View Full Version : Family Committments & Business
07-01-2003, 02:52 PM
Is anyone in the same boat as myself. I run my small golf equipment business from home and also care for my baby son too, while my partner works full time. Does anyone else balance their family committments with their own business? I'd like to hear your views or experiences. I think it is quite an obstacle to starting a business and then keeping it going successfully and I feel that there others out there who will benefit from this topic being raised.
07-01-2003, 04:25 PM
I know how you feel about juggling family commitments with running a business.
I work full-time in London at the moment for a Cruise Company (if anyone wants a cheap cruise email me!!!!!), and usually don't get home until 7pm, of which I only get to spend about an hour with my 6-year-old before she goes to bed, which I don't like but its a case of having to.
I then run my 3 websites on top of that, so I spend most evenings sitting in front of the computer for a least a couple of hours.
I don't think my other half minds but we have a baby due on the 1st February, so god knows how I am going to juggle things around then. I tend not to try and spend as much time on the computer at the weekends, as its really the only time we spend all together.
You have to think for yourself, that you are not only building your business, but your family's future as well.
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07-01-2003, 04:51 PM
I think you'll have struck a chord with many of us. I run my own marketing consultancy, am currently in the throws of writing my first book, studying for my international diploma and training to climb Kilimanjaro at the beginning of Feb!!!
I have a six year old son and a VERY understanding wife.
Ask yourself these questions;
What are the five most important things in your life today?
What are your most important goals today?
If you had 6 months to live, what would you do?
If you won £500k, what would you do?
If they all tie in with each other and what you're doing right now, you're on the right track.
Live your life and be happy for your a long time dead.
07-01-2003, 07:00 PM
I have a 9-year old daughter and run my own business. I know it is not as bad as having a toddler, but she still requires a lot of attention. I could not imagine starting a business with a toddler constantly at your feet and I applaud anyone that does!
I definitely think that you need to try to balance the work life with the family life, but it can be hard. There are not enough hours in the day to be able to do everything required when running a business, but you also need to know when to switch off.
Well done to all who have started their own business (with our without families) and good luck.
Matt - I arrange guided tours of the sights in Italy and wondered whether there would be an opportunity to arrange a mutually beneficial collaboration with the cruise company you work for?
07-01-2003, 11:33 PM
If there is something that i can relate to on this it is raising a baby and starting a business. We have a 10 month old who is not very well and running been hospital appointments, doctors appointments and running our own business is very tiring emotionally and physically. What keeps us going is our son. At the end of the day we are doing this for his future. It is that sole thought that gets me up at 4am everyday. My advise is to look for the positive in everything that you do everyday that you do it. We have a goal line whereby all the running around for the start of the business is over and we can sit back and relax a little and spend time with our son and each other. I am not kidding myself that it will get better overnight but the good days come with the bad and all i need to do is look at my son to know why i am doing this at this stage in my life.
Hope that helps.
08-01-2003, 11:10 AM
Thanks for the email, I think we may be able to help each other out here, send me an email, and we can discuss
You can email me at matt2cSouthend@hotmail.com
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08-01-2003, 12:28 PM
This one definitely strikes a chord with me, I started work on my business in December last yr when my daughter was 4mths old and then launched in June when she was 10 mths old, now she is 15 1/2mths old.
It has been tough balancing working and looking after her as she doesn't go to nursery and I dread to think how I will cope when I have a second which I am trying for now. It has mean't for the last year waking up at 7.30am with her, working at points during the day whilst I could and not stopping until 10pm at night, watching tv til 12am and then getting up again the next morning. I did this five days a week and then would spend from 9.30am til 2.30pm working Sat and Sunday also.
I'm still working the same number of hours but have changed something this year that I am already feeling the benefits of and those with young child may want to give it a trial.
I really do need to do a fair amount of work during the day and luckily for me my daughter sleeps for 2hrs at midday, but for the rest of the day obviously she is a demanding toddler.
