5 things I learned from startup life in becoming a SAHD

UPDATE 01/07/17: Delighted to say, this post was the featured post on the DaddiLife site, happy days!


I’ve mentioned Pubble a few times in previous posts. Prior to becoming a SAHD, I’ve worked there for the last 5 years and loved every minute of it, it was a big part of my life. So I’ve decided to list a few key lessons I’ve learned from working in a ‘tech startup‘ which are helping me in my current new role as a SAHD.

Lesson #1 – Startups are just like children, neither are a ‘9-5’ role

Since becoming a SAHD, I’ve learned this fairly fast! Of course I knew it theoretically, but only when you are 100% committed to looking after your children full time do you fully get it.

With a start up, you’ll often find yourself sitting with your laptop in front of you trying to get something done long after your work day has finished. In fact, the only break you’re likely to take is to have your supper & spend some quality time with your kids. Once they’re in bed, the laptop is glued to you again until it’s lights out time.

With kids, picture the above, except swap the laptop for one baby strapped to your chest and the other toddler literally stuck to your leg shouting at you to ‘do the robot again daddy, again!‘ Either that or she’s crawling all over my shoulders grabbing me by the neck and trying to remove my adams apple via a very primitive  form of surgery. After that, trust me, you’re too tired to go online and your lights will go out while you’re still on the couch with the TV on and the gob open. Gotta say, feckin love it though.

Lesson #2 – Do your research:

If you were a researcher for a radio or TV show and you didn’t do your researching properly, they’d fire your lazy ass. OK so bar a horrible divorce with a restraining order, technically you can’t get ‘fired‘ from looking after your children – at least I don’t think you can (stand to be corrected).

In Business Development, you need to do your homework on any industry you are targeting as potential business. You want sales and they’re not going to just fall into your lap. So when you engage, you need to know about your potentials, you need to have done your research.

But when you become a SAHD, failure to research certain information – for example, finding out info on kids food, potential allergies, education, activities, having fun with crafts & games to play (etc) – well, you might as well scratch your balls off a greater cause if you don’t, your missus sure as fuck will.

In all seriousness, failure to do this is a major injustice to your children’s development, fun & growth and you don’t want to be that SAHD.

Lesson #3 Scheduling:

StartUp Lessons for a SAHD

In work, it’s so important. When you work in a startup, it’s more so. When you work remotely from your home (albeit in an office converted room), it’s doubly important.

You schedule your day – arrange meetings / reply to unanswered emails / make calls for new business / send follow up emails / request PO (purchase order) for new sales / prepare invoices / chase payments / training calls / demo calls / promote events / confirm renewals / update social channels etc. Your day is structured. You feel the benefit from it. You feel satisfaction. You feel good.

On a personal level, scheduling has always been my achilles heel, my missus will vouch for that. I get that’s it’s important – pretty much essential actually – but knowing it & implementing it are two  very different things. But since becoming a SAHD, let’s just say I’ve had a change of heart – and not just cause the missus told me too 🙂

So far, I’ve scheduled swimming lessons / ballet classes / baby massage classes / playdates / zoo trips / Grandad visits just to name a few. And now that the summer holidays have just begun, I’ve to get me finger out and schedule some more.

It’s gives you a clear structure as to what your day looks like. That then allows you to pack/prepare correctly for whatever you have planned. You will also have a better day with your nippers. Like work, you will feel the benefit.  You’ll have satisfaction. You will feel great.

Lesson #4 Being aware of the dangers out there for kids using tech today:

StartUp Lessons for a SAHDThis feckin internet thingy won’t work, what’s wrong with it?, sure it’ll never catch on‘ says my Dad a few years back. To be fair to Dad, he has gotten a good bit better. But it’s a generation thing. It’s what you have been brought up with, what you are (or in his case, are not) used to.

I’m also amazed at the amount of people in my age bracket, even mates of ours, that just don’t know how to navigate their phones & the web efficiently. Bar Facebook and WhatsApp, forget about it. How the hell are you suppose to understand what your children are doing online (or will be doing when they get older)? It’s so important cause they will run rings around you, especially if get a whiff that you haven’t a baldy what they are on about.

Depending on their age, you bet your ass they will be very stupid and naive online (at some stage). It’s so important that we as parents know and understand the different platforms they are using, know (at the very least) the basics of navigating from A to B on whatever platform they are on. Online bullying is massive and in the worst case scenario, can & has led to teenage suicide. If you arm yourself with the knowledge, hopefully you will smell what’s happening and then act on it.

So know how to search previous sites visited, monitor what times your children are online, if they are using alias names etc. I’m not saying spy on them, but I am saying make yourself aware & understand the basics. You might not have been brought up with it, but they sure as hell are/will be.

Don’t be one of those who say ‘agh that thing, jazsus, sure I know nothing about that

Lesson #5 Likability:

StartUp Lessons for a SAHDIn sales / biz dev, likability cannot be underestimated. It is crucial. Especially if you are also the account manager. Building & developing relationships (weather on a personal or business level) goes a long way in generating new business. Basically likability is great for sales – ‘You don’t just back the horse, you back the jockey’.

