No. of Recommendations: 2
<i.That's one of the reasons I think this subject is worth discussion for the self employed: how can this experience be one that is positive for a spouse and children?


I think quite a lot of it really depends upon what the business is. I can see, for example, that a retail store or a butcher shop requires more time simply because you have to be open certain hours, and the public has a set group of expectations on what should be offered, so you don't get as much flexibility. My DH is self-employed, but he is a General Contractor, and he specializes in those small jobs that no one else wants because that way he can do them himself, they don't take very long, and the mere fact that he's willing to return calls and actually show up to do the job allow him to charge a premium. Most of his work to date has been right on our street, and I think his current job is the first time he has even left town.

The advantages are many. He has incredibly flexible hours and can choose not to work on any particular day or afternoon, so he's been able to do things like chaperone the kids' school events or take them wherever they need to be such as sports events or doctor appointments. My kids are 12, so they are also big enough to help, and it is not unusual for them to go with him on a job and do some small thing like pick up the scraps, put the nails in the holes [that's actually a really big deal on things like decks], hold the wood while he's cutting it on the saw so the piece doesn't drop, etc. For these things, he pays them, and they get a great thrill out of the fact that I actually cut them a check for their labor, and they typically take it down to the bank themselves to cash it or deposit it into their Roth IRA. So this gives them some quality 1x1 time with Dad as he tends to only take one at a time, and it gives them some extra money that they like to save for retirement [I'm sure that will change as they get older].

My DH's grandfather used to own a small grocery store/butcher shop when my DH was small, and he has some very fond memories of helping Papa in the store. And the big treat was that when the delivery man was making his rounds delivering the groceries, the kids would get to ride on the truck and help, and sometimes they would get delivered someplace like the beach or at home where Nana had lunch waiting. These are some of his special memories, so again, I think it's a matter of what the business is, and how the person attempts to include the children.

But it doesn't have to be all negative. There can be some very positive experiences as well.
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