I’m often asked by other women who’d like to start their own business from home, how to do it while the kids are home.
I always answer that it’s difficult but doable. I don’t believe in giving fancy, flippant, unrealistic views of what life looks like at home while I try to work. It’s messy, difficult, and frustrating and some days I get nothing finished. Other days, everything works like a dream and I accomplish all the things I didn’t think I would.
Here are my best tips for creating a successful business from home while parenting.
Be clear with your children
The first step is clearly laying out with your children what you need to accomplish daily, weekly, or monthly.
No matter the age of your children, they can understand mommy will be busy during a certain time. I used a red sticky note on the door near my office when my littlest couldn’t understand time or read a clock. When the red sign was up, she was to be as quiet as possible and raise her hand if she needed something important.
With older children, you can use a dry erase board with meeting times clearly labeled. Keep a clock near the dry erase board so that no one can claim that they didn’t know what time it is. Mark out when you have deadlines so that it is clear if you have a busy week that you might be working more than is normal.
Use block time when working from home with kids
Using block time when you are working a business from home with kids will help you a million times over especially when you have several clients.
I schedule each client for a block of an hour or two and that’s when I try to accomplish the bulk of the work for that particular client. This helps me, especially when the kids act like they don’t have manners, to know what I’m working on and when.
Then, when you end up with extra hours here and there, you can wrap up any work that still needs to be completed.
Advocate for yourself and your time when running your business from home with kids
It is very important that you are willing and able to advocate for yourself and the time you need to work your business, even with the kids at home.
Whether you have a partner, hire a babysitter, or are trying to do it on your own you need to be able to say you are working now and ignore everything else. Well, unless there’s a fire or broken bone, of course.
When you lay out clear information about when you need to accomplish tasks, what housework needs to be done, and what errands you need to run. When you advocate for the time you need and pull in the resources available you’ll only be successful.
What tips work well for you while you are running your business from home with the kids?