The same likability is great when it comes to being a SAHD. It’s great for getting to know other parents who you meet when dropping your kids off at creche. It’s great for getting on well with teachers / instructors / GP’s / dentists / sports coaches etc who deal with your children. It helps you get to know these very important people, it builds trust and trust is what opens doors. That door could be for a playdate and coffee or for a business deal.

Where trust is what opens doors, it’s likability that knocked on the door in the first place.

& so to summarise:

Prior to working with Pubble, I previously worked in the Pensions industry for 10 year and holy shit what a different mindset that industry has VS a startup. It is polar-opposites. Working in a tech startup has thought me so much, I genuinely feel privileged to have worked in two such diverse industries.

But ya know what? There are way more similarities between being part of a tech start up & being a SAHD than I thought. I get social media, I understand it. I will keep myself up to date on new platforms and how to use them. I will know what my children are up to in the future.  And you know what, it will serve me and my kids well, I hope.

Proud to link up with….

Rhyming with Wine
Pink Pear Bear
Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
Reflections From Me
3 Little Buttons
My Random Musings

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Avatar Janet says:

    I love a good schedule, it makes me feel safe and reminds me of what I need to do. I have several to do lists and then I amalgamate them all into one larger monthly schedule that runs over a yearly period.

    Planning and being organised is always a good thing!

    Great tips!

    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

    1. Janet – my wife would absolutely love you haha. Monthly lists that amalgamate into a yearly one, holy christ that’s her idea of heaven!!! In fact, I’ve just read your comment out loud to The Missus and she’s going to reply to you too 🙂 I’m mentioned before I know the importance of being organised (via scheduling) but it just doesn’t come naturally to me – I am trying though 🙂 Thanks a million for commenting. Regards, Ross #AnythingGoes

  2. I definitely hear you with the security of our kiddies online.,and being more tech savvy to be able to monitor them. It’s a good job I’m like the mi5 ! Ain’t nothing gets passed this Mummy! lol.
    Scheduling is a massive part of my day too, I need to feel organised to stay focused.
    It sounds like you are totally rocking it at being a SAHD! Cheers to that 🙂

    Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC. Hope to see you tomorrow.

    1. Hey Jayne. I’ve only just noticed your comment now, somehow I missed it, so sorry! I’m laughing at the ‘I’m like the MI5’ comment. Fair play to you. I can’t say I’m at the level (yet!!). We need to have a ‘working knowledge’ at the very minimum for their safety & our nerves! Being honest, scheduling is my achilles heel in general but I am getting better with it and it does help my day. Thank you for the kind words! Whatever about rocking it, I am certainly loving it!!! (But I am rocking it hehe :-)) #MMBC

  3. What a clever way of putting it. It’s true with anything, the more you put in, the more you get back. And the more organised you are as a parent, the better experience you will get out of it and the happier the tiddlers will be. Now back at work, I am much more relaxed on the scheduling. Looks like you are doing brilliantly.

    Thanks so much for joining us for the #DreamTeam.
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons would luv you to read…#DreamTeam Linky 21My Profile

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Well thank you Annette, I’m trying my best that’s for sure! I’m still not the greatest at the whole scheduling thing, I’ve always been like that but it is improving that’s for sure. What I do now know for certain, is that ad-hoc scheduling is not the best plan of attack!!!! How are you finding being back at work? Hope it’s going well for you. Thanks for commenting, Regards, Ross #DreamTeam

  4. This is spot on, I can see why it was featured! It’s just that the wages are different! You just get paid in love and affection instead of money. I find I still have to chase my two for payment sometimes though! 😉 Thanks for sharing with the #bigpinklink
    Louise Pink Pear Bear would luv you to read…Postnatal depression. My story.My Profile

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Agh thanks Louise, thanks a million! The love & affection is dynamite isn’t it? It’s hard to be topped alright. I’m with ya 100%, a bit of cash for it wouldn’t go astray – if only!!! I find that running after the Nips (for the payment) adds to the fun and they absolutely love the chase – win win !! Delighted to share with #bigpinklink, nice one for reading (& liking). Cheers, Ross #bigpinklink

  5. I definitely get the being aware of tech bit and the scheduling! Interesting the comparisons you can make! #DreamTeam
    Carol Cameleon would luv you to read…Bags of LoveMy Profile

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Thanks Carol, yep, both are fairly important alright. Since Nip#1 started big school a few weeks back, her activities have also recommenced. Swimming / Ballet / Singing / Karate so 4/5 days are booked up. And I still get some asking me, ‘Sure what do you do all day, watch TV is it?!’ #DreamTeam

  6. Avatar Lucy At Home says:

    Interesting post. It’s a take I’ve not come across before – parenting from the business-world view. I’m glad you’re enjoying being a SAHD too #DreamTeam

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Thanks Lucy, I’m absolutely loving being a SAHD. If the shoe fits ya know! Glad you liked the post and took the time to read & comment, Regards, Ross. #DreamTeam

