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How I Manage 3 Children And a Busy Business

Once upon a time there was a woman who decided to leave the corporate world, embrace her dream to work for herself and spend more time with her family.
This dream is now my reality and I am blessed to be able to do the school run every morning and afternoon and I have also built a successful business. I also have to meet deadlines and ensure my valued customers (that's you) receive their products in a prompt manner and know they are dealing with a business they can trust!
Has it been easy? ... Definitely not!
Has it been worth it? ... Without a doubt!
I get lots of questions from other mums asking me for advice on how to manage the complexities of running a business and raising a family... so I decided to write a blog on it.
These tips work for all mums ... because after all raising a family is a full time job. No mum (dad/grand parent/ carer) has it easy!
Take on board what works for you and ignore what doesn't.

When you work. Work. When you don’t be there for the kids 100%.
This is my ideal. In reality...... In reality I tend to give the kids an hour say of totally focussed time (I made my peace with jigsaws on the floor a long time ago) and then I set them up with something to do (plus they have each other) for an hour and try to package up orders with the littlest, my shadow, in tow. I actually think this is good for the kids to be honest as they learn from each other and build a stronger connection with their siblings. Living in a small village (with a distinct lack of nearby soft plays) I regularly take the kids outside and exhaust them and then let them have an hour of tv while I catch up.
Get Creative with the Housework
Don’t iron, never fold, don’t pair socks (better still - buy them all the same colour) and live with a washing mountain and the odd day where the children wear a bigger siblings clothes. Have a fairly messy, chaotic house, although we now try to keep our bedroom clutter free, and just accept this is a stage we’re in with the kids' ages and a young business.  Don’t bath the children every day. We aim for every 2/3 days, but count swimming as one of those and wash their hair once a week. We don' have too many toys. Or try very hard not to. I find the kids play better with less and I don’t spend my life persuading them to tidy up

Make it a real family business:
Get the kids involved! They are big fans of making boxes, unpacking stock, photos, sticking address labels etc. And I love that they can understand what I do and be proud of it. My daughter alternates between wanting to be a doctor and want to run Yummikeys.  Dad is strictly in charge of Saturday mornings and takes all 3 out while I work or occasionally even manage a quick swim

Build your team:
Find an amazing, overqualified mum friend and employ her to help in all things. My biggest sanity saver and a very recent development which I’m so grateful for. Surround yourself with other people who totally understand where you are at NOW in your life and help you through challenging times.

Grow your business at the right pace:
My priority has always been my family and I deliberately created a business that would grow at the right rate for me. This works because it enables you to be a mum first and accept that your kids need you a little more just now and you will never regret those cuddles. The first year goes by so quickly and before you know it even the most velcro of babies becomes more independent and can stay with granny that bit longer and relish their time with their dad.
All mums know the benefit of a good routine. We opt for one that is child led and soon became expectation. We have predictable meal times (we also recognise when then kids are in a fussy phase and cook the nutritious meals I know they will eat then). I like to cook quick, healthy meals that will be eaten by all 3 (not an easy task).  My littlest naps every afternoon and they’re all in bed by 7 in the week and often at the weekend depending on how busy it is. This means I have time in the afternoon and evening to work on my business. I do actually enjoy this and can be in the sitting room with the tv on and chatting to my husband too. I’ve forgotten what else I ever did with my evenings at this stage....
I have developed strong systems in my business (I am an accountant after all) and these span key areas from marketing, sales processes, production and distribution. These systems can grow with my business.
Use your time wisely:
We no longer operate in a 9-5 world and this means you can build a business at any time of the day that works for you. EVERY car journey with my husband he drives and I work the entire way there and back! Beauty of running a business on my phone.
Call in the troops:
When I had to switch over a lot of necklace cords the lovely ladies at knitting group helped and then one local family changed over hundreds for me. Persuade/bribe granny to help - who wouldn't want to spend time with their lovely/mischievous grandchildren. You'll be surprised who genuinely wants to see your business succeed.
And most importantly... Be yourself and be genuine. Foster a kind supportive community and ethos to all of your communications and don’t forget how absolutely overwhelming being pregnant and having a baby is never mind running a business at this special time. And go easy on yourself, you are changing the future by being the best mum you (and only you) can be.
I recently saw this poem and it made me cry! It totally signifies what inspired me to run my own business and my parenting style.

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