This depends on a million things, which we can't cover but we will do our best to give you a general idea. We have also written this assuming it's just you. Either you don't have a partner or they work during the day or are entirely useless at anything involving domestic chores and child-rearing. If you have access to childcare, vacation care, or a family member or neighbour to help, 100% do that first. Because the harsh reality is you will burn yourself out trying to do it all!
Being a business owner while caring for kids at home is fucking hard. Your minions demand attention and time when you have important tasks that require your immediate attention. You go from design queen to snack bitch. Many parents who work from home often feel overwhelmed and frustrated because they struggle to balance work commitments, chores, and childcare responsibilities. I mean who doesn't? The good news is, it's entirely possible to run your business from home. Just not like it looks in the movies. Here are some tried and tested tips to help you run your business successfully with kids around.
Set realistic expectations
If there was only one rule, this is it! It's not possible to devote your entire time to work even during office hours. As a parent, you must juggle multiple roles- a caregiver, teacher, and entrepreneur. It would be best to acknowledge that your productivity levels might take a hit when you are with your kids. Set realistic goals and timelines. When your kids are most chilled, get blocks of work done. For babies and young kids that's normally nap time. From primary school kids, its whenever they are most tired and relaxed. Early morning and late arvo for example.
Prioritize your schedules
Running your business while caring for your kids requires careful planning and organization. Scheduling your work and other commitments can help you stay focused and productive. Create a routine that suits your and your family's needs and prioritize your tasks and goals accordingly. Use a planner, calendar, or an online tool to help you keep track of your work and life activities. Be flexible though.
Despite your best efforts and planning, things can go wrong. Kids often fall sick or have emergencies that require your attention. It's essential to have a contingency plan in place to deal with such situations...says the single man that's never looked after a kid in his life. Our plan is there is no plan. Shit happens. Just roll with it. Sometimes I have to walk away from he computer to take one of the minions to the hospital for a playground stunt that failed.
Take breaks and practice self-care
Running your business from home with kids around is physically and mentally exhausting. Apart from attending to your work and family, it's crucial to practice self-care. Take short breaks and engage in activities that you enjoy, such as reading, exercising, or spending time with friends. Set boundaries and don't overwork, as it can lead to burnout. Practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself.
IN OTHER WORDS:
Take time out for you! Just you! Take a long bath, read a book, go to the gym, eat chocolate and watch Netflix. Whatever works.
When we have our shit together
This means there is food in the fridge, pre-made snacks, everyone has taken their medication and no one is in hospital, injured or starting their own death camp. To give you some context, we live on a large property and my minions are 15 months apart in age and both have ADHD.
Our Daily routine looks like this:
|5.00am||Wake up, walk the dogs and feed the animals and chores|
|6.30am||Kids watch TV, puppy is still napping and I read my book|
|7.00am||Work starts for me and the parrot. Kids have a choice of devices, outside time or TV and puppy tags along.|
|10.00am||We all have morning tea together|
|10.30am||Back to work. Kids have a choice of devices, outside time or TV and puppy tags along and parrot has ditched me for the kids.|
|12 noon||Lunchtime! Lunch and a movie or TV show with the kids, puppy and parrot.|
|2.00pm||Back to work. Kids have a choice of devices, outside time or TV. Parrot and puppy hang with them.|
|4.00pm||Work is done. Kids off devices and outside. Feeding animals and messing around outside.|
|6.00pm||Dinner, TV show and chill.|
|8.00pm||Back to work if needed, if not Netflix and a cuppa.|
When we don't have our shit together
Probably haven't done a grocery shop, minions had a shitty sleep and woke at 4. Its rough starting your day like this so you can forget a lot of shit. Mainly medication...
Our Daily routine looks like this:
|4.00am||Wake up to the sounds of screaming and both boys performing in their version of redneck WWE.|
|6.00am||Make one child feed the animals with me while the other eats breakfast...so one complains and the other just watches TV until I get back.|
|6.30am||One kid has eaten the entire contents of the fridge, the other refuses to eat. The parrot is out of his cage and snacking on the HDMI cable.|
|7.00am||First coffee for the day. WWE continues. Find mystery puppy poop in the kids room.|
|10.00am||Get to work, kick kids outside along with puppy.|
|10.30am||Stop work because of the blood-curdling screams in the backyard. One of the kids has made a dirt hole and is trying to bury the other one. Split up the fight and give them snacks. Find puppy chasing the chooks. Bring her inside.|
|12 noon||Realise I have forgotten medication and it's too late now. Listen to all the bitching about how they want McDonalds for lunch and the 2 min noodles they have is just not going to cut it. One kid is still refusing to eat, the other one eats both lunches with assistance from the parrot and puppy.|
|2.00pm||Back to work. Find a stash of chip packets in kids' room who is always refusing to eat... Kids are sent outside again. With the puppy.|
|4.00pm||Panic because it's quiet. Go find the kids. They are up to dodgy shit behind the shed. Make them come with me to feed everything. One of them is chased by the turkey. Always entertaining. Puppy was in a box which apparently is a 'home base'|
|6.00pm||Dinner and bed...seriously they eat dinner and go to bed. I am DONE|
|8.00pm||Eat chocolate, watch TV and contemplate my life. Puppy curls up on my boobs. Best sleeping spot.|
Keeping it real
With these tips, managing your business and childcare responsibilities can work, but it's okay if it goes to shit. Remember, it's okay to ask for help or take a break from work when you need it. Your family will benefit in the long run when you maintain a healthy work-family balance. Being a parent and an entrepreneur is a juggling act, but with a little bit of planning, self-discipline, you can give it a red hot go!