“Do you love your business more than you love me?”.
That was the question my daughter asked me yesterday as we celebrated Mother’s Day. While we were twirling and whirling around the kitchen dancing to the Dixie Chicks, my little 5-year old, super crazy, wonderful daughter looked up at me with a little doubt and worry in her eyes and posed that question.
Later, as I sat with my friends, I relayed the question she asked. They gasped and I know their hearts broke a bit for me when they heard this hard to hear question. One friend asked “So, did you instantly start doing the ugly cry?”. And to be honest, I had the opposite reaction.
When she asked me if I loved my business more than I loved her, yes, it took my breath away. And yes, for an instant I thought “Whoa, I am doing something terribly wrong here”, but almost immediately I felt great pride. I was proud of her for having a question, no matter how difficult it was, and asking me.
I took a breath and I said “No. No way do I love my business more than I love you. Why would you ask me that?”. She tried to shrug it off but I was bound and determined to get an answer.
Her response was finally that when I’m working out or when I’m instructing the Mamas (I go to and teach Hot Mama fitness classes where families workout together, kids are welcome), I tell her to hang on and sometimes she has to hang on until the end of class. She told me that when I tell her to hang on, she feels less important, she feels that she isn’t as important as my business.
Here’s the thing. I own a thriving business that takes up a lot of my time. I work from home. I try to be 100% stay-at-home Mom and 100% entrepreneur. My children watch me laugh, cry, succeed and fail, both as a mother and as a business owner. I believe there is a strength there and I hope one day they will see that.
When my daughter asked me if I loved my business more than I loved her I told her that my business is because of her. I started Hot Mama so I could be with her. Enjoy her. Love her. Hug her. I started my business so I could be home and be free to give as much love as a mother possibly could.
With any successful business there is sacrifice. It is now, apparently, important for me to have the conversation with my children that yes, they are my world and I work tirelessly for them. But, my world includes Hot Mama and my drive for success includes other people outside our family, who also need my time, my hugs and my support.
There are moments, baby girl, when I need to focus on my business. There are moments, baby girl, when yes, the women in front of me are more important. Baby girl, while this may be hard to hear, there are moments when I need to love a little harder towards the women who help support my dream.
Never will I love them or my business more than I love you. But sometimes, baby girl, for an hour, they do come first.
My love is yours, always and forever, but my priorities are sometimes elsewhere for a few hours. Never doubt that the focus won’t come back to our family. You and your brother are at the top of my love list. You and your brother could never be loved more and never will I love my business more than I love you.
Yes, it may take priority at times in your life. But should you need me, I’m here. Always.
Oh baby girl. Do you know how badly I want to give you a hug and a kiss all day long. While you’re at school, while you’re playing with your little friends, while you’re finding you place in this ever-escalating crazy world? Do you know I would give anything to fill you up so much and for hours on end that you’d never have time to do anything BUT get hugs and kisses?
That’s not the way the world works. While you may feel something is incredibly important at one particular time, please trust me to know my own priorities and that I will always get you the love you need. You need to trust that as your Mama, even though others may be more important for a moment in time, you are always the most important for all my life.
These are the words I told my daughter and these are the words that she responded to and said “Okay Mama. You do important work. I’m also very important”. And that is the moment I hope she remembers for all her life.
We then hugged, said I love you and had a major dance party. So while that question initially took my breath away, it didn’t cause me to crumble, it didn’t cause to cry…it created an opportunity to teach my daughter the strength of a woman. And on Mother’s Day, there was no greater gift.
My business will never be more important or more loved than my children. But throughout the day, while I’m juggling being a Mother and being an entrepreneur, it was incredibly important for me to have the conversation with my daughter about priorities. I need my children to understand that throughout a day the underlying reasons for prioritizing one moment with others over a moment with them is not because they are loved less, it is because they are loved most. Forever.