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Your biggest challenge to running a business as a mother

  • I have been self-employed for over 12 years and have had many challenges while trying to raise a family. I've also had some really great experiences. I thought it would be fun to find out from everyone their experiences have been. Here are some questions:

    What is your biggest challenge in running a business while raising a family?

    What has been your most rewarding experience in doing this?

    Here's my answers:
    My biggest challenge has been separating the two. I work from home and often find it easy to sneak in a few minutes of work time while the kids are all busy. It's a good way to get more work done, but it also stresses me out and makes me crabby when the kids eventually finish what they are doing and decide they want to spend time with me. At this point I need to stop in the middle of something.

    My most rewarding experience has been that my oldest child just started high school. I love the relationship that we have together. He shares many thoughts with me and I feel we are close. Working for myself from out of the home has done wonders for building this relationship.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kimberly Reddington on 29th September 2008
  • I am still recently starting, so I am the same way. I feell the need to get it going, but also feel a little crabby every now and then. I feel guilty for being that way, but I also know life will be easier if I can get things going strong.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jamey on 29th September 2008
  • My challenge: balance and success. I had to work on the balancing act, to be sure that I was being the mom that I wanted to be and that I was making an impact in my business. My previous business had a lot of prospecting and time on the phone, so fortuntately, someone must have read my mind... this business does not, no phone, no talking with people who are genuinely uninterested. I dedicate some really good time to the business, with good, strong work and results occur.

    Reward: becoming clear on what is important and what is not. And becoming really happy that I chose this lifestyle! Thrilled that I am with my little one, Lucas and having fun.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Francesca on 1st October 2008
  • Kim, I feel the same as you, and I also work at home.

    My Challenge: My kids are 8 and 10 years old, I also try to get some work done after they get home from school. Most of time, for me, it's just not worth it. Between helping them with their homework and the bickering between the kids it's almost impossible to really concentrate. Plus, I then, feel guilty for not spending that time with them. So as soon as they walk out the door to school I go into high gear and get as much done as I can, especially the stuff that requires a great deal of concentration.

    My Reward: Being here for them when my kids do come home from school. They argue about who's going to tell me about their day 1st. It makes me feel good, not that they argue, but that they are so excited to tell me!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by christine on 3rd October 2008
  • My Challenge: I started my own business when my girls were three years old. Yes, I have twins. They are now twelve. I work from home, so that leaves me vulnerable to interruptions. Every year I have to adjust to their schedule. They started Middle School this year and that has been great. My most productive hours are in the early morning when my mind is at its best.
    Occasionally, I fall into the old trap of trying to accomplish something when they are home and that always results in me feeling resentful, cranky, and invariably guilty.
    I have found that although there are different challenges to overcome at different stages of their lives, as a working at home mom I need to be flexible, keep guilt at bay, and maximize every creative moment available to me.

    My Reward:
    Looking at my girls and who they are becoming as young adults makes my heart sing. I am so happy to have been there with them every step the way. We have a solid relationship, we laugh and cry together, and when I look back and contemplate of all I could have missed, had I stayed in corporate, I rest peacefully in the knowledge that I made the right decision.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Yota on 5th October 2008
  • I launched by gift & gift baskets business a month after my son was born. My biggest challenge was managing my time between the two. The stress and toll physically and mentally was huge. The only time I could spend on the business and still can at times is during the nights. So that meant staying up late working and getting up early with the baby. Another challenge working from home was learning to work solely on the business during ‘business hours’ and ignoring the daunting pile of dishes. Over time I have learned to overcome these obstacles but it’s an ongoing learning experience.

    The reward of course is how much time I get to spend with my son and watch him go through different stages of his life. I also thoroughly enjoy working on my own business and pouring my energy into it. The gratification is immense as I watch it grow and know that it’s my hard work that helps it to do so.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Zak on 5th October 2008
  • I am just starting out in my own business. My greatest challenge is finding the right balance of how much time I spend working ,the time I spend with my son,the time I spend with myself (de-stressing).

    The reward is to spend more time with my son,the pure joy of watching him make the different developmental milestones and the flexibility I have to make changes to provide him with more stimulation in various areas as he needs them.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by evette on 15th October 2008
  • My challenge is making the right amount of time for everything- letting myself have a little more "me time" when I need it, giving up some time from somewhere when my kids need extra time with me, etc. It's becoming more fluid as I get more and more organized, but it still isn't where it needs to be. Also to stop working when it's time to be Mama. It can be hard to separate the two since I work at home!

    My reward: My sons know that when I'm here I'm here for them, not anything else. My older one (3yo) has a pretty good understanding of why I work and what I do for a living and he seems pretty proud of it, which is nice to hear. :)
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by violingirl on 16th October 2008
  • Wow, I can't believe how similar all of our challenges are. As I'm reading these I find myself nodding in agreement. My biggest issue is also having my office at home, I try to squeeze work in every spare moment and it's hard to just shut it off.

    Marta Costa
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Va-4-Hire on 16th October 2008

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