So I started to think to myself that in the morning between 7.30am and 8.30am when I am lying in bed trying to get up she is running around the bedroom full of energy, but at 4pm in the afternoon she is not so energetic even after her afternoon nap and so demands more attention from me and won't let me do any work -Not only this working in the evening at the end of a long day makes you less productive, so I decided to swop my times around.
Since Monday I have been getting up and into the office at 7.30 and working for the hour that I'm normally lying in bed trying to convince myself to rise, and also telling myself that playing in bed with my daughter for an hour is one of the perks of being self employed. But at this time she doesn't care whether I play with her or not and mainly ignores me as is rushing around full of energy, not only this I have more energy and focus myself at this time, rather than at the end of the day between 9pm and 10pm when I am knacked and my focus has completely gone.
So I now work early in the morning when she doesn't care about my attention, and swop playing with her to the afternoon when is tired and demands my attention more.
I intend to slowly get up earlier and earlier so that I am getting up and into the office at 6am, I will have the energy and focus to be very productive, for part of the time she is still asleep and when she gets up at 7.30am she pretty much ignores me until about 9am anyway because she is full of beans after a whole nights sleep.
Other things that may not have occured to some people, things that are more time efficient:
If feeding a child, it does not have to be done in a high chair whilst precious time ticks by, why not sit them on your lap at the pc and read and reply to email whilst feeding them. I know they will press the keyboard, but with a bit of patience you can teach them that you don't want them to do that. She same thing for feeding a baby, I used to breastfeed my daughter whilst working at the pc, you can get your hands completely free if you use some clever pillow propping (sorry if I'm grossing anyone out!).
Make your office a playroom, I work in the loft surrounded by toys, often I can get away with her pretty much playing by herself for large portions of the day, and during this time she just approachs me every 10 mins or so with a toy to shove in my mouth, or a picture she wants me to point at with her, but then she goes off again by herself, I encourage her to learn to amuse herself for portions of the day with just a small bit of interaction from myself. I think they can learn to amuse themselves and we can learn to work for ten mins, play for 1 min, work for ten mins, play for one min and so on. I know not everyone has a large loft, but before this we were in a tiny utility room, rammed full of toys and office equipment and we still managed to compromise on my need to work and her need for me to play with her.
Sorry I have waffled on and on, but it's a subject very close to my heart, it's amazing what I've accomplished over the last year with no childcare and I wanted to help any other full time parents to realise that they can 'have it all'.
08-01-2003, 12:56 PM
I have been in a similar situation to yourself. I get work done at certain times of the day. The thing I find most difficult is getting out of the house to places like the Post Office. My partner and I only have one car between us which she mostly takes to work so I can't use that, anyway I love excerise and would rather walk. The fact that I operate a mail order business means that I rely on the post office to send orders to my customers. Carrying a load of parcels and pushing a pushchair can be quite demanding so often I have to do a couple of runs. This is the part I dislike about it all. I'd like to eventually like to have a business that I can do all on computer and not have any physical products. I'll keep searching in hope! Maybe I'll open a nursery...!!!!
08-01-2003, 01:07 PM
Perhaps as things progress it might be worth hiring a part time worker to do this for you, there are certain types of people who would value a job with very small hours...retirees, students, other people with children etc.
08-01-2003, 01:07 PM
I think you're right, working off-peak is the best way to get things done. It's like doing your shopping at the 24Hr Tesco at 4am. You don't have to queue and the shelves are always full.
My customers often don't mind if I call them at 8am, and this avoids going through the P.A. or receptionist. At those times the only people who are there are the people who own the business.
Have a brilliant day.
08-01-2003, 01:29 PM
Likwise, I'm about to launch my business and care for my two children aged 4 and 2. Its hard work but possible as yes there are moments in the day when they will play unsupervised. I sometimes don't give myself credit for how much I have achieved and that is part of the battle.
The hardest part that I find is 'switching' roles and giving the task in hand, whether it be children or my work, that 100pc commitment and enthusiasm.
