Working at Home: Balance Work and Children

by golda on May 19, 2011

 
Working at Home: Balance Work and Children
By Golda Smith
 
 
Prior to my life with children I was carefree. I came and went as I pleased and I loved it. Then I met a guy, fell in love, yada yada a year later we were parents to a beautiful baby girl. Her name literally means beautiful. Anyway, once I became a parent I knew that I didn’t want to return to my job. Although that was the best job I’ve ever had I did not want to go back and place my baby in day care for someone else to witness her first words, first steps, and all the other wonderful “firsts”. I decided that I was going to be a stay at home parent.
 
Once that was decided, I had to figure out what to do with myself. After trying a few business adventures (catering, real estate, life insurance, to name a few) I took my business to the internet because quite frankly I was sick and tired of driving to the weekly Thursday night meeting that started at 8pm sharp.
 
Attending this meeting was always an event. You see I had to arrange babysitting, I was now a single parent. If I couldn’t find one then the kids had to go with me and I didn’t want to do that. I remember one night driving to an appointment in the rain only to have the client either not show up or pretend she wasn’t home…frustrating and depressing is an understatement! What I came to realize is 1.this wasn’t working for me and 2. I wanted a business that I could incorporate into my life not the opposite. With that, I decided to look for a business that I could work from home via the internet.
 
This was the best decision that I could have made for my family and myself. After all, I started my business for my family. Ask most people why they started their business and they will probably give the same reason. I wanted to be able to spend time with them and do fabulous things. The problem was that I was used to working non-stop on my business even when the kids were with me. Clearly this wasn’t going to work either. I had to honor what I said was important to me and I’ll share them with you: God, family, then business.
 
I had to be honest and say that my priorities were out of wack, BIG time!!! I was spinning my wheels, spiritually deprived. So what did I do? I took a calendar and began to plan my days. The first few minutes of my day are dedicated to pray even if it’s only 10 minutes, then next 2 hours belong to the kids. Once I drop them off at school until I pick them up is dedicated to work. That’s eight hours, more than enough time to make it happen. From the time I pick them up until I kiss them goodnight, it’s their time. I learned to HONOR the time I have with them by not doing any work. No phone calls, no emails, text messages, or computer…nothing. You see, I give them the same focus and attention that I give my business.
 
Anyone that calls me during the time I’m with my children get the voice message and if it’s important, they’ll leave a message. I want my little ones to know they have my undivided attention. We have “family day”, again another non negotiable for us. I’m sharing this with you because I often hear so many parents say their children/family was the reason they started business yet you would never know. It can be very easy to get caught up in work mode and forget why you are working in the first place. Here’s something else that motherhood has taught me about business…although I do have a system, I need to be flexible and ready to kiss a booboo at any given moment, conference call or not!
 
I have systems in place that help me get the most from my work hours and they serve me just fine. Whatever business you have, if you have children remember this, they’re only young once…enjoy it, celebrate it, take lots of photos. One size doesn’t fit all so I don’t expect you to do exactly as I do but I do expect you get real with yourself. One other thing I realized is that I’m not super woman nor do I have any desire to be. I’d like to break her legs actually, just to prove that she’s human J Seriously, I know my limitations and the times when I spent all day working where some of the most unproductive days. I believe in “me” time for recharging or else I might end up in a corner crying. What I know for sure is that if this single mom can do build a business that I work from home then almost anything else is possible. Well enough about me…how are you balancing your home based business when your children want your undivided attention?

Comments

comments

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Conde May 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

Hi Golda,
Thank you for sharing your life and experiences between your work and family, I really love your articles, I enjoyed reading it. In some cases, I'll be going to have a family soon, like you, you are so flexible. You organize the things plan well, I'm so proud of you,  I've learned this site much. Thank you, hoping and looking forward for more.

Regards,
Conde

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2 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
May 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Thank you for your comment and compliment Conde. Until next time…

Golda

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3 Aisha May 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

Golda, I cannot tell you how "right on time" you are with this article.  I was riding high one day, catch the successful day wave and my darling 4 year old as just not cooperating with me.  Usually he is able to play with his toys but some days, I just have to give in.

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4 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
May 19, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I knew someone needed to read this today Aisha, glad it was you. Isn’t it so cool that we are right there when they need us and not at someone’s office? The memories that we are creating are priceless and I wouldn’t trade it for anything 🙂

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5 Branodn Nichols May 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

 
I really enjoyed reading this post. Although I do not have children and have not yet established a family, I am thoroughly encouraged to prioritize family, my spiritual life, and overall balance. Your blog is awesome. Keep up the great content! I read a lot of your posts.
~ Brandon Nichols
 

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6 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
May 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Hi Brandon! So glad to see you here. Nothing matters to me if I don’t have my family. You don’t have to be a parent to appreciate the information on my blog, you are always welcome 🙂

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7 Mike Maricich@prohormones
Twitter: mikemaricichgmail.com
May 22, 2011 at 10:34 am

I love working at home and having my lil girls there. Some times I get so frustrated with my work so it's nice to have the abilty to say screw it I’m gunna watch sponge bob with my babies.

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8 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
May 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Hi Mike,
I understand that feeling, totally. Sometimes when my kids are at school and I’m missing them, I’ll watch one of the cartoons that we would watch together like Jack’s Big Music Show :-), silly I know but that’s my moment.

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9 Jackie May 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Loved your article. I personally and still learning to find that balance. My youngest is 3 and not in school yet so I try to work around the times he is napping or occupied playing by himself. It is near impossible to work when all the kids are home so I also work for a couple hours at night while they are all sleeping. I also have 'family cleaning times' where we set a timer and all set to work cleaning up the house and see how much we can get done in 15 minutes. It is a great way to get help in the every day housework.

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10 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
May 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Hi Jackie,

Find the routine that works for you and stick to that until you need to change it. It sounds like what you have may be working right now, so go with the flow. Just remember to enjoy yourself.

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11 Tara Walker July 24, 2011 at 2:52 am

I totally relate to your story! Since my two kids are home from school this summer, I have had a harder time balancing my work/children life. But I finally came to realize this – I came into this business so I could create my own schedule, so I can make my own hours. And it's okay if I focus more of my time on the kids during the summertime. But when fall comes and school starts, then I will surely increase the hours I am working! So it's okay to work less in the summer and more when they are in school…or whatever fits your schedule. Thanks for the sharing!

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12 Golda
Twitter: only1golda
July 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Hi Tara. I hope that you and your children are having an awesome summer. These are the times that they will always remember, make them count 🙂

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