More and more Mums (and Dads) are working from home and running their own businesses, but how do they keep their professional life from interfering with their parenting and vice-versa?  The secret to successfully combining your work and parenthood is to create boundaries between work and home, build a village of support, and revise what success means to you.  Let’s see how that can work in practice.  We won’t pretend that it’s always easy, but it can be done!  Read on for the balance between work boundaries and babies.
 
Here are some things that can help that you might not have considered:

You don’t have to leave your kids out

 At times you may be able to involve your children in your business get their input on ideas, graphic design, etc.  Their excitement can help motivate you to run a better business.

When you hire, hire for flexibility

The more your people can flex, the easier it is to spend all day at home when you need to because your child isn’t well or some other minor emergency arises.

Accept and understand that sometimes things have to wait

Sometimes your business has to take the front seat.  Sometimes your marriage does.  Other times your kids’ needs do.  Understand that you can’t be everything to everybody all the time – nobody can.  Then don’t feel guilty about it.

Find a mentor

You’re not alone.  There are many mums and dads out there running their own businesses from home.  You don’t have to make every mistake in the book and learn from it yourself.  Get help.  Get someone else’s input and steer clear of some of the obstacles in your way.

Create a schedule

Your kids won’t mind you working but they will mind if they never see you or if you’re constantly dropping them for business stuff.  The same is true for your clients of your parenting.  So, try to create a schedule and make it public and then stick to it.

But be flexible

Rigidity is a disaster for business and for parenting.  Your schedule should be something you try to keep to but if something truly important (to check ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen if  I leave this?”) comes up, you should be able to shift things around to deal with it.

Know your priorities

You can only become overwhelmed if you treat everything with the same urgency.  Your child’s health is more important than their desire for candy all the time.  Your meeting is more important than the filing.  And so on.  Take regular time out to review your priorities – then you’ll do what matters and feel less stressed about the things that don’t.

Automate what you can

Be ruthless about automating your business or work processes.  Every time that a software tool or an outsource can handle something for you, in a cost-effective manner, let it.  You’re not superhuman and you don’t need to be.  Running a business, working around your commitments and being a parent can be amazing fun!

Remember what’s important

Some people start businesses to unleash their creative urges.  Others to spend more time with their kids.  One of the amazing things about being a stay at home mum or dad with a business is that you really can focus on what you think is important.  As long as you take time to remember what that is.

Switch off when the working day is done

Live in the moment with your kids.  Turn off your phones, e-mails, computers, etc. and be present with them.  Listen to their stories, hopes and fears (and don’t let them put screens between you either) because this is the reason you chose to work from home with your kids in the first place.

It’s awesome being a working parent and by using just a few rules, you can make life much easier than you might expect it to be too.  Babies grow up quickly, so if you can scale back your work to enjoy this stage while it lasts you won’t regret it!  Change your expectations and enjoy each stage as it happens.  It’s not as hard to balance the needs of your children with the needs of your job as long as you take action to minimise the impact of one on the other.  You can be a great parent and a super professional.  The Team at DGL have faith in you!

In our office, there are numerous mums and dads that work from home and alternatively have clients that do the same!  If you are unsure where to start or believe you need a hand getting motivated or back on track – reach out to the Team, today.  We are always happy to help you!

Boundaries and babies balancing tips brought to you by the Mums and Dads at DGL Accountants and Kochie’s Business Builders.

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