How to Survive Raising a Business and Toddlers at the Same Time
Ahh yes – how do we do it? The question asked by many to Mel and I as well as countless other mums out there. Trying to raise a successful business is hard and when you add a family and for many, another 9-5 job on top of that, it can be a crazy hectic time.
Today we are joined by Michelle Green from The Business of Baking who is giving you her insights (as someone who’s been there, done that) as well as tips and tricks showing how you too can survive!
Over to you Michelle….
I started my baking business from home when my triplets were toddlers. Working from home didn’t suit me because there were little ones underfoot and curious fingers getting into icing! After a short while I moved my business into a commercial premises. The whole time I was raising my business “baby” I was also raising my real life babies. It was quite an adventure! Here are a couple of things which really helped me manage my sanity during those crazy, exhausting years:
- Meal Planning: I meal plan 3 weeks at a time, just so I never heard the dreaded, “What’s for dinner?” question. It also saves us a lot on buying groceries as we always know what to buy.
- Chores: From a young age my kids had chores to do. We’d put the list on the fridge and each child was assigned a chore each week. We explained to them that chores were a part of being in a family. If we all pitch in, it’s faster and easier to get the jobs done! It also meant I didn’t feel overwhelmed with a bunch of stuff to do by myself.
- Get the Kids Involved: I didn’t want my kids wandering around my shop, but when I was able, I’d get them to help with small tasks. They would be putting stickers on boxes, tying ribbons on cookie bags or wiping down cake stands. My kids loved being involved and it also meant I got to spend time with them, keeping the “mummy guilt” at bay.
- Bake & Freeze: Whenever I was baking at home, I’d always double the recipe and pop some individually wrapped treats into the freezer. That way the kids got some lovely home-made things in their lunches without me really having to bake often (I did that enough at work!)
- Tell it Like It Is: I honestly communicated with my kids about my time and where I would be. Kids love certainty, so by telling them my plans and then sticking to those plans, they knew they could trust my word. That trust helped enormously when I needed them to be more understanding if once in a while my plans went awry.Running a business while you have kids requires a certain amount of patience, great logistical skills and a sense of humour. There were times when I felt I wasn’t being a great Mum, and times when I felt I wasn’t being a great business owner. However I also knew that beating myself about it wasn’t a great use of my energy or time, so instead I’d just do my best and hope that if all else failed, a healthy dose of chocolate would help (either me or them!)
Michelle Green is the sole author of the Business of Baking blog. As a pastry chef, she owned a kick ass cake company for over ten years before deciding to sell it so she could write a blog full time and mentor other business owners. She works as a consultant to a number of small hospitality businesses and as a writer for the food/business industry. She has been featured or written for a number of publications and websites including Family Circle, candyaddict.com,cake! magazine, Sweet magazine, allrecipes.com.au, The Baking Sheet and Cakes Decore. In 2015 Michelle will be teaching baking business courses all over the world.
Twitter: #bizbake Pinterest: /businessofbaking