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June 17, 2015 at 5:45 am #992035NataMember
- Total posts: 9
Hello, I was wondering how other people manage their time running a business while at the same time looking after small children. One great thing of course is I can fit my business around my kids and personally, I love being able to spend time with my kids. However, I also get extremely frustrated that I can hardly be as efficient as I would like to be.
My son is in kindy at school, but I am at home with my nearly two year old daughter and she has a very unpredictable sleep cycle so I find myself returning phone calls days late or with a child screaming for my attention in the background. Moments at the computer or phone are snatched to answer urgent emails and everything else gets done in the small hours after teaching our classes in the evening.
I absolutely love the time in the evening when my husband gets home to look after the kids and I get to teach sewing and connect with other adults. I really, really enjoy the practical/teaching aspect of my business and the contact with the clients revives me from the mummy routine. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. What I don’t love is being up till two in the morning to do my admin
Are there other mums and dads in the same position? What are your coping strategies? Do you sleep? And most importantly, is there a business meetup/networking group for parents with kids in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. You know, where you can have a coffee, discuss aspects of running a small business, exchanging ideas while the kids play in the play area. Where you can talk business and wipe noses at the same time and noone minds? If not, is anyone in the same boat and interested in a monthly catch up?
Have a lovely (rainy) day.
NataschaJune 17, 2015 at 11:13 am #1184608TehCamelMember
- Total posts: 873
I definitely have some challenging days. At least my wife is usually home on the days they don’t have childcare, so it’s not the same thing. I get them when they are sick though.
You mention it’s the admin side of hings that’s an issue – have you considered a VA to help with some of that?June 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm #1184609Past-MemberMember
- Total posts: 1,815
My kids are all adults now, but I have a couple of young friends who have toddlers who put the kids into day care for a couple of days or a few hours here and there. It helps the toddlers make friends as well. When I first began in the late 80s I had a very large separate studio at home. I didn’t have any help or daycare available when mine were little, but I had a good routine in that my studio had a special kids corner where my child and another little one I looked after would play and have their day sleeps and ‘pretend to work’ with desks and toy phones each and played safely in the backyard outside the studio door. It’s a long time ago now, but I found it helpful having a routine and designated areas. And back then I also taught kids drawing/painting classes after school from the studio a couple of times a week which they joined in. Then I changed again and adapted to other changes including moving and life changes. Nothing ever stays the same – it’s about adapting and finding the way through for your circumstances at that particular point in time. Regarding your daughter – perhaps some advice help from the right people for getting her into a sleep/nap routine would be helpful. There is so much out there now – it’s just finding the right resources and help for you. All the best – I am sure you will find a way through.June 17, 2015 at 8:21 pm #1184610sam_leaderMember
- Total posts: 660
It’s definitely a challenge juggling a solo biz and a young family. I have a tip that may be useful to you. I find if I have a nap at my two year old’s bedtime I’m able to do a ‘second shift’ from 8 til midnight without feeling wrung out in the morning.
Some other ideas:
– consider some support for your little one, from age two I found a wonderful family day care woman and they kids spent a day or two a week there.
– lower your expectations of what you can achieve while your youngest is so little.
Enjoy the crazy journey!
SamJune 17, 2015 at 11:31 pm #1184611bluewoodstudioMember
- Total posts: 233
I did it for 7 years. My youngest started school this year and between you and me, it’s wonderful. I did a mix of babysitters at the house (even a couple of hours was insanely helpful), worked furiously during naptimes, daycare when they were older etc. It’s not easy and as others have said it’s a day to day juggle.June 18, 2015 at 12:29 am #1184612NataMember
- Total posts: 9
Glad to see there are others who are/were in the same boat.
Bluewood studio, I had to laugh at your expression of working ‘furiously’, that’s what it feels like to me as well. As soon as there is a possibility, those fingers are flying over the keyboard, phone buttons get frantically dialled, trying to squeeze out every minute.
Sam, what a great suggestion to have a nap at the kids bedtime. Most days it coincides with my teaching hours but on those days it doesn’t, it’s an excellent idea and I will give it a go.
Karen, what you did with your kids sounds amazing. Especially since you were working while looking after your child AND someone else. Wow!
I did find one thing that made my life a little easier and gave me back some sleep though, which is a concierge service that takes booking for my classes. For a monthly fee plus class booking fees, they take payments and bookings for my classes and send confirmation emails to the students, as well as configuring class lists ready for me to print out. So it is a bit like a virtual assistant, Andy, and I would say saves me about 5-10 hours a week. I do have to list the class dates individually (although they have an automated list function) as our schedule changes according to my husband’s uni and school holidays, etc. What is hard for me is returning those phone calls and emails which are specific to my skills (and that sometimes fall between the crack when I don’t have an opportunity to answer them straight away) and getting back to people to arrange lesson times and hire machine pick up times that will work within my ever changing schedule. If it was only acceptable to call people after 10pm when I am finished teaching
Thankfully, my daughter is starting two days of childcare after her second birthday in a couple of months at a lovely childcare my son went to, which is within walking distance to our house. She does go one day a week presently, but it is in the city and by the time I drop her off after peak hour and pick her up after school hours, there is really only half a day left to do work when I get back to the studio.June 18, 2015 at 1:32 am #1184613Kelly Exeter FS EditorMember
- Total posts: 241
Hey Natascha – I found in the end that (in order to save my sanity) I had to invest in care for my kids while I was doing paid work (I’ve used grandparents, nanny and child care … all paid). And that’s with kids who were both fantastic and regular sleepers! Even though I knew exactly what hours I’d have for working during the day, I found the shifting back and forth between ‘mum mode’ and ‘work mode’ too hard and stressful and in the end, I was so exhausted it became counter-productive quite quickly. I think it’s worth remembering we’re never ‘just’ trying to work while we have the kids at home. We’re also trying to run the household too and that is a full-time job in itself!
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