Running a business can be rewarding, exciting, and even fun. But it also can be exhausting! Parenting is a similar emotional roller coaster — every day is filled with challenges, victories, and joy, often at the same time.
Now try doing both at once. Balancing parenting and work is a goal that has eluded professionals with families for generations. With the onset of a global pandemic forcing much of the workforce into their homes, the balancing act was more difficult than ever. Childcare options for working parents were often limited and challenging.
Whether their business is run from home or out of an office, parents work hard to balance professional obligations and family responsibilities. That’s why we’ve compiled advice for working parents who are trying to run businesses without sacrificing time with their children.
Working parents who run their own businesses may find time management to be a never-ending challenge. The Catch-22 for working parents is that they want to make sure their children have everything they need, including their parents’ time — but in order to meet their material needs, they need to spend a lot of time working.
That’s why maintaining a detailed calendar is so important. Be sure to include kids’ extracurricular activities, birthday parties, and your own work events with fixed dates that are out of your control. Once you’ve included everything that’s set in stone, then you should be able to start scheduling meetings, interviews, vacations, and other more flexible activities.
It is not a perfect science. Any working parent will have to miss some family moments here and there. Just try your best to balance and prioritize to minimize scheduling clashes.
While it might not be too exciting, following a schedule is one of the best tactics for balancing work and parenting. Try to have your work days follow a format as often as possible. That format will ideally accommodate your regular parenting activities (like school drop-offs and sport practices). Start work around the same time every day — maybe right after getting the kids off to school — and make sure your day is wrapped up around the same time as well.
Keeping a routine will not only help keep you organized and productive — it could also enforce boundaries between work and home life. Consistency is key. Try to stick to your schedule as much as possible so everyone’s on the same page.
Working parents burn out just like anyone else. For business owners, managing work and family while trying to recover from burnout can feel nearly impossible. You need all the help you can get. It takes a village.
Fortunately, if you don’t have a village, there are other options. Childcare issues for working parents are common and can be a major cause of frustration. Business owners may struggle to run a household and be professionally productive. If you can, consider hiring a nanny or even a part-time babysitter to look after your kids while you work. If hiring someone isn’t in your budget, ask around. You may be able to find a home-based daycare nearby, or even enlist a family member to help you out.
And childcare isn’t the only consideration. If you struggle to keep up with chores around the house while juggling your business and your children, it might be worth hiring a housekeeper or cleaning service. Even one or two visits from a cleaner a month could help keep things in order, without completely breaking the bank.
You might be wondering: What percent of families have two working parents? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, roughly 97% of married couples with children included at least one working parent. In 65% of those families, both parents work.
Whether you’re the sole breadwinner or you have another working parent in the house, it’s important to manage your expectations. Not everything is within your control. You might find it difficult to keep up if you try to handle everything yourself and expect perfection all the time.
Bandwidth management is important for a working parent. When you’re carrying a toddler in one hand and processing payroll with the other, the last thing you need is something else to worry about. Shopping for business insurance often takes time that you just don’t have.
Simply Business® can help. We make insuring your small business quick and easy with our free online quote tool. Tell us a bit about your business, and we’ll shop leading national insurance carriers to find coverage to fit your business’s needs. Explore policy options online, on your time. So you can get back to business.
A parent’s work is never done. Owning a small business can feel the same way. It’s important to commit time and energy into building your business, but it’s easy to feel like you’re shortchanging your family as a result. No two business owners are alike, and neither are their families — what works for someone else may not work for you. Finding balance takes some trial and error. Stick with it — once you find it, it will be easier to bring your best self to work, and bring it back home with you at the end of the day, too.
After several years of working in insurance while also freelance writing, I've finally found where the two interests intersect. I'm a writer with Simply Business with an insurance processing background and a love of research.
Kristin writes on a number of topics such as small business trends, license reciprocity, and BOP insurance.
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