We run a small business together while raising a young family. Literally a Mom & Pop operation.

Our business is in an industry that encourages - almost requires - spending your off hours on contributions and community. back in the day, I was pretty happy with giving up most of my work days and my leisure time to my work community, but now that kids are in the picture, something has to give.

When we participate in off-hours events, it comes down to basic economics: is it worth $80 of babysitting money for us both to maintain a community presence? Usually, the answer is no.

It's hard for me, because I literally started this community, and it had evolved from another community into which I had poured my heart and soul. It's painful to believe that I deserve to be on the sidelines, but I also know that my husband gets more respect and appreciation than I ever will, so it's actually a better call for my business to stay home while he maintains our presence.

It's bittersweet: I realize that I'm not as valuable as I once was, but I'm also aware that I don't need to be valued in the same ways to maintain my happiness. It's not that I'm content to be "just a mom"; it's that we're taking turns, and I get to consider more and different uses for my time. I prioritize our finances and our business because the resources I can get from my business serve me better than the vanity of being "respected."

But tonight, I got to set this aside. We hired a sitter and we both attended a work/community event together. I got to learn a new game and have a good time.

It's nice to step out once in awhile!