Question for Veteran IM'ers with kids

by Sam90
29 replies
When I had dreams of IM full-time, I was working my day job at an investment firm and had no children. I had visions of working my day job and working late at night on creative IM projects. Now, I've got a growing family and my time is more precious as I want to have a balanced family/work life.

For you veteran IM'ers out there. How do you juggle family and IM life? Do you have set hours that you adhere to each week? Do you have any organizational or time management suggestions?

I guess I should also tell you that I work from home and also take kids to and from school each day. My IM time is spent stopping and starting multiple times throughout the day. Any tips from IM parents?
#family #imers #kids #marketing #question #veteran
  • Build your online business around a business model that doesn't take more than a few hours a day to manage or maintain.

    And, family comes first...
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  • Profile picture of the author nykn43866
    Find out 1 simple method that works and then figure out how to scale it... easier said than done though
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    My kids are all at school now so I try to have my work hours during school hours. There does always seem to be something else come up that I have to do but I try to limit what I do during the day. I do the grocery shopping because I refuse to take the kids grocery shopping with me but other than that I try to leave things until the weekend or after school hours.

    It is hard and I never seem to have enough hours. I come back online some evenings and often spend too much time on here.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    It's really hard, wish I had some solution, my time is like that - constant stop-starting, VERY bad for productivity but I am so grateful to be able to be with my (18-mth-old) son as he grows up instead of just putting him to bed at night after the daily grind. The only solution is organisation - breaking the work up into small chunks that can be stop-started without too much lead time. And not getting frustrated at the perceived lack of time for work - you will NEVER have 'enough' time anyway, so let's appreciate what we've got.
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  • Profile picture of the author phpnetpro
    Originally Posted by Sam90 View Post

    When I had dreams of IM full-time, I was working my day job at an investment firm and had no children. I had visions of working my day job and working late at night on creative IM projects. Now, I've got a growing family and my time is more precious as I want to have a balanced family/work life.

    For you veteran IM'ers out there. How do you juggle family and IM life? Do you have set hours that you adhere to each week? Do you have any organizational or time management suggestions?

    I guess I should also tell you that I work from home and also take kids to and from school each day. My IM time is spent stopping and starting multiple times throughout the day. Any tips from IM parents?
    Hi Sam,

    Stopping and starting multiple times throughout the day sounds really familiar, lol. I've been working at home full-time for over 15 years and have had kids in the house for almost the last 10 years of that. It has certainly been a challenge, especially when there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

    I try to set aside particular working hours for myself, which is generally while the kids are in school or after they are in bed. Before I could afford to only work when I felt like working, I had to have an office so I could close myself off from everyone else. Music helps to set a good working mood while drowning out the background noises .

    Ryan
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Cheng
      I was the exact same situation and it affected my productivity badly.

      You just have to accept it and work around it.

      What I did was plan my day out in detail.
      I wrote a schedule for everything.

      7:40am Drive the kids to school
      8:30-10:30am Write eBook
      etc...

      I tried to do the most important tasks that require peace and quiet, and focus first.

      When the kids come back from school, I focus on work which I can do with some noise and disturbances. e.g. commenting on forums, watching videos etc...

      Oh yeah...I also train the kids not to knock on my door unless absolutely necessary. Otherwise no TV at night.

      My wife's different though. She disturbs me whenever she wants.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Marker
    I taught my kid how to write articles. He loves writing about things he's interested and set up a website about his favorite hobby. After a while, once he'd got pretty good at article writing, I gave him the chance to write articles for me.

    This only works for older kids. Younger children that require much more attention I can imagine will be much harder to cope with. My own father worked from home and I saw him for literally a few minutes each day. It wasn't until I was an adult that I had anything like a relationship with him.

    I'm sure time can be juggled. It's tempting to say quality over quantity but young children need their parents around, a lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    Originally Posted by Sam90 View Post

    When I had dreams of IM full-time, I was working my day job at an investment firm and had no children. I had visions of working my day job and working late at night on creative IM projects. Now, I've got a growing family and my time is more precious as I want to have a balanced family/work life.

