How to Work at Home When You Have Young Kids
As a mother of four children myself, I completely understand the challenges of growing an online business and working at home with little ones running around.
The memories of being pregnant while caring for a newborn and starting my new business are still fresh in my mind.
I found myself taking on all the “cares” at the same time…
And at the end of the day, I had to cling tight to a few tricks to maintain balance.
In this episode, I share my top tips for managing it all while sustaining quality care across the board. These may not be “easy” answers, but they worked for me as I entered motherhood and entrepreneurship at the same time.
Hey, guys, this is Julie. I got an email today from one of my followers who said, and I’ll just read you said “Julie I am so tired. I have small children and I’m trying to build my business. How do you do it?”
And it’s a great question. I don’t know that I have any easy answers but I’m gonna give you a couple of the tips that I clung to when I was building my business pregnant and with a newborn.
The first thing is that I want to give a shout out to all the moms out there who are trying to build a business with young kids. It is the hardest thing in the world and so props to you. Props to me. We have to take on childcare, self-care and business care at the same time. It’s just, it’s just craziness. So go easy on yourself.
The first tip I have is… it’s called the principle of resetting. And this actually works if you have kids or not. I find that if you can reset yourself, you can kind of get a new burst of creativity, productivity.
So for you, that may be taking a nap. A 30 to 45-minute nap when the baby goes down.
For me, it was actually taking a shower. Usually around 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon I would start to feel so unbelievably tired and if I jumped in the shower and kind of freshened up, that gave me a boost.
So showering, naps, even sometimes just taking a break from work and doing something mindless like folding laundry or doing the dishes. It can help your brain continue to work out whatever problem it is that you’re trying to solve in your business without you like staring at the screen and like hoping that you can, you know, like muscle your way through the problem.
So a walk with a baby is a fantastic way to reset. Put them in that little Ergo or in the stroller. Go for a walk. Set aside time every single day for resetting. And for most people, that’s going to be in the late afternoon when the baby’s the worst. So if you can plan for that, sometimes it gives you another burst of creativity.
The second tip I have here is to plan for the night. Most moms decide that they’re going to work on their business after their children have gone to bed. So this is usually like 8:00 to midnight. And for most of us, that’s our worst time of day. I know for me, I’m like my brain does not function after eight o’clock except to grab a glass of wine, a piece of chocolate and turn on the TV.
So, I actually suggest that you go to bed, and it’s better to probably wake up in the middle of the night and do some work than it is to try to get work done in the evening.
Now you have to test this. Don’t like just take my word for it, but it may be better when the baby goes to bed at 8:00 you go to bed and you sleep from… I know this is kind of a joke. You don’t really sleep 8:00 to 3:00, but you lay down from 8:00 to 3:00 and then maybe you get up at 3:00. And from 3:00 to 5:00 you try to do some work. Believe it or not, your brain may actually function better after several hours of rest than if you try to work in the early evenings.
I had a friend her name was Mya Holmes, that’s who she is. She’s a VA and she had to moonlight her business. She told me that every night she went to bed at 8:00. She woke up at midnight and she worked from 12:00 to 4:00 and then she went back to bed at
4:00 and slept till 7:00.
So she got four hours and then she got three hours. Now not all of us can do that, but that really worked for her and she got so much done in those four hours in the dead of night when nobody’s on Facebook. So that may be an option for you as well.
The next piece of advice for you is resist the urge to do all the things. And I don’t know if you’re like me but when I go to sit down to work I like to have my office all tidy, and you know have my to-do list all planned out.
And so sometimes when I go to work, I spend twenty-thirty minutes like prepping the area and if I only have an hour I’ve spent half my time prepping and then half my time working. So it actually works better if when you decide okay I’m gonna work from 2:00 to 3:00 you sit down and you ignore everything about your environment and you just get to work.
If you are really picky about your office space, my recommendation is that you clean while you’re hanging out with your kid. Like clean during non-working hours. So maybe the baby’s fussy. Stick that baby in the Ergo, clean your office. Then when the baby falls asleep, now your office is ready and you can just start working on minute one.
At the end of the day, it’s really important that you use your time carefully. There are times in the day where you have a hundred percent of your brain power. And so if you have that don’t waste it doing things that you can do with all 10-20% of your brainpower.
When I first had kids, my son Evan he’d go down for a nap and I would go do the dishes and I’d do some laundry and I do some cleaning and I’d waste my whole hour to myself doing things that I could very easily do with him awake. And I it took me a few tries to realize that the things that I should do when he’s napping are… they have to be the most productive 100% of my brainpower things. And all that other stuff can work around it.
Those are my three tips. Plan a time to reset every single day.
Secondly, resist the urge to do all the things that you can do with your baby and dedicate the time you do have to yourself to just get work done.
And finally, plan for the night. That means maybe go to bed when that baby goes to bed and work at 3 or 4 in the morning. You might find that your brain works much better.
So if you’ve enjoyed these tips or you have questions about how to get it done, leave a comment below.
You know that the best conversations always happen after the camera stops rolling and if you like this video and you want to see some of my others you can go to Juliechenell.com where you can see all the past episodes. And as always I love to hear from viewers. What they think and how they’re doing so rock on mamas and know that you’re doing the hardest job in the world.