Phone calls are particularly difficult, there's nothing like mummy being on the phone to remind a child that they are hungry or need the toilet! However, I tend to save calls up for the two mornings a week when my children are both in childcare.
Inspiring though to hear of others of you who are managing this!
08-01-2003, 01:45 PM
Excellent analogy David, as things progress with my business I'm beginning to realise that whilst I've gone far, to go further I definitely need to shop when the aisles are empty (darling child in bed) and when there are no queues (my brain will function much better at 6am at the beginning of the day, than at 10pm tired at the end of the day).
I avoid phone calls as much as I can and basically don't phone clients unless they specifically request it, phoning out is fine by me though as I can schedule it for when she's asleep. But receiving inbound calls is a bit of a nightmare though, when someone phones I whack the tv on immediately, luckily I barely ever get phone calls, literally I get about two a month, and my little one is such a tv zombie if I do get one she is always appeased by a bit of Cbeebies.
08-01-2003, 02:38 PM
It might become a problem when they can talk, my boy is forever shouting up to me in my office, usually when I'm mid call.
I don't think people mind that much these days though as the world becomes more accepting of home working.
You're right Cbeebies is a great god-send.
08-01-2003, 03:04 PM
Yes, the shouting, despite not being able to talk she can 'babble' very loudly, so even with cbeebies sometimes I know clients can hear her because she's in the same room as me, but I always think to myself, if they don't like it then I guess they're not the right client for me anyway.
I believe the world will become more accepting as more and more people embrace home working as the ideal solution to balancing work and home life.
I see many articles on my travels as I research personal finance news for a personal finance site that I write for, and I saw an interesting recent article.
It stated that flexible working hours was the most sought after employee incentive above all others such as company car, health care, payrises etc, employers unfortunately still aren't listening but the governments new initiative to 'encourage' them will hopefully have an impact on working practices for those people who are employed. What the employers don't realise is that flexible hours can result in more 'pay' for their employees than an actual payrise because they could potentially save hundreds per month in child care costs.
See this article about it.... http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7-533833,00.html
08-01-2003, 03:54 PM
Good article. BT recently commissioned a study of 'teleworkers', which was a great read (if only i could remember where I filed it).
The advent of things like broadband, and businesses such as yours, make it easier for new start-ups to manage their cap ex costs by working from home and employing 'virtual' resource to help run the day to day business.
The next problem will be when your faced with the decision of taking the business to the next level or staying the same size. At that point virtual resource is still a great option, but children, whether at school or not, will limit your ability to do this.
When I find the article I'll post it.
08-01-2003, 04:00 PM
The basis for my whole business idea has been, that I was tired off juggling jobs, dragging my child from person to person just to do jobs that to be honest I wasnt particulary fond off.
So working from home and using the knowldege from my degree to do something I enjoyed. My husband says that he is an Internet widow, and so does my daughter. He seems to forget that starting your own business usually means longer hours and harder work. I feel that it is taking off, but still am juggling my time so that no one in my family suffers. This has meant jumping on the computer when husband goes out, so that he doesnt feel "left out" and working quite late into the night. I also work part time as well, so life can be hectic!!!
09-01-2003, 03:55 PM
Hi i'm a single mum with two children and i have just set up my own business. although I'm finding it a hard struggle to keep go i just try to think about hte freedom this will give in years to come with my children and my life so keep going and hope you success grows. sophy
09-01-2003, 06:01 PM
I just wanted to say how inspiring you all are. I'm starting up at the moment without a family and it's hard, so I really admire all of you who are doing this with kids. But it gives me hope that when the time's right, it is do-able ... with lots of hard work!
Great thread Shamrocker!
09-01-2003, 06:08 PM
I KNOW IT IS HARD I HAVE 4 KIDS ALL AT YOUNG AGE'S ALL YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER IS IT IS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND SET YOUR SELF A SET HOURS OF WORKING AND THINGS SOULD BE GOOD.
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