As a mother of three, listening to this Being Boss podcast episode on how to manage your business with children was… frustrating. It’s not their fault. The transition from no kids to one is a huge change and can be challenging. That wasn’t the case for me. My oldest napped at the same time every single day and I could work during that time because I had no other kids.
Now that I have three children, it’s a real juggling act between work, kids, and my writing.
If you have a child (or several) and are building a creative business, writing or otherwise, there are some steps you’ll want to take to ensure your success while
I listened to that podcast and realized a lot of what they were saying would not work for me, but rather than accepting my fate and deciding to give up on trying to find work/life boundaries I started working through the problem. Here’s what I learned through that process and by talking to other successful entrepreneurs with multiple children.
You can’t schedule a child to fit into your work day but you can find time to work
One of the big things I always hear as an entrepreneur is “Schedule everything!” and “Then Stick to your schedule!” As a mother and
Here’s what I do
I get up at 5 am to write. I need uninterrupted time to be creative and this is the only way I can get it. (staying up late is not an option for me as my brain checks out around 6 pm) My middle child gets up by 6 so this was literally the only way I could find the time. I should get up at 4 but I can’t make myself do it.
But I didn’t just start getting up at 5 either. I tried and each time I just turned the alarm off and went back to bed (I really love my sleep). So instead I paid attention to when I usually woke up naturally and started setting the alarm for thirty minutes earlier. Then when I started waking up naturally at that time I moved the alarm time again. It took me several weeks but I got there.
Next, I start time blocking my day, thanks Being Boss for the awesome webinar, I put in everything. When I wake up, making breakfast, my walk with the baby, everything.
I blocked out time for whatever needed to get done. If I was able. Between my morning walk and lunch, if I have time because the kids are playing nicely or whatever, I work on business things.
My writing was done in the morning so it’s more administrative tasks like working on SEO for Raven’s Quill Publishing or researching keywords and phrases for our next release. Then after lunch, if I have time, I use it to do work around the house. I use this system from the Organized Mum Blog to keep the house clean and it’s literally changed my life.
Make it fit your life
If you just had a baby, sleep is probably the only thing on your mind and the idea of giving it up might bring a tear to your eye. That’s OK. You might just decide during baby’s first nap you’ll focus on writing and on his second you’ll take a nap on Mondays. Then focus on marketing a different day during nap time. The beauty of this is that you can take the idea and mold it into whatever works for YOU.
Find a nanny or send your kid to daycare
This might be a stretch if you’re just starting out or if you’re a stay at home parent because you want to stay home with your kids. Still, it’s so important for a business owner to have time to dedicate to their business. Even if it’s just a couple, half days a week. I’m a stay at home mom because I want to be here with my kids. But starting a business with multiple kids in your hair 24/7 is like hopping on the fast track to Burnoutville. My husband just had surgery so I’ve been struggling with my responsibilities. Normally, I’m lucky in that my husband works second shift and helped me with the kids two days a week.
We homeschool our boys so they were all here all the time. As a result, I was always stressed out and grumpy which is no way to spend your life. As my husband heals and I launch my new book marketing business I’ve contacted and budgeted for a Nanny. She’s going to come in and watch my daughter for five hours three days a week. And the boys are heading back to school until my coaching business is on its feet at least. (My oldest really likes the social aspects of school but I’d rather homeschool so we’ll see). Hiring a Nanny for just 15 hours a week will make a huge difference in my ability to get shit done. And I really need that in my life.
Many people, have to stay home because they can’t afford childcare. Especially if you have multiple children. So stop looking at childcare as a cost and start looking at it as an investment. You’re investing in yourself. If you’re just starting out and can’t afford it ask a friend or relative to help out. Right now, I can’t afford help and my family works so no one is available. I get it. I’ve been there (I’m back there now). You might have to set this as a goal for your business. Make enough to afford childcare. That’s why my nanny will be starting in the fall. She’s a reward for all my hard work this summer.
To do list
Once you find the time to work or write the next thing to do is make sure you don’t waste it. I used this technique after Tim Grahl introduced it in his Productive Writer course. It’s Mark Foster’s Auto Focus System. What you do is take an ordinary notebook and start your to-do list. Put everything on it. Every task you can think of. Break larger projects into pieces (either in this list or you can use a digital productivity tool like Things App). Then you put an X in the top corner of the page (more about why in a minute). Now once you’ve filled out one piece of paper you turn the page and keep going. (put another X in the corner).
Once you’ve crossed out everything on a page you circle the X so you know that page is done. Now, when you find time to get to work, take out this notebook and read over the things on the list. Pick one to complete and go! As you think of more tasks add them to the end of the list. You can look at any page of the list before choosing a task. Time-sensitive tasks should be done first but the whole point of this is to give yourself permission to choose and not feel guilty. For recurring tasks like dishes, just add them to the end of the list every time you cross it out. Here’s a link where Marks shows you how to use it.
This helped me tremendously! I no longer waste time trying to figure out what I need to be working on. I’ve taken this method a step further by assigning specific tasks from to specific days of my week. Also, by giving myself one thing to get done in each area of my life, I avoid
Ask for help from your partner around the house
Your spouse or partner works hard all day and should have to help out. That’s right, they should be helping. You work hard all day and they can help out. My husband watches the kids two days a week, occasionally does dishes, and religiously helps me fold clothes. He also works overtime every week. We’re a team. You need time to work just like they do. It’s not ridiculous to ask for it. Also, they live there too, they can help. My nanny is also doubling as a housekeeper because why not? So that’s an option too. But for those of you just starting out, definitely ask for help from the people you live with. Kids can help with chores. My seven year old helps me take care of the animals and everyone helps declutter when it’s time to vacuum.
This might sound
When you’re struggling and wondering why you’re even doing this, look at it. Read it and know it’s all going to be worth it. When the kids are sick and you haven’t slept in 72 hours and you smell like puke and you’re supposed to write the next chapter or your book or work through edits (don’t work through edits on no sleep it’s a bad idea) look at your why. It should motivate you to stay up late and get up early.
I’ve told you how I twisted other peoples advice to fit my life and situation, now it’s your turn!
Do you have tips for working with children? Share them in the comments!
About the Author
Marissa Frosch is a Certified Book Launch Coach and author of fiction under the name Cameron J Quinn.
She formed Raven’s Quill Publishing in March 2019 after leaving Amphibian Press where she worked for five years.
Marissa is also working on her Story Grid Editor’s Certification to round out her author helping skill set.
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