    For you veteran IM'ers out there. How do you juggle family and IM life? Do you have set hours that you adhere to each week? Do you have any organizational or time management suggestions?

    I guess I should also tell you that I work from home and also take kids to and from school each day. My IM time is spent stopping and starting multiple times throughout the day. Any tips from IM parents?
    Sounds like you have about 10 times more time to work on your IM than me!!!

    Ive been messing around online for six years and only recently in the last year or two gotten serious. Just as i began making some head way... BAM! "Im pregnant" shes says. Yaaaaaay!

    Its the coolest thing ever being a new dad, but at the same time, im very restricted on time right now. The best tip i can give you is this: Outsource. Outsosource anything and everything that you can. Nowdays you can find people in places like India, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Phillipines and Malaysia which are more than happy to do your job or jobs at a very affordable price.
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    One thing I love about this career is that I can do what I want. I have my computer set up beside my couch in the living room so I work right amid my kid chaos

    I love that they can walk up and say, "Mommy hold me!" And I can put the keyboard down and hold them for a few minutes util they run off to do something else, where I pick up again.

    Everyone will have different preferences - a strict "do not disturb" for some, easygoing interruptions for others.

    I work all day but in tiny bits and pieces. A few minutes here...a little playing with my kids, work again...just off and on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    I also take my kid to school and collect him... here's how I run things...

    9:30am - return from school, and start working.

    2:30pm - stop working, and go collect him.

    That gives me 5 hours to get my stuff done each day. Plenty o' time to work..
    (well.. you know.. just after the next round of Call Of Duty...)

    Don't work weekends or when the kid is about.. that time is just for me and him.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Originally Posted by Sam90 View Post

    I guess I should also tell you that I work from home and also take kids to and from school each day. My IM time is spent stopping and starting multiple times throughout the day.

    That is the experience from my end too.

    I have a 3yo, 8yo and 10yo in the house.

    I have some time while the little one is at daycare, and I have some time while the kids are asleep.

    Unfortunately, on most days, the 3yo is up-and-down all night. So I end up staying awake during the night and working when I can, and sleeping when he is in daycare. :p

    When he settles down to sleeping all night, I might be able to sleep at night like real humans do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Poc
    All what you need is an office

    Most people dream to work from home, but it is better to work from office.

    Several reasons:

    1. When you arrive to office you arrive to work, not to do something
    2. You don't work from home, so you spend your time with familly at home, not working
    3. You are more productive

    Cheers,
    Matt Poc
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    • Profile picture of the author FalkonatorsWife
      This is absolutely one of my favorite subjects!! I know this thread is a little old but I thought I'd take a chance and comment any way.

      I have five fabulous kiddos - ds 12, dd 6, ds 5, dd almost 3, dd 8 months. My husband and I have been doing IM for about 4 years now - doesn't exactly make me a veteran IM'er but I'm quickly shedding the 'newbie' title and moving onward with learning and experiencing!

      We homeschool them as well - so we definitely have to be coordinated to be able to pull this off.

      I echo those that already said to have a home office. You have to be able to close a door sometimes. We had an extra bedroom that we used to use for our homeschool room. When we started doing this full-time for offline businesses, we moved the living room into the homeschool room. When I make calls, I close the door. When my husband designs sites, he closes the door. The kids know not to go into the room (or any room for that matter) when the door is closed - common courtesy that we've taught them since they were mobile.

      You have to be a team - the whole family is a team!! Create a team name - a friend of ours call themselves "The Mighty Glenns". It gives everyone ownership of what you are doing. We work as a team to get things accomplished - they aren't just kids who are in the way, they are part of a team and they are NEEDED to get this done. You would be surprised how they step up when they know they are needed and not just 'in the way'.

