Inside Becoming A Stay-At-Home Mom + Ending Childcare
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 107
Sharing that I am now home with my son full-time, no longer having a nanny, while still running my business full time, honestly feels more rewarding than my business’ first million-dollar year. I’m so excited to take you behind this journey in this podcast episode.
Like so many of you, my goal has always been to build a business that can give me the freedom to spend my life the way I wish. To see it reach the point of being passive, automated and streamlined enough to be with my son fully is something I want to share with everyone who will listen so they can do it as well.
In this very personal episode, you’ll hear:
All the dots that were (unknowingly) connecting to allow me to do this
The approach on motherhood that supports this new way of life for us
How leaning into faith, even without “proof,” can change your life beyond your dreams
Want to be coached by Leah directly? Head to her waitlist to be the first to know when spots open up. And get the chance to win a FREE intensive with Leah! Leahgervais.com/waitlist
If you want more inside business secrets, then head over to my Seven-Figure Secrets Podcast! There, we discuss what goes on behind the scenes of running a seven figure business, and I give you the scoop on how to make it happen for you.
Hear the Episode
Leah Gervais: Hello visionaries. Welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision Show, and welcome to what is going to be a, uh, personal story and a sort of personal revelation and journey that I have been on over the past several months that have led to this very exciting moment.
So if you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen, and I’ve gotten such amazing messages from so many of you already that I have, I’m kind of in a new personal chapter with my business as well as with motherhood in that I a no longer have, have a nanny I no longer have, have help. Um, and this might not sound like a big deal, but it feels like a very big deal because I am making this decision and this transition without really changing anything in my business.
And looking at my mother, and my mother-in-law and my grandparents and most of the moms that I admire in my life, having the option to both be with your child full-time and be the primary caregiver and work, and not only work, but work in my case still quite a bit, and in a business that I really love, has not really historically been an option.
I think one of the hardest parts of being a parent is surrendering to the imperfectness of it. And I still believe that’s true. I don’t think I’ve found the perfect solution, but I do feel very moved and touched and grateful to feel like I really believe that I am entering into what I hope is a new era for women everywhere that can truly do, can truly spend their lives the way they want without it costing them their professional passions and their entrepreneurial ambitions.
So today I want to talk to you guys about the story of how it came to be that I realized and decided my business was in the position to no longer need childcare, such that I could remove that option from our life, but still run a very, uh, profitable business to be transparent, it’s not that big in the sense that I don’t have a huge team, but it is big in the sense that I have quite a few clients, I have quite a few products, I have a lot of marketing, and I wasn’t really willing or honestly just wanting any of that to slow down, but I also deeply wanted to be with my son more.
And it was kind of a painful journey to get here, but I really believe it all led me to the best place I could ever have asked for. So let’s back up a little bit. I first wanna, there’s so many kind of caveats I wanna put throughout this because I wanna share this story. The main reason I wanna share this with you all is to be an example of the truth. We all like to say we know, but very often forget to function under, which is that there are very few facts in our life.
There are very few inherent truths that we don’t have the power to change yet. We often go through our life with a lot less power than we really have. A lot of the times we label ourselves or we summarize situations, or we take assumptions, or we take how things have always been from our parents, from our partners, from people in our community, and adapt those without even bothering to question them, without even bothering to step back and think, is that true for me?
Just because my financial situation looks this way, does that mean I can’t make a different decision just because I have to work? Does that mean I can’t think of childcare differently just because I don’t have a background in blank? Does that mean I can’t do it? Uh, just because I grew up in this is something that I saw a lot growing up. Just because I grew up in X place, does that mean I still need to live there even if I don’t really want to?
There are conscious questions we get to ask that we often don’t because we subconsciously don’t believe there’s even a question to be asked. We think that’s just how things are. And I was in that camp for a while. I just assumed there was no way I could have my business without childcare. My business is demanding. It is hugely, um, you know, I pour a lot of myself into it.
Quitting isn’t isn’t an option for me. It’s not just like quitting a job to be a stay-at-home mom. It’s like I would be closing a business, which is I’m just not gonna do it. I’m obsessed with my business. It is a huge part of who I am, and there’s just no way that would ever happen. So because of those decisions, I just always assumed that therefore I would need help. And it wasn’t until I was able to question it that that changed.
