Work-Life Balance: Separating Business Owner from Parent
Studio 42 Workspaces • June 14, 2019
You want to start (or get back) to running your small business and raise your family at the same time. Go you! To the parent who wants to have it all – you can!
Having a family is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do. Seeing a little baby’s face and knowing that you will do anything in the world to protect them is a feeling like no other. However, like many people in the world, work is an essential to providing for the family. It’s hard enough to go off to work and leave the little ones with family or in care, but how do you survive if you go back to running your own business and juggling family life? Separating home and work life has it’s challenges, but it can be done.
Career and Kids
If you’re wanting to have a child but are worried about this interfering with your career, you don’t have to worry anymore! Making a separate career plan and a family plan is a great start. You are then able to work them together into a life plan so that you are in control of your family and work life. Before the bub arrives, hiring and training a staff member that can be your 2IC will take a lot of stress off you, giving you more time to focus on the key aspects of your business. Making tasks as remote as possible will ensure that you can work from home and keep your business running while also having time to spend with your little one. If you’re working from home, an occasional care nanny is a great option as they can come in a few hours a day and look after your baby while you work in your home office. If remote working isn’t a possibility for you, researching childcare centres early may be a viable alternative. This will give you time to sign up to the waiting lists and have more choice in who will be caring for your child when you are at work.
Define a Workspace with Set Hours
Have a physical space where you can go to work. This could be your shopfront, traditional office or your home office. This should be the designated space where you do all things business. When you are not in this space and home with your family, try to completely switch off from the business. It is also great for the kids to know your space and their space. It is great for them to know that when you are in your office, you are concentrating. This will take some boundary setting and will likely be difficult at the start.
In many small business lines of work, you may think you need to be available 24/7 for inquiries. But realistically, your family need time with you too. When you are spending time with them, it should be fully with them – phone and emails off and away. Voicemail is a great friend. You may slip up from time to time and this is okay. I am guilty of checking my emails and returning the odd call or two when the kids go down for a nap. But majority of business, computer work, printing etc is always between my set hours of work.
De-stress: Take a Break & Talk About Your Job
Taking a break is easier said than done I know, but remember that you are still human, you have a family and family holidays are a great way to explore and bond. Just because you run a business does not mean that you are barred from these experiences. And you know what? With how hard you work between the business, keeping your family going and raising those beautiful kids you downright deserve it! You will still want to check your emails -we are all guilty of it! I checked my emails on my honeymoon because, before I had kids, my business was my baby. But try to keep this at a minimum and enjoy your time off. Put up notices to let people know you are on leave, setup automatic email notifications, set your socials to have a pinned post.
With this being said, while it is important to separate home and work life, that does not mean that work is not stressful. It often requires debriefing and discussing. Your kids seeing you discuss work can be very healthy as it relaxes and de-stresses you, but also teaches your kids about sharing, about how to communicate worries, concerns, happiness and anger in healthy ways and how to talk through problems. It also shows them that it is okay to talk about anything with your family and promotes great family dynamics. You would also be surprised how interested your kids will be as they grow up about hearing what Mummy or Daddy did at work!
At the end of the day, business is business. It is going to have its ups and downs, its triumphs and its losses. But your family, they are there forever and you should cherish them. Don’t miss that football game or that dancing concert, don’t say no to a family camping trip. Work to live, don’t live to work. And love the life you have as you only get one!
About the Author
Katie Clayton (Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrant, Happily Ever After Celebrant Services) is a complete creative! You know your ceremony will be good because not only is she adamant that every ceremony should be unique and engaging, this young lady is a published author! Katie is funky, slightly nerdy and delights in creating moments that will leave you with a lifetime of memories.