How to run a business, from home, with a toddler
Yeah. It ain’t easy. Anyone who says it’s easy to work from home right now, during Covid-19 pandemic, with a toddler…is lying through their teeth.
Or they have super powers I have not yet acquired. Or maybe a ton of amazing support from live-in family or friends.
This sh*t ain’t easy. But it is possible. In this brief but poignant blog post, while my toddler is sleeping, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned.
This is me, trying to get some cute photos for my website, with a toddler around :)
1. Toddlers like snack food.
They do real well at being rewarded with Oreos and animal crackers.
Give your toddler some Cheerios, Puffins, raisins or cookies and let them run around while you do 15 mins of computer work.
2. Focus your work in tiny chunks.
15 minute chunks of work.
That’s about it. You can probably get an Insta post done or a Canva slide made or reply to a few emails within this time. The trick here is to always know what you’re working on NEXT. Set up that template (workshop title, workshop guts, workshop marketing plan…etc), and get to getting.
Open your copy document and have your next website page, blog post, or Facebook post READY to write. Tiny chunks. That’s how we do it.
Slow and steady. Like a turtle. Or a toddler you’re trying to get to lay down for a nap…speaking of which, this blog post is being interrupted by a persistent toddler who doesn’t wanna nap. One moment(s)…
Where was I…oh yeah…
3. Car rides are king.
Car rides are the best, if your kiddo likes them, that is. Hook ’em up with some crackers, water, a book or a toy or two and get on the phone with your fantastic client. Or make a biz conference call. Or tune into your zoom training recording while driving.
Ultimate multi-tasking, ultimate bliss.
I also find car rides are a great way to get your little one to nap if they’re particularly stubborn on any given day. Like Cedar. Today. And now.
I can drive across town to a drive through coffee shop and give him a 45 min nap in the car. Oye. Toddlers. Babies. Insanity.
4. Nature centers and outdoor trails are your besties.
I love going for nature walks! I usually strap the kiddo into a stroller and walk for at least 30 minutes before I let him out and about to wander around.
While he’s poking at the ground and looking for a bug, the next chipmunk or a bird, I can collect my thoughts and make to-do lists on paper or in my phone.
I can also simply enjoy the time out with my little one.
Small chunks of going into my phone and doing work that matters to me, plus being fully present for my kiddo and his experience of the world, are what lights my soul up.
I enjoy being able to take him for an adventure and find ways to catch up on work that matters to me with really cool clients who are trying to figure out “what to do” with their lives and quit their 9–5 job for good.
Best. Work. Ever! Speaking of work balance…
5. Important computer work has gotta wait until bedtime.
It is mostly impossible to do much computer work during the day with little ones. Especially if you, like me, haven’t let your little dude tune into much TV or device watching just yet. He mostly wanders around the house reading books, or playing with toys, and generally wants me to read or play with him.
This behavior is not conducive to spending hours perfecting your next marketing launch for your epic program or writing up a plan for your client.
Nope. Big computer work tasks have to wait until 7:30PM at night, which is my toddler’s blissfully early bed time. I generally work most evenings from 7:30PM to 10:00PM.
I’m trying to get better about not working so late at night…but to be honest, I LOVE what I do so it’s easy to get swept up in creation tasks at night.
Sometimes, I set a ‘bath timer” and draw myself a nice hot bath. This way, I can only work for 30 more minutes or my bath gets cold. Try it — let me know if it works for you!
Computer work requires typing, and therefore, so does a lot of what it takes to run an online business…which is why voice memos are the best thing since sliced bread. Seriously.
6. Voice memos FTW.
I talk with all of my one on one clients for my 30 Day Make a Plan Program through Voxer or WhatsApp, both messaging and walkie talkie apps. They’re amazing.
I can hold down a button and record a voice memo that gets delivered instantly. They can reply in the same fashion. Video and images can also be shared on these apps.
It’s the best. I’m a huge fan of voice recording memos. It’s also super accessible to do this with little kids. You can generally talk for 1–3 minutes, usually uninterrupted, before the tiny one needs something.
For this, voice memos are the best. Social Media apps also have voice memo technology that’s getting used more and more!
Try sending your new Instagram follower a short voice memo, or, sending your mom a voice recording on Facebook. It’s pretty great.
7. Life is short and crazy, embrace the insanity.
It won’t always be this way. I think. I don’t think we’ll always be in pandemic mode, trying to manage watching our kiddos and working full time. I think the world is shifting.
I know that I quit my corporate job so that I could spend more time with my baby and do work I love. So, I organized my life around that. He was attending daycare just two days a week, my work days, and the rest of the time I was full time mom.
Now, I just reorganized what I do and when I do it, and how. My clients know and love the little toddler voice in the background. Most of them are moms themselves and totally “get it”.
I think we’re heading into a new era of work and a new experience of what working from home with kids is like. Interruptions are normal. Kids waving on your Zoom call happens daily. Life is more real, more crazy and more intimate.
I’m gonna embrace the crazy and keep learning how to work with my toddler, and my clients, to the highest good for all of us.
You in? :)
Drop me a note here and let me know what tips, tricks and tools you’re using to maintain your biz while at home during Covid-19!