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As of the writing of this blog post, I feel like I’m finally on the “home stretch” when it comes to juggling raising kids, homeschooling, and keeping my writing and reselling business rockin-n-rollin. My youngest is currently a junior in high school, and the finish line is in sight! In all fairness, both of my kids were easy to conduct business from home while they were younger. Summers and sick days were the main times when things would get sketchy and complicated. But as they got older, those situations got easier too.
As I said, I’m in the home stretch and heading for a new title, “Empty Nester. ” But if you are a mom or dad entering their “season of parenthood,” hang in there. All of the struggle and sacrifice are totally worth it.
If You Find Yourself Doing Business with Kids at Home
Working from home with kids is a unique challenge. Whether it’s because of summer break or the fallout from cold and flu season, a business must go on as usual even though you have Littles and Bigs under your feet. There are things you can do to prepare for the times when life gets hectic. Here are a few of my top “been there, done that” tidbits, advice, and hacks for working at home with kids.
ALWAYS Stay Ahead of Deadlines/Know your Deadlines and Plot them on a Calendar: Whether you like a paper calendar and colored markers or an online organization system like Trello or Basecamp, have a firm knowledge of your upcoming work and when it due. Apps and tools like Google Workspace, Dropbox, Airtable, Zapier, and Zoom can also be lifesavers. Flying by the seat of your pants may work sometimes, but it can also result in some serious, “OH SH*T” moments when you lose power or internet the day before your project is due (and you haven’t even started on it yet). I can promise you that, some clients will understand when you are unavoidably detained…but just as many won’t give a crap and your actions could cost you a client.
Practice Discipline: Yes, I’d love to blow off writing assignments for the sake of “more fun” work…but getting my work done ahead of schedule for me is like “eating the crust first.” What does this mean? You know when you eat a yummy sandwich, and the crust needs to be chowed before you reach the goodness of the contents inside your sammie? Work is very much like that. I make a point to do my hardest work first, and do it during my optimum time (mornings) so I can have the option to slack a bit in the afternoon.
Reward Yourself: If you are a parent, you know the benefit of using rewards to motivate your kids. “Johnny, if you clean your room, we can have ice cream” type incentives gives Big Humans and Small Humans the gumption to get the job done. This can apply to your work life as well. I personally get huge satisfaction from complete and turning in my work ahead of schedule, but if you are someone who needs a bit more coaxing, create a reward system for yourself.
Bullet Journals and To-Do Lists: I adore Bullet Journals. “For the list-makers, the note-takers, the Post-It note pilots, the track-keepers, and the dabbling doodlers. A bullet journal is for those who feel there are few platforms as powerful as the blank paper page. It’s an analog system for the digital age that will help you organize the present, record the past, and plan for the future.” Watch the video on the website and you will see what I mean. This system is simple and slick-as-snot when it comes to organizing your business life on paper.
Remember there are Two Sides to Every Coin: Simply put; even though you are not in crisis at the moment doesn’t mean someone directly connected to the work you need to get done isn’t. “Life gets in the way” for other people as well. Give people grace, patience, and the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.
Never Be Afraid of Asking for Help: If you feel like you are still floundering, there are many online communities and Facebook Groups are dedicated to supporting the work-at-home mom (WAHM), authors, freelancers, and homeschoolers. Some online communities are free to join, while others require a fee. As noted above, moms who work at home usually enjoy sharing success tips, and having a supportive community can really help when you have questions.
More Resources to Help You Along Your Side Hustle Journey
MOM BOSSING: The Freedom to Create the Business You Love is a book filled with personal stories, resources, support, wisdom, and encouragement from a solopreneur who has been in the trenches as a mom boss. This step-by-step guide shares the truth, fears, tears, and cheers of being a mom who is building a business empire on her own terms. If you are looking for a new career for the “second half of life,” venturing into direct sales, rocking a home business, or dreaming of leaving a dead-end job, this book provides the building blocks needed to move forward with a healthy dose of humor authenticity. In many ways, this book could also sport the tagline of Building a LIFE on Your Own Terms.
I was lucky to have Becky Flansburg join us at Multicultural Children’s Book Day when we first began our nonprofit. She was the “head elf” which meant she did everything from project management to help us get sponsorships. In the early years, we weren’t able to keep her busy for more than a few months a year and even that was very part-time. Becky’s contribution to the team helped us grow our nonprofit, and, in turn, we were able to keep her busier. Now, as a “mom boss,” Becky is sharing her journey and her wisdom for moms who want to try solopreneurship. It’s particularly helpful for anyone who wants to become a VA (Virtual Assistant).~author and mompreneur, Mia Wenjen
Have you ever dreamed of working from home on your own terms instead of being confined to a corporate cubicle or windowless office? Have you ever dreamed of earning a steady and honest income while still having plenty of time for friends and family?
Lucky for you, it is all very possible. It’s a life that I have successfully been living for over 7 years…and I can’t imagine supporting my family (and following my dreams!) any other way.
Within the pages of this robust 90-page e-book and resource guide is the motherlode of excellent information about working from home (on your own terms) all rolled into a handy read-at-your-own pace guidebook.
Whether you are looking to pursue a career as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, graphic designer (and more) this Resource Guide will provide the insight, tools, guides, advice, and strategies that can apply to any freelance business. If you want the very basics of getting started without the benefit of support and coaching, this eBook is for you.
For anyone looking to start their freelance career, or up their game, this book is the perfect place to start. Jam-packed with actionable items and details about even handling unruly clients, well-meaning visitors, and kids while working from home – this book has it all! Highly recommended!~author and mompreneur, Carissa Andrews
For those who are contemplating the freelance lifestyle but need a guidebook with baby steps, this is your manifesto! Becky Flansburg shares her tips for balancing a freelance career with a family including the nuts and bolts such as the online tools she uses for networking and running her business. Becky is a gentle and realistic cheerleader for anyone who wants to work at home as a solopreneur.~Mia Wenjen
Available in Paperback on Amazon: mybook.to/FREElanceFREEdompprbk