And I want to encourage you to question things too, and to recognize that there are very few inherent truths in the world that you can’t question or do something about if you’re willing. And if you’re brave enough. Now, let’s back up a little bit here, because this was not how things always were. So for the past 18 months or so, I have had a part-time nanny.
She worked three days a week, and I have worked three 30 hours a week in my business. 24 of those was from childcare time, and then the remaining six would kind of fall between naps or when my husband would take my son or early mornings or just, you know, kind of sprinkle throughout the week when I had time.
And I have to say, there were so many things about this setup that I loved. In many ways, I felt like I had the best of both worlds. I had two days a week that I was completely with my son and I had to take him to classes or to do things around the city. And then I had three days a week where I got to be completely focused on my business and on my clients and on my vision. And in so many ways that was so wonderful for me.
I also, about 12 months into motherhood, um, got a, got my own office, which was a big investment. I mean, it was definitely not a cheap decision, but that also felt really good just to have that huge separation. And especially after 12 months of intense breastfeeding for any of you other breastfeeding mamas out there, you know that the first year is, uh, just a huge ask on your own body and on your mental health and just on your own, um, physical health and your own boundaries. It is just a very, very demanding experience because, uh, up till that
Point, the baby is essentially relying on you physically, your time, your body, your nutrients to survive. So once he turned one, I continued breastfeeding for quite a while, but I didn’t have that pressure of, oh my gosh, if my, you know, if he doesn’t breastfeed enough, he’s not gonna get enough milk, he’s not gonna grow enough, he’s not gonna get enough nutrients because at that point he’s eating.
My point is there were several months where I loved working three days, totally away from my home, totally by myself, totally in my vision at my office, and then home for the other two alone with him, and then home as a family, obviously over the weekends. That worked great for me for a while. And I think it’s just important to preface that because part of, I think, especially motherhood, but also part of business is being fluid, letting yourself change, letting seasons happen, letting you want things very badly for one time and going after them and then allowing them to change when and if that’s what you desire.
There were many years where I worked 80 to a hundred hours a week and no longer have the desire to do that anymore, but that was a great season. For the past 18 months, I’ve had this wonderful season of part-time feeling all in on my business, and then part-time feeling all in on motherhood. And that was deeply serving me.
So what shifted? What kind of changed and what made me realize I was ready for a different chapter and how could I make that happen? Well, the first thing that I wanna say is that I do believe, I’m sure a lot of moms feel this way, but there was always a sense when I had childcare of it should be me going through my head. It should be me taking him to the park. It should be me having this snap with him. It should be me reading this book to him.
And I think most parents feel that to some extent. I think that’s a very normal thing to feel. So it didn’t really make me wrong. I didn’t make it wrong. I sort of just allowed that to be part of my experience. Um, but it got, it started getting louder. It started getting louder. It started feeling like, okay, wow. And I think that a lot of that came with just a bit more perspective that I got as my son got a bit older and motherhood just became a bit easier.
Frankly. I love, love, love the baby phase. I loved his first year of life, but it was incredibly demanding and a huge learning curve. And so as he got a bit older, you, I just started becoming more acutely aware of how quickly time was passing. And I think that that made me feel a bit louder about the whole, it should be me, because this is it.
You know, once he’s this, it’s slipping away. He’s only this little for, for this long. And, but again, I just shooed those thoughts away because I had all these facts in my head, right? That’s not an option for me. I never saw myself as a woman who wouldn’t work. I never wanted to be a mom that didn’t work. My family can’t afford to live in New York City without my income. I don’t know many families that can afford to live here on one income because it’s so expensive.
We are one of those families. And I also just couldn’t quit a job to be home with my kid because I had a business. And that was a whole element, uh, that I was not willing to give up. So though the whisper started getting louder, I just shot it and shot it and shot it.
Okay, now I just wanna kind of go through chronologically because even though these all might just sound like little random bits of anecdotal information, it’s amazing to see how it all came together in ways that the universe was just moving mountains for, but I couldn’t even see on my own.
