“My business partner and I have 5 young children between our 2 households. Timing is everything! Conference calls are scheduled to take place during nap times or in between carpool runs. During the school year, off site meetings took place during a 2 hr window in between dropping off one child in kindergarten and picking up the grade schoolers. This still left us with 2 young children in tow to all meetings with attorneys, manufacturers, etc. We’d always arrive 5 minutes early and ask to wait in the board room. We’d quickly set up the DVD, snacks, crayons and then quickly compose ourselves at the table to talk business. Very stressful at the time, just praying no one (including us) had a melt down. We certainly did have our share of small mishaps, and our share of bribes using emergency candy stashed in my briefcase.
We have less meetings to attend now that our product is launched, but our kids still are intertwined with our day to day business. Even now you’ll find me packing orders at the dining table while helping my kids with homework. We’ve also recruited our older children into the business! They help with putting the bar code labels on and attaching packaging inserts. It’s great to see the kids take such interest and pride in the process. And I think it’s important for the children to see not just their fathers, but also their mothers in a positive leadership role. I have to laugh and give us a big pat on the back for surviving and making it through this far! I think women and mothers are fantastic multi-taskers by nature. This quality has made it much easier to integrate work and family.”
Michele Wong, Co-Founder My Plate-Mate
“Work and kids collide pretty much every day! Before starting my own business, my son’s naptime was a great chance to spend quality alone time with my daughter reading books, doing crafts, or watching cartoons together.
Since starting a business, I have found the only times I have to work are during Sammy’s naptime, and after the kids are in bed. This means no time alone with my daughter during the day. She’s expected to entertain herself for at least an hour, sometimes 2, and that’s no easy task for a 4 year old!
I constantly struggle with feeling guilty about that. On the other hand, I try to tell myself, would it be better for the kids to have a bored or unfulfilled mommy? Would it be better if I was working outside the home? Not sure if these are rationalizations or not, but they’re what keep me going!”