BOSSES IN THE WILD // Kathleen on the Startup Pregnant Podcast

May 11, 2018

It’s been awhile since Emily and Kathleen have specifically talked about being Mom Bosses on Being Boss, but recently Kathleen was a guest on Sarah Peck’s Startup Pregnant Podcast where she talked about gathering a community and village around raising a child so you don’t have to be just one thing. And in today’s minisode, she’s expanding on that conversation and talking about why she loves daycare. You can listen to Kathleen’s full episode of The Startup Pregnant Podcast here >>

This Episode Brought to You By:
"Sometimes we don’t ask for help or support from our family because we feel like with all that freedom and flexibility we should be doing it all."
- Kathleen Shannon


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Kathleen Shannon 0:04
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Kathleen Shannon 0:45
Hello, bosses, it's Kathleen here. So it's been a while since Emily and I have specifically talked about being mom bosses on the podcast, but is something I'm constantly talking about IRL in real life. It's really hard whenever you're a parent to talk about anything other than being a parent. And it's really hard whenever you're a creative business owner to talk about anything other than your business. And I love talking about both of them. So I was so excited to get the opportunity to talk about the intersection of parenthood and business over on the start up pregnant podcast, which is a new podcast hosted by Sarah Peck who is on a mission to interview pioneering women entrepreneurs and creative leaders, about the messiness that makes up real life as parents and professionals. Now you all know I am incredibly passionate about business. And as a mom, I'm still navigating the challenges that come with being a working parent. And honestly, I probably don't talk a lot about how I manage raising my kid, because half of the time, I feel like I'm totally failing or doing it all wrong, which is kind of what parenting and 2018 will do to you. Because there's so much information about what it means to be a good parent. It's all out there. Everyone's trying to tell you what to do and when to do and how to do. And the truth is, it's just is it is messy, and it is hard. But many of us are creative entrepreneurs, because we want to have the freedom and flexibility to dig into that mess, right? We want to be able to work around our kids schedules. And we don't want to have to call in or ask permission, when we need to take a day off because our kiddo is running a fever, or I don't know, because we want to play hooky and go to the zoo. But that can be a double edged sword. Sometimes we don't ask for help or support with our family. Because we feel like with all that freedom and flexibility that we should be doing it all. And that's just not the case. Even if you work for yourself, even if you only have one kid, it is impossible to do at all.

Kathleen Shannon 2:56
In this episode of startup pregnant Sara asked me if there was anything I especially wanted to touch on. And it is this daycare is okay. Listen, I know that daycare isn't for everyone. I wasn't even sure it was for me. But if I can help at least one more working parent feel empowered to choose daycare to invest in daycare, I will preach it all day long. So here's a clip from that episode where I am talking about daycare, I'm talking about the village. I'm talking about how we're putting way too much pressure on individuals to be just one thing. So check out this clip about how things change over time and how we need community. And sometimes that includes daycare.

Sarah Peck 3:48
daycare is something I know that you're passionate about, by the way, you mentioned it, you brought your kid to daycare around eight weeks, it sounds like six weeks, eight weeks. Yeah, tell me why you love daycare and what it's been like for you?

Kathleen Shannon 4:00
Well, I think that there's this trend with attachment parenting and just parents, you know, our age or this day and age where you know, people say things like it takes a village. But then whenever it comes down to it, I feel like we're expected to be everything to our children to be making all of the food to be co sleeping to be breastfeeding, or sleep training. You know, like to be all these things to this person. I think the same thing happens in marriage a lot, too. You know, maybe this is a good thing to relate it to, especially for your listeners who don't have kids is like whenever you put so much pressure on your partner to be everything to you, from your best friend, your lover to your house manager to all the things like that's where it just, it's just too much. It's too much pressure. And so for me for daycare, I just felt like you know, everyone talks about this village and it takes a village but no one is actually talking about their village or really relying on their village or kind of breaking down what their village looks like whenever it's made. Making my decision about daycare and feeling really guilty about it. Honestly, I started Googling why daycare is awesome. Remember, that's the exact search phrase I used. This is like my secret. As a parent. I'm constantly googling like, my worst fears and insecurities like whenever it comes to parenting, like, why does my kid hate me? So I was googling, why is daycare awesome.