      Create a workable schedule.
      If we didn't have our schedule - we would be dead in the water. On the days when we get lazy and don't follow our schedule, not only do we not accomplish anything, but we create more work for the next day!
      1. Write out a list of everything you would like to accomplish. Have your spouse there with you and adding their stuff to the list - it's a team thing, remember? It's just a list - make it as full or sparse as you want. Some of the stuff on our list was outside time for the kids, chore time, Bible reading time, meal times, school time, play time, work time, correct school work, etc.
      2. Prioritize your list - what things are the absolute most important, mark those as number 1's. and so on down the list - some things might not even be daily - maybe weekly or monthly. Some of our chores are like that (cleaning the ceiling fans for instance) - but once it's down on that list, it gives me peace of mind knowing that whether I'm working in the office or with the kids, that kind of stuff is getting done.
      3. Assign jobs - make someone responsible for each piece of the puzzle. Even my 3 year old has jobs that she does during chore time. I wouldn't say we work them hard, but they have responsibilities that match their developmental level. She loves to have chore time - she feels like part of the greater whole, it gives her a sense of accomplishment.
      4. Put it all together. Print off a blank schedule with half hour slots from 5am to 11pm, make a different column for each family member - even the 8 month old gets a column so that I can make sure one of us is responsible for her happiness throughout the day! Start filling in the slots with the #1 priority items.
      5. You WILL have to tweak it!!! And that's okay! I used to think I was a terrible schedule-maker because the schedule I put together would fail on day one. I've come to learn that it's really okay and it doesn't mean your schedule failed. It just means you have to tweak one little thing here or there.
      One of the best things have ever started doing was getting up early!

      GASP! Did I say that word? I think it's like a *dot com lifestyle* swear word!

      Early! Make sure you get up before your kids. Not just 5 minutes, either. Get up with enough time to accomplish something before they wake up. My husband and I wake up, take a short walk close to home, read our Bibles, and have a *staff meeting* about the day ahead all before the kids are woken. Then, we start breakfast cooking and start waking them up at about 7am. The days that we sleep in are disasterous - things don't flow as smoothly and we don't feel as determined, bright-eyed and focused as when we do wake up early.

      Try it for two full weeks and see if it doesn't make life better in the long run.

      Hope that helps someone!!!
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      You can do it!!!
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      • Profile picture of the author siwunio81
        I'm just a newbie in IM and can't spend so much time online as I would really like. I spend maybe 1h a day after my babygirls go to sleep
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Try to work LESS and outsource MORE. Management is the key. I have 2 kids and this is the only way to get things going.
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  • Profile picture of the author chumpschimps
    I know what you mean about the stop/start through the day. I guess it depends on the age of your children, but it sometimes works if you can get them involved, let them help, or set them on their own projects.

    My 12-year old is a total whizz with a pc and gifted/talented in English, so I have projects that I'm trying to help her set up for herself. Who knows, in years to come, she might have her own membership on here

    Regardless of the ages/abilities/interests of your children, enjoy the biggest benefit of working from home - spending time with your family and seeing your children grow up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Britt Malka
    Well, I'm a full time writer and IM'er, but one of my friends has a day job, and after the wife and kids have gone to bed at 9PM, he spends two hours doing IM every evening.

    Hehe, in fact, he also spends a good deal of his time at work doing IM, but that's another story.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    my schedule is kinda crazy too - but its well worth it...

    day normally starts around 5.30ish when the kids/dog wake up!

    depending if i have meetings or not i will go to my office - i prefer to work from home especially now since its the school holidays

    we have an awesome little 6year old boy who was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome at two years old - it affects him severely mentally and physically, multiple doctors have told his us he will never talk or walk and will need help for the rest of his life - at 6yrs old he still has yet to say a single word not even mummy or daddy, but his determination to overcome what he battles each and everyday dealing with his AS has made him one of my biggest inspirations in life and keeps me motivated!

