Are you a mother who is debating starting a side hustle? Before you join in on this trend, consider these things.
I am sitting at my desk right now, looking at my computer in disgust.
It’s a beautiful Saturday morning.
I can smell the bacon my husband is frying up. I can hear my kids giggling in-between their normal sibling bickering. But all I can see right now is my computer screen.
I have a small photography side business (on top of my job and raising three socially acceptable humans), and I have thousands of pictures to sort through and edit and deliver to clients.
Yeah, no one will perish if I don’t get these pictures out today, but I can’t relax thinking about the workload piling up.
As I sit in this room alone, I can’t help but wonder why I felt the need to join the ranks of stressed moms in pursuit of a side hustle in the first place.
Why do modern mothers feel that we need to add yet another thing onto our overflowing plates?
The Birth of the Side Hustle Revolution
We’ve all had old high school acquaintances, let’s call her “Sarah”, slide into our DM’s with that misleading, “Hey girl! You look great! I haven’t heard from you in ages”, always followed by the, “I just started my own side business with ‘X’ and I think you’d love our products!”
I imagine Sarah lost part of her soul when she typed up that painfully awkward message and hit send. Then, I had to explain to my husband why I spent $68 on mascara from a girl I played middle school soccer with only because I felt bad saying no.
Side hustles have been around as long as I can remember. I recall going to Tupperware parties with my mom as a kid where we ate chips and commented on how useful these plastic bowls were.
For some, side hustles can provide a great way to work on your own time, make money, and feel fulfilled.
But how did it go from the random Avon lady at the front door to this cataclysmal side hustle explosion?
In fact, a recent poll showed that one in three people have side hustles, and I think these are three big reasons why:
We Feel Guilty if we Aren’t Doing “Enough”
Somewhere along the line, we started to say to ourselves:
“If Sarah can work a full time job, take care of three kids, and earn extra income selling mascara, I should be able to.”
There is a guilt associated with feeling like we aren’t doing enough for our family.
In reality, the side hustle does not represent your worth, quality of a parent, or ambition. You are not lazy just because you aren’t packing your time with tasks and duties.
Related: How to Stop Being Mentally Exhausted (Parent Edition)
The Need to Keep up with The Joneses is Strong
Everything is so freaking expensive these days.
We see pictures of others going on fancy vacations, wearing designer clothes, or packing their kids’ schedules with activities.
Social media plays a big roll in this. Even if we don’t realize it, we see what everyone else is doing and think that we have to compete.
The extra money helps for sure, but at what expense?
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“Clients” Feel so Accessible with Social Media
With social media, there is no more door to door campaigning.
Those hundreds of Facebook friends – that you probably wouldn’t even wave to if you saw in person- are just a click away.
You’ve seen others do it, and brag about their amazing side business on social media. They post about how they achieved “Diamond Status” for their sales numbers.
We often feel that we have all these future “clients” at our fingertips, too.
The “Cost” of a Side Hustle
While a side business can provide your family with some extra financial support, you have to consider what it is actually costing you.
If you are considering if a side hustle is right for you, first ask these 5 questions:
1) Do I want a Fast-paced Life?
If you love the idea of a slow-paced life, then a side hustle may not be for you. Or are you ready for some extra excitement in life?
When my family is kicking their feet up after a long day, simply enjoying life, I’m often still in business mode.
There is no ‘down-time’ for me. Even if I am stepping away from my side business, I am usually thinking about it.
While I am working on making clear boundaries and “office hours”, this has been a struggle for years.
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2) Are There Other Driving Factors Besides Money?
Are you only in it for the money?
If so, consider how much people typically make in your field. It often takes a lot of time and energy before making a substantial amount of money in most side hustles.
My blog took years to even make a penny. What kept me going? The passion for writing.
If you aren’t passionate about your new business, it is likely to fail or cause unneeded stress.
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3) Is my Family Life Smooth Sailing?
My three kids all do different activities- which can be hard for us to manage.
When I was leaving on weekends for photoshoots, it caused extra stress at home for my entire family.
Starting a side hustle when your family life is already hard to manage could make you resentful; however, if you have it all under control it can be a wonderful added activity.
4) Can you Handle the Ups and Downs of a New Business?
It won’t always be five star reviews and smooth schedules.
If you aren’t prepared for some of the up’s and down’s of a new business, it may not be time to dive into this new experience.
5) Am I ready to Make Some Sacrifices?
Sacrifices come in all shapes and forms.
You may have some upfront costs when starting a new hustle. New businesses take time. Or you may have to set your pride aside to message your entire Facebook friend list about your ‘exciting new opportunity’.
Final Thoughts on Side Hustles for Moms
I am not saying to NEVER considering a side hustle.
Some people do amazing things with their side businesses. They can make extra cash, feel fulfilled, and do something they love.
It can show their children how to be passionate about what they love and work hard at something.
In fact, writing is something that makes me truly happy. I never, for a minute, regretted starting this blog.
But I am begging you, before jumping in blindly, to really evaluate WHY you are considering it what it will cost you. And I don’t mean financially.
Being a mother is hard. Don’t let others convince you that you aren’t doing enough – because believe me, you are.
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