Kathleen Shannon 5:21
And I could not find the article I kept reading articles about, you know how to find a good daycare. But all of them were kind of had this nuanced message that daycare was the least desirable of all of my options. And that it was like, the articles were phrased almost as consolation. Like, if you can't stay at home with your kid, you know, here's why daycare is okay. And I wanted that, like, Here is why daycare is the best thing ever article. That's the support that I needed. And it wasn't out there. And so I decided that if the article wasn't out there, I was going to write it myself. And I wasn't able to really articulate all of this until my kid had been in daycare for about a year or two. And here's what I found, I found that one that daycare is an investment. So I know a lot of women get really frustrated, especially whenever the cost of daycare takes up a huge chunk of their paycheck. But I want to mention a couple of things here is that, you know, unless you're a single mom, daycare is a household expense, like this is an expense that comes out of the whole bucket, it shouldn't just come out of like, oh, the moms salary. And I feel like this is a default, that happens so much. And it's a default, that people aren't really considering how sexist it is. And then, you know, if your job makes you happy, and my job does make me happy. So even if my child was going to daycare, and it was eating up my entire paycheck, I feel like one it's not forever. So it's an investment in that way, I'm able to grow my business as my child is in daycare, even if I'm making no money, but also, I think of it as like an investment in energy. And so if your job makes you happier, you're going to be a happier parent whenever your kid comes home. So that's huge. And then also, you know, going back to the village idea, like, it's really easy to think of daycare as this like anonymous, faceless, nameless institution, right. But the truth is, is that there are people at daycare who will love on your baby. And even now that my son is four years old, he goes to like a Montessori slash daycare. So he's starting to get into that preschool age. And he's learning so much there. And the women and men who are there teaching him, like they love him so much. And I feel like it's just expanding his capacity for love by being loved by more people than just mean.

Sarah Peck 7:41
So have you written this article? Why daycare is awesome.

Kathleen Shannon 7:44
Yeah, I've written it. It goes into all these points that I'm mentioning here. So I will send that to you. If you have Yeah, no, we have shown Okay, yeah, yeah. Something else I always hear is like, oh, but I didn't have a baby, so someone else could raise it. And like, you guys, it's awesome to have someone else raise your kid. Like if someone else is teaching my kid how to poop in the potty and how to dance and read, I feel like daycare is far more hands on with my kid than I could be if he was home with me all day. Because the truth is, whenever he's home with me all day, he's on his iPad, because I got to work.

Sarah Peck 8:18
I'm probably right there with you. I love so much about what daycare, at least the daycare that we're in offers our kid he learned so much from the teachers and from the other kids. And it's right for him. I miss him sometimes, like my ideal would probably be four days a week instead of five days a week. But each parent the got you got to figure it out and decide on your own. And there's so much to put in there. I also love what you said about the village part. It's so strange that like if we were doing diversification of a portfolio, if we were investing our money, we wouldn't put all the money in one fund yet that somehow what we do with parents were like you have one mom, and this is the only person who shall ever matter to you. And it's like, actually, what have you had a robust portfolio of like 12 adults who loved you and took care of you and that you could learn from it just it's such an interesting and weird model where we've shoved all this responsibility on a single person and then made them feel really guilty for not being able to do all of that.

Kathleen Shannon 9:13
Amen. And you know, I love what you said, though, about like it being right for each child. And each parent. And this is another thing that really helped me through the whole process. And it's still helping me through the process is that I can change my mind at any point. Like I we can figure something else out. And we have, you know, so for actually, you know, after I wrote that article, and my kid was around two and a half, I think I actually pulled him from daycare. So his very favorite teacher left to be a nanny, and I could tell that he was kind of miserable for about a week and the teacher that had left to become a nanny, the other family said, Hey, do you want a nanny share? And so we did that for a year. And we did that until it didn't work anymore. And then he went back to daycare. And so I think that's the other thing about parenting that I didn't know before I was a parent and I still get kind of Stuck in this black and white linear thinking earlier, you're talking about how we have so many complex layered emotions. And I think that what we see on the internet is either like funny title books, like my kid is in a hole, or the perfect Pinterest, Instagram, custom made clothes from France on babies, you know, like, we just see the happy side or the hard side, or, you know, just these one dimensional emotions that are attached to parenting. Yeah, that's like, something I'm learning through is that it's complex and layered, and I can be happy and like, so full of love and gratitude, and also so angry at the same time. But bringing this back to daycare, it's just that like, I wish I knew before going into parenting, how fluid it is, and how much you know, you just have to evolve with it. Because your kid is constantly changing who you are, as a parent is constantly changing, your business is constantly changing. And that will call for different, you know, requirements.

Sarah Peck 10:52
That's so smart. And that applies to both business and parenting, what works in your business marketing strategy for a year, what you're doing on Facebook, or Pinterest, or wherever it might work. And then it might stop working. And you have to figure out a new strategy. And it's exactly the same when it comes to your kid. He may love daycare for a year and then all of a sudden, oh, it's time to switch things have changed. The inputs are different. He needs more space to run whatever it is.

Kathleen Shannon 11:16
Yeah, totally. Alright, so there you have it. I am a huge fan of working and doing the work and being a boss. And I'm a huge fan of being a mom, but I cannot do it alone. I need help. And I'm guessing that you all probably need help, too. And maybe you don't even have kids and you're just thinking about it and you're trying to figure out, can I do it? I know for me whenever I was thinking about having a kid I was doing so much research and I think startup pregnant is a great resource for digging in. Whether you have a kid or are maybe wanting a kid, but you also have a business and or are wanting to grow a business. Listen to the rest of my episode of startup pregnant with Sarah Peck wherever you listen to podcasts.

Kathleen Shannon 12:07
This minisode was brought to you by twenty20. Check them out at That's t w e n t y 20 as in the slash v boss.

Emily Thompson 12:21
Did you like this minisode Be sure to check us out on our website at There you can find more from being boss including our full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work be boss