Working from home with kids in the house? Moms share how they do it

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Ten minutes into spring break, it hit me: This is how all summer is going to be.

Running a business while having kids is one thing. Running a business while having kids with you is another thing entirely.

I’m pretty good at balancing life as a mom with life as an entrepreneur.

But I launched motherbility in October so, for the most part, my kids are in school while I’m working. Starting June 9, that’s no longer true.

Figuring out how to “entrepreneur” and “mom” simultaneously is a whole a new challenge.

So I sent out a plea on Facebook to other mompreneurs — specifically, “Help! How do you DO this?!?”

Here’s how they responded, both on Facebook and in a few follow-up calls I made later.

Aubrey Vejvoda

“I have a schedule from the moment I wake up from the moment I go to bed, seven days a week,” Aubrey Vejvoda said.

Infinity Images Photography

Vejvoda has two daughters, age 8 months and 2.5 years, and has been taking a marketing class as she prepares to launch her photography business in early April.

She blocks off 12-hour chunks of time to focus on her daughters, Mondays-Fridays, then works on her business in the evenings and full-time on the weekends, when her husband takes over parenting duties.

Ultimately, she said, the goal is to not be working so much. But the start-up stage requires extra effort.

“Do you have enough time to get everything done?” I asked her.

Her laugh was immediate. “No! I need about another 24 hours in a day.”

Andrea Bolan

With child No. 1, Andrea Bolan said, “We did no daycare for the first 10 months, then 1 day a week for a year, then found the magic number was 2 days a week.”

A real estate agent for 3 years, Bolan used to work at Epic, but quit because 60-hour weeks and regular travel didn’t jibe with her plans to start a family.

She packs in as much work as possible on the days someone else is watching her son, including on the day I spoke with her.

“I have a meeting at 9, a closing at 11. I have another meeting at 12:30. I have showings starting at 3. And in between I have to prep for listing appointments,” she said.

Before putting her son in day care part-time, “I was drowning,” Bolan said. “I was really struggling to keep up with everything, and I was always scrambling to find someone to watch him for a few hours so I could go to an inspection or do something. So then I realized that I needed one scheduled day a week that I could do things.”

As her business grew, one scheduled day became two.

It’s a schedule she intends to keep after her second son is born, although she plans to keep him home with her for six months or so.

“When they’re so little, you can just strap them on and go do what you need to do,” Bolan said.

Facebook Moms: How We Work From Home With Kids

— “Playdates, childcare swap, camps, library, we also do chores for screentime (this is mutually beneficial) “homeschooling over summer” (a few hours of not forgetting what we learned and to maintain skill level), kids taking up/learning a new hobby, summertime can be splash pads and water parks (if older you can work while they play), etc…so many options. I foster dogs, have my own 3 dogs, deal with 2 businesses and have 4 kids.”

— “I run a non-profit and a business from my home. I have two very energetic boys (6 years and 2&1/2 years). I do a lot of my work from my phone so I can easily chase after them. But naptime is my sanctuary. I try to bang out as much work in those 2-3 hours on my laptop as possible. If my oldest is home from school, I hook him up with a snack and TV or tablet time so I can get my work done. If it’s a particularly busy week, I set up my laptop on the kitchen counter and do things as I can while my 2 year old watches TV or plays. I also utilize the time after they go to bed if I need to. However I have started trying to reserve that time for my husband/marriage.”

— “I’ve always freelanced on the side, so my daughter grew up with me working at home sometimes, I explained to her (since she was little) that mommy has to work, and she not to come in my room and bother me and when mommy is on the phone or computer we don’t talk or make noise. She did well with it.”

 

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