For my full-time job, I work with small businesses and help with their online presence. Today, I received a call from a client around 5pm. Our office is open ‘til 6pm, so it’s not unusual. 5pm is usually when I start making my son his dinner, but I decided to take the call because I thought it’d be quick. It ended up being a 10-minute call (which isn’t bad at all!) but a few minutes into the call, my son started yelling for me while he was in his pack and play. Before I took the call, I even turned on his favorite TV show in hopes that would help. Well, I moved from the kitchen to the laundry room with my phone and laptop, hoping that would help my client not hear my son.
Luckily, we had finished what we really needed to talk about to move forward with our project, and he told me he could “hear my boss calling for me” and that I better go listen. I laughed and agreed, and my client laughed about how it is 5pm and he knows it’s time for me to get done work! I told my client that he was right, my son is my boss and he tells me what to do all day!
My client told ME to go, he said “well you better go! I’ll talk with you soon.” And I told him I would be in touch within the next day. It was a quick call, but I don’t think that small business owner understands how much him acknowledging that there was a screaming baby in the background meant to me. It’s not the first time it’s happened. Some clients don’t acknowledge it, others acknowledge it without saying anything and then other times I just don’t take the call. My client made me feel OK and normal for having a kid in the background.
Do you know why small business owners understand working moms so well? Because they are either a working mom/dad/parent themselves, they work alongside a working mom/dad/parent or their own customers are parents and they interact with families daily. I don’t know if my client is a parent, but in the business he is in I know he works with families and I’m sure sees a mom just like me with her kids every day, or talks to them on the phone and it happens to them too.
This is the type of interaction we need between businesses. This client helped me realize that I shouldn’t be nervous to take a call with my son nearby or have him noisy in the background. I am a working mom, working from home with my son because we are going through a pandemic and it’s what’s best for my family. And that’s okay.