So in May, uh, I had, I had enrolled my son in this kind of pre preschool program. I’m not gonna get into it, but the point is, I ended up at around that time taking a, uh, class online about, um, uh, learning about, uh, screen time and independent play and just, uh, just an approach to parenting that was drawn, that I was drawn to. I hadn’t really, um, read any parenting books or anything like that.
And this was the first thing that kind of popped out to me. And one of the concepts that they teach in this course that really, really stuck with me is this idea that we believe that, I mean, we, we don’t say this because it just seems so obvious, but the idea is that kids, kids play and adults work, right?
Kids don’t have a job. And this program kind of made you rethink that and shape it that kids do have a job because actually babies even do have a job. Their job is to understand the way the world works. That is their only job.
And for many, many generations, parents did their job of hunting and gathering and cleaning and cooking and surviving alongside children, doing their job of understanding the way the world works. And what that looks like is children understanding their senses, touching different things, playing in dirt, playing in mud, seeing the difference between the two, understanding how much things weigh, understanding how volume works, mass works, cause and effect work, all of that type of thing.
And modern day parenting, without going too much down this rabbit hole, we have almost taken that job away from the child and put that responsibility on the parents to teach kids how the world works, instead of allowing kids to do their job, which is to learn the way the world works.
And as a result, mothers who are already now working, which we have been for, I would say the past, I don’t know, really since the fifties, I think is where when it became very common for women to work, uh, we have now had women start working in addition to mothering. And we have made mothering more complicated by requiring mothers to teach their children something that historically children taught themselves, which is how the world works.
So you have these moms who are now working full-time as much as their husbands are, but still have more on their plates because they are the mother. And whether we wanna admit it or not, society still typically deems the mom the default parent. If a child is sick at school, they typically call the mom, right? That’s just how it goes.
And then we also have made mothering more, uh, uh, responsibility for them because it’s now up to them to explain things, to teach things, to build sensory bins, to bring them to these classes, to go to these classes with them, to do all of these things so much so that motherhood can become virtually impossible feeling.
Now, I didn’t get to that place of burnout, but it really did click to me that my son kind of does have his own little job right now. And where I think, and the point from this course, just so I can wrap that up and then I’ll move on to how this affected me. The point of this course is that they believe screen time has gotten so out of hand for kids because parents believe screens are replacing parents because they believe parents need to basically be entertaining their kids.
And this, this approach, this philosophy is saying that kids don’t need to be entertained. They can entertain themselves and do their job of learning how the world works. So this really clicked for me. I mean, this just really resonated with me. It was just one of those things that even though I had never thought of it in that terminology, once I heard it, I just was like, oh my God, that’s what I’ve always thought.
I just never knew the words to say it. So with that, I started just changing my approach slightly to parenthood in that I would allow myself to work a bit with my son. At first, I was very strict about no laptops, no screens around him. I wanna be fully present, I wanna be playing with him. And I was like, this isn’t helping either of us.
So we got a water table over the summer, and the kid could spend 45 minutes just playing with water, which was great for him. He would pour these buckets and he would splash in the water and he would learn how everything worked. And that was great. And I could sit next to him and answer a few emails. I mean, I wasn’t doing too much work, but I could get a few things done with him. And I loved that we were together, that we were both kind of doing our quote jobs.
Uh, but neither one of us was feeling like we had to kind of entertain the other, and we could still do what was best for us at the time. So I just say that to plant the seed of how I feel like it started to make me more comfortable to have a bit of work around him. I don’t, you know, I, like I said, I’d never call around him. I don’t, I’m not on the, um, my computer for long periods of time with him, but it just kind of became more of a softer concept that we could, I could work around him and it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Okay?
Now, next thing, again, it’s gonna sound totally random, but it all kind of dug the dots connect backward, right? Um, they, the next thing that happened is in June, I was starting to think about the rest of the year.
I was starting to think about Q three and Q four in my business. And typically what we do is I open a few one-on-one coaching spots, uh, you know, in Q three. And then, um, and then we have these v i p days. And so I was just kind of going through that, but I was looking through my coaching and I was really starting to feel like I wanted to offer something slightly different than peer coaching. I feel like, I mean, this is a whole episode on its own.
