Working at Home: Balance Work and Children
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?