This week at Small-Minded, a listener request: “How do you balance caring for kids and running a business from home?”
To be honest, I’m not sure I have all the answers… or any, for that matter.
But I have learned a thing or two in my almost-decade of parenthood.
So in today’s episode, we’ll tackle some of my best tips for handling all the things…as best as possible anyway.
Tips for Working from Home with Kids
- Get real with yourself. What are all the things you’re trying to manage? Most people I know in small towns are balancing work, family, hobbies, volunteer commitments, and trying to find a way to keep all these balls in the air. Is doing all these things even possible? Where can you let things slip a little, and where do you need to be fully present? Allot your time where it needs to be. There will be good days and bad. There will be busy seasons and slow season, and neither will last forever. Last tip: use a planner book to keep it all straight.
- Set expectations. Share your responsibilities with your coworkers, clients, spouse/partner, kids, and yourself. I try to be as transparent as possible about being a mom AND a business owner, with everyone and be open about what’s happening so I and my dependents can plan as-needed. I am my own worst enemy in this area, often putting too many expectations on myself, and it’s something I’m constantly working through.
- Embrace help. Whether you need help via daycare, a housekeeper, a lawn mower, or an independent contractor/part-time employee, get help if you need it. If help doesn’t fit into your budget right now, see how you can partner up with other parents and switch off childcare or bring in low-cost interns in your business to give you the support you need.
- Embrace distraction. Don’t feel bad if you need to distract the kids to give yourself some time to work or take time to yourself. At our house, we are cool with screentime (within reason) and we use a locked closet to rotate toys in and out, so the kids can be busy in those times when I have to work while they are home. I still don’t get uninterrupted work time, and you’ll frequently see my kids busting in on my virtual trainings, but I do my best.
- Don’t compartmentalize your life. Be gentle with yourself and realize that you are multi-faceted. You are trying to do so much, especially in 2020, and it’s hard to find balance in all those responsibilities. Let your responsibilities overlap where they must, and it’s ok if you need to let some things go.
As I said at the outset, we really went all over the place in today’s episode in no particular order. I’m not perfect. I’m no parenting expert. I’m not a seasoned business owner. But this is my real-life take at working from home with children present.
I hope it was helpful and you could find a few pointers inside.
Aquin Little Angels Early Childhood Center
Aquin Little Angels Early Childhood Center in Cascade, Iowa, cares for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age. Providers and teachers at Aquin Little Angels provide the daily cares parents need while they are at work, age-appropriate lessons and curriculum to help kids reach their milestones, and before-and-after school care and homework help for school-age kids. Right now, Aquin Little Angels has openings to join their staff. Whether you’re looking for full-time, part-time, or temporary employment, Aquin Little Angels, they are looking to add you to the team. Head to http://www.facebook.com/aquinlittleangels to submit your application.