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26 Responses to Parenting While Owning a Home Business

  1. Dionna  

    I would *love* Tom to work from home, and I’d be more than happy to go into business with him. It’s just a matter of 1) figuring out what would work financially and 2) making that happen. At this point, he’s not quite motivated to make it work, but it might become a necessity in the near future :/
    I’m sure I’ll be begging you for advice if/when the day comes. Thank you for sharing your experiences!!

    • Lauren  

      That would be so exciting for you! I agree, figuring out the business is the first step. (Well, ok, getting Tom on board is the first of the first steps!) But the good news is, you can always change businesses if the first isn’t working out β€” as long as you don’t overinvest in it. We started off small and experimented.

  2. Mrs Green @ littlegreenblog.com  

    It’s a refreshing change to find a couple who love to spend so much time together. DH and I are together 24/7, we have been for the past 13 years and it totally works for us. It takes a special kind of partnership for that, right?

  3. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ  

    Lauren, this gives great insight into the wahp life. I’ve often wondered how your manage it together. It sounds a challenging but rewarding choice.

    My husband works for a big internet company and is able to telecommute most days. This doesn’t mean he’s available, but it does mean I can ask for a break during the time he eats lunch or takes a few minutes here and there to refresh. It also means he works more hours because work is always right there.

    I also have two awesome sitters that we hired while I was recovering from PPD. It is eating into our savings, and I will have to let it go at some point.

    The downside to having us both home is the added, sometimes contradictory, opinions during the day ;p

    • Lauren  

      I totally know what you mean about working more hours when the work’s there, as your husband does. It’s such a temptation to never unplug and turn fully to “home” time.

      And yes, when having both parents home, it can take some energy when kids are bouncing off both in turn! If Sam is watching the kids downstairs and I retreat upstairs to do some writing, when his back is turned, Mikko’s up the stairs like a shot. Sometimes I have to leave and go to a coffee shop instead. πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you’ve had some breaks from both your husband and the sitters. I wish (and hope) we can find some outside support that works for Mikko and for us, and that you can find a way to continue it if or when you need it.

  4. Amy @ Anktangle

    I can totally relate to enjoying being with your spouse all the time! When Jaymz and I were both (unintentionally) unemployed for a while, we had a great time together. I wish he could work from home more, but I’m glad it’s at least an option when things are really difficult for me do navigate solo. Thanks so much for writing about this, Lauren. It was very interesting to read your perspective!

  5. Patti @ Jazzy Mama

    We are not considering a home business per se, but my Partner is 15 years older than me and he will be eligible to retire with a very good pension in just a decade. At that time we intend to invest in a small farm and work together with our children to raise vegetables to sell for a small income. It’s an exciting goal, and one that I know we can manage, because we won’t have to depend on the farm for our entire income.

    I admit, I’m quite amazed at the history of your long marriage and how you came to run a home-based business. And being together for 9 years pre-kids!!!??? I think we were together for about 5 minutes before our first daughter was born–and we might not have known each other’s middle names yet! LOL!

    • Lauren  

      That last line is cracking me up! Yep, we were pretty young when we married. We meant to wait at least 3 years before having kids … and then time slipped away from us since we were having so much fun. πŸ™‚

      I love your farm plan! That sounds dreamy. Well, a lot of hard work, but good!

  6. Terri  

    I really enjoyed working this. I’d like to convince my partner to work from home too and am in the midst of devising a business plan that if it works might just tempt him! I’m not sure we are such a devoted couple to enjoy spending all that time together but life is simpler and easier on the weekends when we can share the responsibilities of our home and parenting so that’s a good start. This was a great insight into the highs and lows.

  7. Shelly  

    I love working from home but we’re so lucky to have our parents coming over to do childcare four days a week. I don’t know what we’d do without their help.

    It’s so nice to get to spend a few minutes with my daughter here and there throughout the day. I only wish I could spend more time with her! And both my husband and I wish he could be around more often. It’s hard for him to have to leave us on weekday mornings.

    Thanks for a great article. You expressed the joys and challenges of working from home in a way that is so easy to connect with.

  8. Kristin  

    Thanks for sharing some of the nitty gritty, this was all so interesting to me! I really see how appealing the benefits of an at-home business is, now, too. I I’d like working with my husband but I honestly can’t think what that venture would look like, at all. We are SO different in terms of work-habits and interests sometimes. Ha!

  9. Momma Jorje

    I worked from home for 8 years. I started out contracting work from one main client, then added a few others. Eventually business dropped off too much and I got a job outside the home. By then, my daughter was in 2nd grade.

    I was so thankful for the opportunity to telecommute. My biggest challenge was that I had to man phones at some times and customers were NOT to hear a baby, that would sound unprofessional.

    Income was originally quite steady, but as my main client’s business dropped off, my hours were cut.

    Still, I have a goal to work for myself on the road. And I’ll probably jump into it blindly when the time is right… because that’s how I do. πŸ˜›

    I can NOT do my own taxes, though. It scares me to death. I won’t even do my PERSONAL taxes!

    • Lauren  

      That would be tough to have absolute quiet with a baby in the house. Even when I call customer service, they always end up commenting on the din on my end of the line…

      I bet you will jump into it with gusto. That’s how we did it, too, though it’s not the way I recommend β€” you know, for prudent people. Hey, whatever works, though, right?

      I’d like to fob my taxes onto someone else. Although, at this point, I think it would be just as much work to hire someone to do it. Maybe if I get my accounting more automated β€” or can afford someone to do our accounting, too! Here’s something I wrote about taxes that sort of pertains to why I prefer DIY taxes for us: http://www.hobomama.com/2011/04/authority-and-taxes.html

  10. Momma Jorje

    Oh, and I like my husband, too! We spend most of our waking hours together. I can not imagine what it would be like to be married to a trucker! I’ve talked to women who’s husbands were only home for a couple days a month and they said that this was exactly why their marriage worked. Oh, I couldn’t take it!

    • Lauren  

      I know it! When Sam & I were engaged and telling people we were going to work together after marriage, we mostly got negatively joking reactions, like, “Oh, that will never last,” or “Our marriage would never be able to stand that.” Sam & I were pretty dang sure we’d be OK with working together β€” and we were right!

  11. Rebekah  

    This is a really great article. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Kelly  

    I had the opportunity to work from home for close to two years and really enjoyed it (and SO second working in your pajamas! Oh – and my bed was my desk lol!). But I did find myself working many more hours than I would at a ‘normal’ job and really hated the self-marketing aspect involved in what I was doing…

    When I first started working from home I had a really romanticized idea of it, but in many ways it is really hard – you’ve pinned the advantages and drawbacks down to a T here! I appreciate the realistic picture you’ve given. πŸ™‚

    • Lauren  

      I also love the bed desk. We finally did away with our actual desks and admitted that we were never going to park our laptops at them.

      The self-marketing thing is what made my editing clientele so limited. I agree, it’s a challenge.

  13. tom@morethanpepper

    well said and well done on your success

  14. Matthew Mancino  

    Great post.
    I especially liked the parts about child care and about pulling it all off. I’am a SAHD and I constantly feel pressure to “do it all” Consequently, I work late and during nap times.

    Also, I find it essential to have child care occasionally. It’s been a lifesaver for me. Especially on days when I’m on the phone.