Today, four of us met up at Blueberry Cafe to discuss issues relating to family business balance.
Marie-Louise is a Dutch photographer with her own business MLBFoto, with children aged 12 & 14.
Tiffany is originally from America and brought her gorgeous 7 month old girl. She works part time in a corporate job, recently returned to work for 3x half days and working up to 4 full days.
Saranna has children aged 12 & 4, originally Scottish and recently started The Bicycle Soup Company, making and delivering freshly homemade soup weekly.
Natalie is a birth story photographer and her 18 month old daughter also came along.
We discussed a number of the challenges that parents have balancing business and family and some comments, ways we are currently tackling it and possible solutions.
1. When you or the kids get sick:
- Strengthening network around you of others in similar situations so you can both help each other out e..g Professional Parents
- Nannie services
- Clauses in contracts
- People are understanding
2. Constant interruptions or places to be:
- For some, a separate office works – when you are at your desk, you are working
- Some can’t work with the baby or child nearby, tries to separate
- “Working from home is not for me” I need to have colleagues, or go to a cafe then can focus better than at home
- Setting alarms, working late at night, making clear that “mama is off duty”!
- Teaching children to be independent
- Saving “In the Flow” type of work for days when children at creche or evenings
- Does get easier when children get older
- Having routines and schedules and systems and planning ahead
- Depends on job, company etc and whether you work for yourself
- Focus on one task at a time, much more efficient
- To Do Lists
- Being realistic about what you can achieve
- If you divert your attention, it can crumble
3. Housework never ends!
- Dinners – plan in advance
- Teach children to take responsibility and help
- Have a housekeeper! (though sometimes you clean before she comes!)
- Feeling we should be capable of keeping our house tidy – should we lower expectations?
- Housekeeper will never clean the way you would, but let it go
- Structure, certain tasks on certain days
- Distractions from house if you’re working from home, have to clean!
- I don’t iron, draw a line
I hope these notes are helpful for others and would love to hear your thoughts.