you have done your daily list you can decide if you want to do anything else from your weekly list.
4. It is perfectly all right if you your weekly and daily lists consist of business items and household things to be done as this is the life of a mom entrepreneur.
5. If you haven’t already done so buy a crock pot / slow-cooker and some recipe books on slow-cooking. There is nothing like throwing everything into one pot in the morning and letting it cook all day to have a delicious and nutritious family meal and to free up some of your time.

Now here’s the real trick – know that you may not accomplish everything on your weekly list and become OK with it. One thing is for sure; when each of us dies we will still have things undone on our to-do list. Prioritize and take the pressure off of you. What you don’t get done move to the following week’s list. Put your thoughts and feeling towards being proud of what you do accomplish. In time the positive feelings and thoughts over take the negative and you will find that you have renewed energy to take on more with your day. Add to your daily list as this happens.