All these things, honestly are whole episodes on their own. But I feel like there’s something more people need than just to be coached. I found that coaching can be very helpful for some people. Obviously I have huge client success stories and I really stand by coaching. I have a coach myself. I believe in it doing it for others, and I believe in receiving it.
And I think that it is almost used as a crutch sometimes when in reality people need something else. Specifically what I was seeing people need is strategy. They just sometimes need a structure and a framework so they can execute on what they’re actually good at, rather than being coached on figuring out what it is on their own.
Even if the coach kind of can help them decide what it is and outline it for them, it still felt like it was a bit of a disconnect. I also found I was starting to have some, I don’t wanna say just issues with coaching calls, but I was starting to feel like there were some reasons to offer options to work with me without so many calls.
One of which is that I find that I can even do this sometimes. We subconsciously make problems up or not, like make them up, but dwell on them more than we would because we have a scheduled call with a therapist or with a coach or with a consultant or whatever to talk about things.
And we want to quote, get our money’s worth. Okay? I have had therapy in the past, and this is something that I’ve struggled with during it, as I find myself pretty much drumming up like some problem from my childhood beforehand if I don’t have anything to talk about, because I’m like, well, I’m getting therapy. I might as well make sure I’m getting the most of it, and then all of a sudden I’m in a bad mood the rest of the day because I’ve just dug something up that really wasn’t problematic in my life because I felt like I needed to.
And I think the same thing can happen with coaching. We almost feel like, well, I’m paying this person so I have to get my money’s out. And I just don’t know that having that scheduled call time is that effective. And I started really seeing my clients that were really functioning at a high level. We’re doing better by requesting calls with me when they need it, but not clouding their calendar with an ongoing call that they may or may not need.
They just started valuing their time differently. I also believe, I believe the world still is undergoing zoom fatigue from the pandemic and being on Zoom all the time. And so I just was starting to rethink like, how do I want to coach? And the final thing is, I felt like all these coaching calls co were, you know, could feel very reactive.
Almost like, okay, I’m going to talk about what my pro, how I’m feeling today, or what problem I feel like I have today, or even what idea I have today, which isn’t, a bad thing, but I wanted to offer something more proactive than reactive. I wanted to offer something more strategic than mindset and coaching focus, and I wanted to offer something more tangible than conversational.
So, as you might know, that is how my strategic partnership offering was born, which you may or may not have heard of at this point, but it’s exactly what it sounds like.
It’s a way to work with me to receive a customized strategy to implement in your business. And yes, you do have calls with me, yes, you do have Voxer and email, all that type of support, but you have it on a basis to kind of empower you to decide when you do or don’t need help instead of putting you in a situation where all of a sudden you are making up things you need help for to feel like you are, quote, getting your money’s worth.
And or it can empower you to schedule calls when you have something you want to plan proactively rather than having a call and it just spent being reactive to whatever problem you might be having that day or way you might be feeling, or things someone might have said that triggered you or whatever. And again, all of those things aren’t inherently bad, but I knew I was ready to offer something different because I have a lot of type A people in my audience that are great executors.
They’re good at getting things done, they sometimes just need a framework of what is going to work best for them. And I was, I mean, this is another part of it, but I know I can give that to them because online business strategy is, I can literally talk about it in my sleep. It is what I live and breathe. I know it so well, and I’m extremely, extremely good at coming up with it and executing it and seeing things through.
That’s why I have the results of my business. I do with a relatively small audience and working only 30 hours a week up to this point, you know, all of this is coming off of three months from the last six or seven figure sales year I had. So all of this is coming off of my business being at a really profitable time and just wanting to do something, something different.
So anyway, may I have that parenting course happen to me? June, I’m starting to decide that I wanna offer strategic partnerships. I’m starting to think about it. I’m starting to flesh it out. I’m starting to map it out. It’s starting to feel really right. Okay, July comes, July was a rough month for my husband and I emotionally. I opened up about it on another podcast episode, so you can go listen to it. So I’m not gonna get into it right now.
