A Briefcase & The Stroller: Find An Alternative To Bringing Your Baby To A Meeting When The Sitter Cancels

April 18, 2014  |  

Welcome to our new column “Mommy Mogul”! This weekly article will cover issues of importance to moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to tgarcia@madamenoire.com. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

Any business mommy knows how quickly your stomach can drop when the person who watches your child unexpectedly cancels. With all of the daycare options, hopefully you’ll never have to experience this, but there’s always a possibility. And what happens when one of your meetings extend beyond childcare business hours? Or maybe you work from home and usually rely on a neighbor to watch your little one for a few hours. What do you do when they are unable at the last minute?

I heavily rely on my husband (who also works from home) to look after our little guy in the event I need to jet off to a meeting – or just get away to the gym. For the most part it works but he also has obligations that take him away from home. With all of our family pretty much out of state, a trusted sitter has to come into play. Sometimes there really are emergencies that come up which begs the question, “Should you just bring your child to the meeting?”

No. Aside from not being a good look, professionally speaking, children, while adorable, are distractions who require our attention for many things. If you find yourself inching closer and closer to a meeting without a sitter, here are some things to consider.

Give your client/customer a heads up. Trust me when I say no one likes being canceled on at the last minute. It really does suck. To prevent this from happening please reach out to your client or customer sooner rather than later to let them know about your situation. There might be a chance they are willing to still hold the get-together with your child present. Let it be their decision.

See if someone else can go in your place. Do you have any employees or associates that work for your business that can sit in as a proxy? You might need to rely on them to make this a home run. See if someone knowledgeable of this client/situation can go in your place. Just make sure they understand they’re running the meeting so they come prepared.

Find another way to conduct the meeting. Thankfully we live in an era where communication has evolved to hold meetings from the comforts of your home. While you will probably need to reschedule, also throw out the idea of a conference call via phone or Skype if the meeting needs to cover time sensitive material.

Be honest. I don’t make it a secret that I am a new mom. In fact, I am pretty darn proud of it. I always tip my hats to moms as we juggle motherhood and taking care of business. Rather than lie about your situation, honesty is always best. Seeing as you are going to give an excuse about why you can’t go, just tell the truth – the average person will most likely be understanding. It happens. Would you even trust someone in business if they are willing to neglect their responsibilities?

How have you dealt with sitter no-shows and meetings?

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