Running your own business from home without suffering a meltdown

I think it may have been the way that my husband had put the vacuum cleaner back in the cupboard that started it.
All I remember is that I started shouting for a very long time as my stunned family looked on in shocked silence.
When my husband eventually spoke he had a few things to get off his chest too.

I’d been running my cake-making business from home for approximately a year when ‘Hoover-Gate’ broke.
It was that tiny straw that broke the camel’s back and my brain decided to verbalise a year of exhaustion, fear, isolation and frustration of working for literally nothing.

Like many before me, I had assumed working from home would be the perfect scenario, giving me the opportunity to earn some money whilst simultaneously being around for our young twins.
I imagined my beautiful children in perfectly laundered school uniforms, sat with me at the table in our spotless kitchen, completing their homework whilst the smell of chocolate sponge filled the air.

I hadn’t ever imagined telling my children that there was no time for a bedtime story as ‘Mummy has to work this evening’.

And so now, two years down the line we have some sort of routine. It works – most of the time.
May I suggest these helpful hints for you to avoid the same frustrations and arguments.

1. Setting up a business from home is a massive change for the whole family. You need everyone’s support more than any of you could ever know at the beginning. Really talk through what you EXPECT of each other.

2. Look how much REAL working time you have. You might think if you have children that you have six hours a day to work whilst they are at school. You rarely have.

3. Create dedicated storage and work space where ever you can. Don’t let your equipment take over every room and your family’s space.

4. Set a time for turning on and off the computer or phone. So much time is wasted on emails, social networking etc.

5. If you have a partner, have ‘date nights’ at home. Don’t talk about work.

6. Keep perspective; let the rest of the world in. Your business won’t collapse overnight because you didn’t update your Facebook page today.

6. Be precise about accounting and filling. You will save yourself much heartache later.

7. Value your work. Don’t undercharge.

8. Value your free time. Don’t over-commit yourself.

9. Choose your mood. Rather than resenting the fact that you have to do household chores and prepare meals etc throughout your working day, embrace how lucky you are to be able to stay on top of it all. You are not getting in from work at 6pm with it all still waiting to be done.

10. Don’t lose sight of who you are doing it all for.