The point is, things in my life were just starting to feel like they were ahead. I’m sure everyone can relate to times like this in their life in different ways, but there are times where you just feel like you have no margin for error. And it feels like every responsibility you have is pulling you to the 100% required version of you, and you have like five of them, and you just feel like you have no room to breathe.
And I was feeling like that about parenthood. I was feeling like that in my business. I was feeling like that about decisions we needed to make up. And coming to preschool, I was feeling like that about other personal things we had going on. I just was feeling like there was one of me and five of me was needed, and I simply could not figure out how to math it.
And I felt like every time I needed to do something more, whether it was for work or we had an expense that we needed to think of and I needed to work more, it was always taking me away from my son. And I just hated that push and pull of his verse work. So July was just a really tough month. Again, you can go listen to the episode if you just wanna hear me be very honest and transparent about a tough time in my life.
But it was, and at first without wanting to admit it, but now I know I was really victimizing myself about it. Okay? I was really kind of just, why is this happening to me? You know, I had so many stories of how hard this was for me. Am I being chased out of New York City because it is so expensive and hard to live here? Can my husband and I both really be entrepreneurs? Because it, there’s so many things that come with it that are so complex. It’s very hard to plan things when you own your own business.
And that is much harder when you have a child. Um, I was feeling like I was talking to all my, so many other mom friends that I meet on the playground. Their parents are paying for their kids, um, private school, you know, I’m not, my parents aren’t paying for, for my son’s school.
It’s up to us. And it’s just, all these things are making me feel like, can I do this? Do I have what it takes? My business has been successful, but we’re really upping the ante here. And I just was feeling like, why me? Why me? Why aren’t I as successful as other people? Why don’t I have as much money as someone else? Why isn’t it easier for me? All that drama.
And finally, I was able to surrender to more of a place of faith and decide even though nothing had changed, that this was going to be happening for a reason, even though I didn’t know what the reason was. And I think that’s such an important point to make. I had a conversation with my masterminds about this today. We all love to say everything happens for a reason once we know the reason.
But the real testament to faith is you being able to say, something’s happening for a reason. I don’t know what it is yet, but I know that it’s happening for a reason and I’m going to function under that belief because that’s the only way I’m gonna actually see that outcome. Whereas if I’m just deciding that this is too hard for me, I can’t handle this. Why is this happening to me? I’m never ever gonna be privy to it.
So I started stepping into that and I just started to believe something’s about to change for me, because I do feel so pressurized right now. Something’s gonna have to give somewhere. I don’t know what it’s gonna be. I don’t know what it’s gonna look like, but I’m ready and willing for this change to be in my best interest. And I just started having that sense of trust again.
And then things started to change as would be a surprise to no one. Okay, so I’m starting to look at my business ’cause we’re about to launch the strategic partnerships, uh, for August. So this is still July, excuse me. And I’m looking at the strategies I can offer people, and I’m feeling really confident because I’m realizing that I am making more money passively than I ever have in my business ever. And I have more monthly recurring revenue than I ever would’ve had at 30 hours a week while becoming a mom.
Basically, I’m just realizing that these strategies are working very well. And I’m also realizing that my schedule is about to be a bit more flexible. I’m not really having any less work, but because my strategic partnerships are structured differently than coaching and because my passive income is so high right now, that is when I’m starting to be like, huh, okay, things are, I have some, I have some wiggle room here.
I think I can work with this. All right? And then I go to the playground one day and I’m talking to another mom who has a kid around the same age as my son, and she tells me about how she is working for this, um, work co-working space that allows children to go there with you. And I’m like, oh my God, I could do that.
And do you know why I can do that? Because I took that course in May that talked about how to encourage your children to be independent players and you work in connection with them or in tandem with them without you having to entertain them. And I’m like, he can totally come to a coworking space with me if I give him a puzzle, if he’s with other kids. If I give him an art project and I’m there with him, we can be together, I can work, he can work.
This is amazing. And I’m not even gonna go into every synchronicity, but I literally felt like the month of August I felt like I was walking on a cloud because I felt like the universe every single day was sending me a new sign of how I can rethink my life, how I can rethink childcare, how I can do, make, rethink my business, how I can rethink just really everything that just felt like there was no way out of it before.
