Juggling children and working for yourself

I love working for myself but running a business can be tough, especially in this current climate, add kids to the mix and sometimes it feels like you’re not doing either the mumming or business well.  But the amount of friends and in groups online that I see struggle to get any sort of flexible working approved is ridiculous, even in 2019, so for me having my own business is my best option.  I started my business before I had kids and honestly I wonder what I did with all my time back then.  It’s amazing how much I can get done when I’m working to a tight deadline like the nursery run or during a nap time.  And I think being organised and managing expectations is my saviour.

Make time to be alone to get work done

Alone time, what’s what? Yeah I know it’s hard as it does feel like you have little people running after you allll the time and shouting ‘muuuuuuum’, but it’s important to make time to be alone to get work done.  Get up earlier than them or work once they’ve gone to bed.  Make the most of nap times and make those calls you need to do when it’s quiet.  If you can afford it have some childcare in place so that you know you have xxx amount of time in a week to get stuff done

Get organised and plan

Make sure your diary is up to date, have a to do list that is written in priority and put goals in place so that you are accountable and have direction on a day to day basis.  This also ensures that you know what needs to be done when you do have that alone time.  On the home front, have a weekly shop delivered, if you can afford it hire a cleaner, do weekly meal plans and batch cook to take the edge off.

Cut yourself some slack

Be realistic about what you can achieve in a day or week, for example set yourself three goals of things you HAVE to do and then put the other things in a list and if you can get those things done, bonus! Don’t take on too much that then takes you over the edge and in turn makes you take it out on your kids when you’re manically trying to get it done and they’re demanding your attention! Remember that you’re working for yourself to give yourself the flexibility and time that you wouldn’t get working full time so make the most of it and if you have a bad day or week, learn from it and start the next with a positive mindset

Keep the kids busy

This is dependent on their age but most importantly make sure they’re entertained.  Put them in childcare, during the holidays sign them up for camps, take advantage of family and friends who want to help and give them activities to do as you work.  If you know any other mums working for themselves why not organise play dates so that you can both take on each other’s kids and give yourself some time alone.  It’s also important to make them know that you will spend time with them and the older they are the easier it is to explain this, but if they know you’re going to go to the park or take them on a day out they’re more likely to co-operate with entertaining themselves!

Switch off

Turn your phone on airplane mode, don’t read your emails between set times and don’t feel like you have to work over the weekend.  Saying that you do have to accept that running your business is not a 9-5 but it’s also an opportunity to work flexibly throughout the week.

Stop the mum guilt

A bit of screen time is really not that bad (well I don’t think it is!), especially if it gives you some silence to get a call done or just to allow you to get that final bit of work done.  Also it’s fine to buy a costume or a cake for your child’s nursery or school rather than make one…..stop putting the pressure on yourself!

What do you find helps when you’re working from home?  I’d love to hear of other ways that have worked for you and made your life that little bit easier

About Nathalie: I was made redundant from my PR & Marketing job a few years and have never looked back.  I started selling cakes and a few months later started hosting classes from my kitchen table.  When I had my first child I moved in to a commercial property for three years. I now host classes from a studio that I hire on an ad hoc basis and also run online classes.  I have two boys aged 3 and 8 months.