12 May Work from home & Parenthood- The Eternal Juggle
Being a parent is a full-time role and most would agree that it can be really challenging at times. While the journey of parenthood has its share of ups and downs, it is also one of the most rewarding and important roles that we get to essay in our lifetime. Once we become parents, other roles like that of your work from home professional or a home based business person tend to take a back seat.
I personally believe that a child and a business venture are quite alike in certain aspects. They both need to be nurtured, developed, and guided into becoming successful adults or entities. All this takes time, effort, and commitment. When this commitment wavers, it can lead to setbacks or problems for the one that is being overlooked. This is why parentpreneurs, like me, are always playing tug-a-war. When we work from home we feel guilty for neglecting our children. And if we have spent too much time managing our children, we feel we’re doing injustice to our professional commitments. Perhaps this is the reason why most entrepreneurs find parenthood challenging and parents consider entrepreneurship to be a distant dream.
But, in my experience, it need not be so.
Here’s Why and How
After becoming a parent myself, I realised that while playing the roles of a parent and an entrepreneur at the same time is not easy; it is not impossible either. Of course, this realisation did not come easily, and definitely not during the first few months of parenthood or of starting my own business. The teething stage is demanding, whether in a new business or for a baby.
However, if you manage to “hang in there” for a couple of years (yes, years!), you can successfully perform both roles – as a parent and as a business owner. Sometimes juggling both might seem difficult, and you might feel like taking a break from work (you can’t take a break from parenting!). During such times, it is important to remember that this business or work is your source of income/money. You need the funds to be able to nurture the little life that you’ve created and this motivation can help you ride out the difficult days. It certainly helped me.
Here are a few things that have helped me fulfil my responsibilities towards my child and focus on my business venture. And I would recommend them to any parentpreneur.
Have a Plan
I appreciate that when you have children – especially young ones – it’s not always easy to follow a plan. But you must still have a schedule for each day. Allocate time for the children, for your business, for yourself, and also for your spouse. It might sound overwhelming, but once you get into the habit of following a plan, it will get easier.
Prioritise, Prioritise, and Prioritise
You can’t do everything in one day. So if you need to take your child for a doctor’s appointment, avoid scheduling a business meeting or any other important tasks that day. Concentrate on one task at a time; take baby steps, with your baby!
Who Comes First – Parent or Entrepreneur?
This is probably one of the most difficult decisions that a parentpreneur has to make. Again, prioritising and having a plan will help make this decision easier.
Also, if you were an entrepreneur before becoming a parent, and your business is stable, then indulge the parent in you. If your children are school-going, or are old enough to do their “own thing” for some part of the day, then go ahead and let your inner entrepreneur take over during that time.
Set Up a Home Office
Demarcating a specific space at home and time for work has worked really well for me. I am able to take care of my child and also fulfil my business commitments. This way, both of them get the attention that they need from me and I get to enjoy being a parent and a business person, respectively. Just set clear boundaries for your children and for your clients and follow through with the commitments that you make!
It might not sound easy, but it’s not impossible either. A little bit of planning and some extra effort can help you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams and enjoy the experience of parenthood too. If you are looking for some work-from-home business opportunities, explore Arise; their team will assist you in finding the right options!