And I’m looking into September, and we are applying for preschools now for the following year. Yes, you have to do it a year in advance as if your kid is applying to Harvard. That is how it is in this city. And I’m like, I have one more year left until my son is in school, and this is my one year to be home with him full-time ever.
Once he’s in school. That’s it. Preschool’s, not full-time. It’s not like it’s eight to six, it’s, it’s actually only a few hours a week. But nonetheless, this is, this is the year, this is my chance. And I literally felt like the month of August heaven was just like, this is what you’re meant to do, Leah. You are, you’ve built a business. You have stayed consistent against all odds. You’ve done this while breastfeeding, you’ve done this while pregnant, you’ve done this while grieving your father, I’m gonna get emotional.
But you showed up every day in and out. You gave value every day in and out. You’ve built relationships in and out. You never gave up. And now you get to receive the benefit from all that you put in, and you get to be a full-time mom with your son for the next year.
And you get to do it without your business being sacrificed. And you get to do it by still helping clients in the best way. You know how I had just months before realized that coaching calls weren’t making as much sense to me as building out strategies for my clients were. And that’s what was getting them better results. You can still do that, Leah. You can do it while being full-time. You can do it while going to work at this space for a little while so he can work with you. You can do it during nap times. Is it gonna be perfect? Of course not.
That’s not how parenthood is. But is it the best thing you could ask for now? And more importantly, have you done something that you never thought you could do? Yes. And so we made some hard decisions. I mean, it didn’t feel hard at the time because everything felt so euphoric and so meant to be.
It was, I will say, extremely heartbreaking, saying goodbye to our nanny because she is like a sister to me and she loves my son like he’s her own. And so that was hard. You know, we’re in New York without family. And when you have someone that you trust with your child as much as you do your partner or you would a family member, that is, that’s hard to say. That’s hard to say bye to. So it wasn’t without its challenges, but nothing in life that’s worth achieving is without its challenges.
And as I’ve said from the beginning of my business, the year my business took off, I said, my word of the year was decision. And what that stood for to me was the learning that it is better to make a wrong decision and learn from it than to make no decision at all and wish you would have done it differently.
So I’m sharing this with you at the beginning of a decision that to be honest, could have been the wrong decision. I may end up here in a few months realizing that I needed the help. I couldn’t do it on my own. It’s too much to be, uh, the owner of a seven figure business and a full-time parent. It is too stressful and I needed help, and that could very well be the truth. But then I will make that decision and I will change and we will figure that out.
But I will always have wished that I could have seen if I could have been with my child more. He’s almost two. These are the most, I don’t wanna say them. They kind of are the most precious years. I mean, it’s not like it gets bad after this, right? But they need you so much right now, and once they’re in school, they have other kids, other support systems, all these other things that you are the only one that gives that to them right now.
And I just knew that if I didn’t at least try, that is something I wouldn’t be okay with. So I hope that my story gives you the opportunity to look at where in your life you are surrendering to things as how you think they must be when that’s not true.
To re-question what you think must be for what you want to be and to stop thinking that stop having sentences of I can’t be because blank. I can’t because I’m busy right now. I can’t because I don’t have the money right now. I can’t because I don’t have enough experience right now. I can’t because now’s just not the right time. It’s not the right time because blank, blank, blank. Take control back of your life. Question what you think is normal, question, what other people tell you are normal and decide what gets to be true for you.
Finally, if you want to employ strategies that allowed me to do this, to literally be able to be with my son without child, without a nanny, without childcare, and still run my business because of my automated income, because of my passive streams, because of my recurring revenue, because of my business structures, sign up for my strategic partnership, that’s where I can teach you how to do this.
That’s where, excuse me, that’s where I literally, that’s exactly what this is for. I can lay out for you the tech and the timelines and the strategies and the steps and everything you need to do to build the infrastructure for a business like this. And it’s a fraction of the cost of my coaching. So my story, I hope helps give you permission to create the own, your own sense of rewritten ness in your own life. And thank you so much for tuning in. I’ll talk to you guys soon. Bye visionaries. Bye.
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