Working from home with a baby

There’s a popular image of running a small business from home: a new parent, baby bouncing on their knee, happily types away into a laptop whilst they answer calls and make coffee. This hasn’t been the experience of me or my wife. We run our personal training business from home and I can definately say that our business has been hugely affected by the presence of a baby.

The most immediate impact has been on the time available to us to work on our company together. This can only practicably happen during a working day when the baby has a nap and both of us are ‘free’ (although one of us has to be ready to go into the nursery if V. is restless). But even though the baby is on a fairly strict sleep training routine, the actual amount of time V. is fully asleep is short: a couple of hours a day. This has particularly slowed down the decision-making process when it comes to developing the business.

In addition, the time and energy demands of looking after our daughter has lead to us changing the division of labour. I’ve taken on diary management, payment processing, and customer queries so that F. can concentrate on bigger-scale projects. And for those projects to make any headway, F. needs time to concentrate. So when I have an afternoon clear of client appointments, I take our daughter for a feed, a change of nappy, playtime and a sleep. Usually this is a four-hour period of time that allows F. to work on areas such as marketing, SEO and IT. That really is not a lot of time.

We’ve also learnt to schedule a bunch of business calls to coincide with nap time. We don’t make or take calls when a crying baby could be heard in the background. It’s too unpredictable, too distracting, too unprofessional.

As childcare is not an option for us, we’ll keep on making the best of the situation. I’m hoping that this experience teaches us to our business in a leaner, tighter and more efficient way. Especially when the baby learns to type…