Balancing Kids at Home While Running Your Biz

By the small business content developers at

Working from or out of your home has many great advantages and some occasional drawbacks. If you have kids, the complications only get more numerous as sick days and vacations often conspire to throw a wrench in the works. However, with a little bit of preparation and a lot of determination, you can ride the waves of topsy-turviness and still stay on top of your work obligations. 

Flexibility is an essential ingredient for regulating the chaos, but when you plan ahead, you can maintain your sanity in the coming holiday months. If you’re looking forward to juggling kids, work, and fun, then you are one step ahead of those of us who fear the disturbance of our tightly controlled schedules. Here are 6 ways to help you run your business while the kids are out of school:

1. Plan ahead.

Keep an eye on the calendar and, if you can, avoid scheduling onerous work projects during your children’s vacation. Then when necessary, you can have a day off to take the kids on adventures without feeling like you’re playing hookey from work. If you have a big deadline that pushes into summer, try to finish early or get the heavy lifting done in advance so that you don’t have the extra burden hanging over your head while the kids are underfoot.

2. Use flexible scheduling.

If you and your partner work the same schedule under normal circumstances, flip your schedules so that one of you is available to help manage the kids during the day. Your partner might wrangle kids in the morning and then you take over in the afternoon. If that’s not workable, you can use weekend afternoons, early mornings, or evenings during the week to crush those tasks that must be completed while letting your partner take the reins in order for you to get your work hours in.

3. Get help.

Ask the grandparents, aunts, and uncles to help out during crunch time or hire a local young person to take your kids to activities and lessons. If you have a specific need to be at practice with your kids then hire some temporary in-office help to take care of low burden tasks. Many young people have an entrepreneurial interest and would jump at the chance to see how a small business runs from the inside.

4. Involve kids.

Children have a lot more understanding than they are given credit for. Once your kids hit double-digits, there are many small tasks that you can assign to them. You may have to create high-stakes incentives in order to get a job done well from some children, but many are capable of collating paper, organizing books and papers, vacuuming, dusting, and other routine tasks. Many tweens are better photographers than their parents and able to use editing software with ease. Once you figure out what your child can do, keep expanding the task list. You may be raising your own replacement!

5. Organize a parents’ co-op.

If your kids are highly social and love being around other children, a parents’ co-op offers casual childcare on a rotating basis and keeps your kids socially fulfilled. If you’re lucky enough to have five families participate, you can can get four quiet workdays with only one day of kids’ activities under the auspices of your supervision. If you have fewer families willing to participate, you may only get a few days without children in your space, but even two full days can make a tremendous difference in your ability to stay on top of your to-do list.

6. Use screen time judiciously.

Let’s face it, we all use screens to buy a little quiet during crucial moments. Of course, we don’t want children to spend the sweet heat of summer with their faces plastered to their tablets, but screens can be deployed to teach, develop, and engage minds. Educational games, age-appropriate documentaries, and how-to videos are great for ensuring that screen time nurtures rather than pacifies your child’s inherent curiosity. If you’re in the midst of crunch time and desperately need to focus on work, let your kids have some sanctioned and supervised screen time.

By putting attention on both your kids and your work, you can find a solution to keep them both satisfied this summer.

By Andrew Patricio

June 01, 2016