  7. this made me chuckle because I work at a tech company and this all rings true for work and being a mum! im not a SAHM but I have Friday off with my boy. he is only 3 so im not worried about online stuff just yet but it does worry me for the future. I def echo that it is essential for parents to know about various platforms and keep up to date on this stuff! #bigpinklink

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Haha, brilliant. The company I worked with – Pubble is a SAAS company & The Missus is with Airbnb so it’s pretty cool to get validation from another techie on my points!! Our eldest is 4 so I’m with you but it’s the days ahead I’ve concerns about. Thanks so much for reading & commenting, regards, Ross. #bigpinklink

  8. Uncanny similarities. Unfortunately parenting does not pay nor do you get annual leave! #dreamteam

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      When I first wrote them down, I thought the same thing – uncanny! Agh, if only payment was possible for parenting, now there’s a great thought!!! Thanks for commenting, Regards, Ross #DreamTeam

  9. Avatar From Day Dot says:

    Makes a lot of sense! Transferable skills are a wonderful thing, you just wouldn’t expect them to transfer from a start up to stay at home parenting! The bit about kids knowing tech it so true and terrifying, my nieces and nephews can navigate an iPad as though they had one to keep them occupied in the womb! #bigpinklink

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Yeah! Have to admit, when I drafted up similarities between the two, it took a while, even The Missus had to give me a dig out but once we had numerous points down, I was kind of shocked myself but they all hold true. I want our kids to be tech savvy when older as there are so many benefits but I have concerns over a number of things. Only way to keep on top of the situation is to be pro-active yourself and keep up to date cause they’ll run rings around you if you don’t. Love your expression about having an iPad in the womb – very very funny! Thanks for reading/commenting, Regards, Ross #bigpinklink

  10. I love this comparison – I love the way actually we should treat parenting as a career – I know that’s not exactly what you said but if we take control of parenting and not just drift through it we will surely get so much more out of it as will the children. We need to give it the focus it deserves so that the outcome (be it the grown up children) will be the best we could have achieved! A great read! #DreamTeam

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Well thank you very much Helen, really nice thing to say. And I agree completely. Now, if only there is was big great employer who will pay us all really well for being parents hahaha! Majority of people put so much effort into their job, from getting up, the commute, effort while in work etc etc, why in God’s name shouldn’t we have the same mindset for parenting? We should. And majority of us do but clearly I cannot speak on behalf of all the parents in the world but you get my point!?!. Really glad you liked this post, thanks for taking the time to read it & comment. Regards, Ross #DreamTeam

  11. This is all very true. Scheduling is vital! This stay st home parenting job would be much easier if it came with an employee handbook but it doesn’t. Fortunately I’m not worried about online security as it is my husbands speciality, it is at least one piece of research I don’t have to do. Currently I concider myself close to expert on phonetics even though I only heard about them about 6 months ago.

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Yes! An EE handbook would be class! Shame it’s not a one size fits all gig though! Having an online security expert in-house must really help. I’m going to look up phonetics right now haha!! (no, seriously I am :-)) Thanks for commenting, Regards, Ross #bigpinklink

  12. I’m relatively tech savvy but still occasionally find myself being schooled by students in computer classes. Young students. I’m not sure i’ll still be as ‘with it’ or up to date by the time my two year old is surfing the web. A few schools are already teaching internet safety as part of their ICT curriculum. Here’s hoping it becomes the norm across the board.


    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Yep, fair point. Even with being tech savvy, which like you I would say I am, your point is on the money. By the time our daughters get to a certain age and surfing the net is their absolute default, unless we are doing some serious learning about what’s hot in the digital world via startups & latest apps we will struggle. But we have to make that effort, tech savvy or not. Making internet safety part of any school curriculum is vital and should be a priority. For me, so should coding. Currently in Ireland, Coder Jodo (https://coderdojo.com/) is trying to change that for kids. Not involved personally but when my girls reach that age, I (& they) will be. Love your linky #fartglitter with rhymingwithwine. Chat soon, The Stented Papa!

  13. Haha this is great! I bet it’s fab being able to use so many of your skills as a sahd from your work life. I love the like ability one – so true! A friendly face and a trusting relationship with others gets you so far X #fartglitter

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      It sure is Sarah. To be honest, when I sat down to write it, after an initial mental block, I was surprised with how many points were similar. Likeability is a massive part of it for me (both roles I mean). It leads to trust – in business that means closing a deal, in personal life it leads to new friendships – either way, if you have it, it’s a win win buzz.Just followed you & liked you on Twitter/FB. Thanks a million for your comment, Ross. #fartglitter

  14. I’ve never seen it that way, but a lot of your points make sense. Hope you’re enjoying being a SAHD

    1. Ross Good Ross Good says:

      Well thank you very much, I’m delighted some of my points hold some relevance for you. I’ve loved the ‘StartUp life’, I got hooked to its ways very fast. Easy it certainly is not, but so rewarding it most definitely is – which you can easily apply to being a stay at home parent. To be honest, I’m absolutely loving the journey of being a SAHD. It’s amazing. I wake up each day full of beans, bouncing. Bring on the day (with my girls) – yeah baby yeah! Ross.

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