How to juggle family life and starting a business
Though starting a family opens a whole new chapter, it doesn’t mean you have to close a door on the chapter of your professional life. Here are some tips on how you can successfully juggle family life and start a new business.
Why set up a business as a new mum/dad?
Are you hesitant to return to your old job after your maternity/paternity leave? Do you wish you could make money and work around a schedule that suits you? Join the club – the entrepreneur club, that is! You might feel like you’re letting your boss down, but it’s more common than you think to feel the instinct to provide after having a baby.
Tip: If you’re still officially employed, make sure you know your resignation rights. For example, some businesses will top up statutory maternity pay on the condition you return to work for a specified period.
How to find the right balance in those early days
Remember that starting a business is time-consuming and energy-draining, therefore, you might have days when you are too tired to play with your children or too busy to take them to their club or activity. So, should you organise additional childcare before you try to drum up business? The answer is yes, unless you have family or a spouse prepared and able to support your childcare needs at the drop of a hat.
Tip: Though responsiveness is important when building up a client-base, always keep what’s most important at the forefront. Try to enhance time spent with your children by switching off all technology for an hour or two each day. Try making this part of your work ethic to make the process more enjoyable for you all. Remember, business can wait.
Ditch the 9-5 attitude
As a working parent, you’ll need to forget the idea of a 9-5 day. Days with children are best divided into chunks. If your child is old enough to be at nursery, make it so that your working day begins as soon as they’ve been dropped off. Similarly, arrange for someone to pick your little one up or make sure you allow for chunks of time during the day to do the school run, make supper and put the children to bed.
IMPORTANT: Aim to keep aside solid chunks of time in your day specifically for work.
Tip: Not working from home can be really beneficial to your attitude and output, as you won’t be seeing and thinking about chores that need to be done.
On the flip side, working from home can enable you to be much more efficient. For instance, if your kids are too young for pre-school, you can start your day far earlier and spend less time out of the house. Meanwhile, if you’re lucky enough to have a childminder or relative come to you, you can optimise your breaks by getting jobs done around the house. This will take the pressure off of you and your partner during the evenings and weekends and allow you some downtime.
Tip: Working from home, though difficult, might be a smart investment for the future as you’ll be saving money on rent and childcare that could be invested into the business.