This upcoming school year is going to cause some mega change in our household. I am the mother of three boys and my oldest is going to middle school and my baby is going to first grade. For the first time ever, all of my kids will be gone all day. In all honesty, I am torn between two emotions. Excitement and sadness. My kids will be gone…all…day! WHOOP!
But the other part of me is really sad about it too. Our family life will never really be the same again. I'll have free time during the day (to some degree) but as you know, my tutoring hours are in the afternoons or evenings which is prime time for being with your own kids! My boys last year wanted to do sports which I agreed to because my husband could help. Even with his help, sports increased the stress here at our household. I am not sure I can do that again!
The Decision Staring Me Down
I want to be available for my kids in the evenings. They need me around while they do homework. They want me there while they are at practice. What's a tutor to do? Here are my options:
1. Quit tutoring all together
I don't love this option. Really I don't! I struggle with this one because I know that I am making a huge impact in the lives of many students. I find tremendous joy in tutoring and I can't imagine stopping. My husband argues that I could just tutor one or two students, but as many of you know, it is SO hard to say no to prospect students. I'll get a call from a parent or a referral from a previous student and I do my best to wiggle them into my schedule. I don't feel like I should do that anymore. It's not fair to my children.
What many of you don't see, is that I spend waaaayyyyy too many hours working on The Tutor House. Between answering your emails, writing posts, creating the podcast, helping tutors, and interacting in the Just for Tutors Facebook group; I work about 50 hours a week (with very little pay–something I tell you not to do!).
I squeeze these actions into every waking hour on top of tutoring. Honestly, when most are asleep I am working on keeping The Tutor House moving forward. I keep working on this because I see that together we are making a tremendous impact on students worldwide! And again, I find so much joy in that.
But I've been experiencing panic attacks lately. They come out of nowhere too and I know that I've got to slow down and enjoy what God has given me. You may have wondered how I do it all, guess what? I don't. Things get left undone all the time here at our home. Time with friends is gone for the most part. Time with my husband is minimal. NOT GOOD.
At what point do you say, “Is this all worth it?” Can you relate?
2. Hire help
This year I hired Danielle Novack to help me out here at The Tutor House. She is a saint to take such little pay for all she does and yet I can't shake that I need to hire more people to support my private tutor business and The Tutor House if I am to stay sane. Because my private tutor business is run completely out of my home, hiring a contracted tutor seems like such a chore to me right now. Not only would I have to find a place that this tutor could teach, but find the money to pay this person and manage them. Seems like I am adding a whole different level of hassle and problems that in the long run may not help me that much.
I also struggle with letting go of control. If I hire another tutor to help me, that is my name that they could totally trash in one bad decision. Something that could take years to recover from!
I could go a total different route and hire someone to clean my home and watch my children, but this goes against my decision to be a stay at home mom that I made eleven years ago. My children have learned how to do their own laundry, clean a bathroom, mow the lawn, vacuum, dust, etc. They still need time to practice these skills. It doesn't make sense to hire someone to watch my children either because I really do enjoy being a mother and I don't want to miss out on all the good/bad that comes with that. All these thoughts lead to me to my next choice.
3. Move my entire business to day time hours only
Since all my boys will be at school all day, I have from 9 to 4 pm each day child free. This is a big blessing! The Tutor House could get done during those hours, that's doable. But the private tutor business? That's where it gets tricky! I completed the pricing guide found in the Profitable Tutor Framework and discovered that to make $30,000 per year in my private tutor business, I would need to be making $70 per hour and work 20 hours per week. I know for sure, that is not going to happen in the evenings! Then I thought about attempting to make $140 per hour and only work 10 hours per week, this seemed possible but the way it would come together seems foggy.
- I could try to break into the homeschool market
- I could pitch working inside of the private schools, but hired by parents
- I could move my entire tutoring business online and do tutoring remotely
The third option scares the tar out of me. Here's why:
Knowing what I know about building The Tutor House, it takes a lot of work to keep a big site like this moving forward. If I was going to build a new online business, I know what systems and help I would need. Those things cost $$$$. Yikes. And then there is fear. Can I really do the online tutoring business that is in my head? Sometimes I hear a little voice that whispers, “yes”.
So there you have it. The decision staring me down. I still don't have an answer, but I am going to be doing more research to figure it out. I'll share what I explore along the way here on The Tutor House.
If you were in my shoes, what would you choose to do and why?