    Because of his physical disability and all the doctors/physio appointments he needs to attend it helps that i am my own boss so i can be around for him, I also have two beautiful daughters aged 2years and 2 months! lol so you can see we have a bit of handful lol

    i have an office at home too, and because of the amount of money i make online and offline it affords for my wife to be a stay at home mum and she loves it - its great for the kids especially for my little boy... i dont normally have to many problems with stopping and starting, i get that many calls anyway its part and parcel of my daily routine anyway... i enjoy being able to take time out with the kids... if i really need to concentrate on something i can go to one of our no kid zones in the house or even head back to the office which i do from time to time.

    I cant imagine working an 9 to 5 ever again - i spent 13years working in the UK, Germany, Belgium and USA where i now live as a mechanical engineering consultant - I have been working for myself for almost 10years now and it allows me total freedom to do what i want, when i want, last week we went to Seaworld twice! lol Once with the kids and again on a date with my wife!

    Prior to doing this though i was pretty much working two jobs ie my day to day job and then when i would get home i was working typically another 8hrs straight doing web development/marketing... got to a point where i was making more money on the web than my day job which is saying something - decided it was one or the other... guess which won! lol

    I love love love this type of work!

    MY OWN TIPS I DO DAILY...

    1) make sure i have plenty of teabags - i cant start my day without a cup of tea!
    2) make sure i go to the gym
    3) make todo lists each day
    4) make realistic deadlines
    5) use microsoft outlook both desktop and online
    6) use logmein so as i can access any computer at home or at the office
    7) i use my own customized version of whmcs for my client billing which helps with monthly payments etc
    8) make sure my phone is always charged
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    Kids.

    K I D S.

    just looking at that word makes my toes curl.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vlad Bacioiu
    I have an idea
    If your children are older (13-15 years) simply explain to them what you do.Explain to them how their mom is making money. There are many children on this forum who make more money than adults who go to work every day and these kids have time to play football or Call of Duty
    I'm sure will be very curious to know how to make money for skateboard or the new playstation. When they grow up they will realize they learned something useful.
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  • Profile picture of the author louiefrias
    Hi Sam,

    My advice as a dad? (Which you already know) The children come first...after all are put to bed, I can then begin the task of designing my product/system/future. And I did. They're older now and for 11 years I've taken and picked them up from school. You just FIND a way to make it work.

    I started by getting on the lists of some great IM'ers...I like WIllie Crawford, Frank Kern, Cam Forbes and others...absorbed what they deliver.

    Second, IM Newbies should consider what Willie Crawford has to offer and it's always good. He'll be launching Wednesday, June 29th on his BlogTalk Radio channel which you can access at:Willie Crawford Teaches REAL Internet Marketing Online Radio by Willie Crawford | Blog Talk Radio

    To see some of the free stuff, click this link: http://www.TheClickBankLifestyle.com/optin
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    • Profile picture of the author Laurie Rogers
      My kids are all grown now - youngest is 13 and middle son is graduating from high school next week (man I feel old) .. I wish we had a lot more affordable outsourcing back then, but we didn't, so take advantage of it. You can find some good VA's starting at $300/month, plus you can get cheap gigs on Fiverr for writing, doing creatives etc. I would send my youngest to daycare for 4 days a week, so I could do my house "duties" and get caught up on work, also arrange play dates with other mom's and my in laws would take the kids on weekends some times. I was pretty lucky because I lived in a small town, the kids would play outside a lot, so I could sneak in some work for a bit. And then they'd come inside, we'd make crafts etc.

      I made a schedule for laundry, grocery shopping, switched all bill payments to phone and internet banking to save more time. And some times I'd make a bunch of meals for the entire week, freeze them and then take them out the night before.

      Co-ordinate yourself a really good schedule and try to stick to it as much a possible, for those that drop and pick up kids from school/daycare, try and arrange a car pool for that, so you're not doing it every day. And let your kids have some input about stuff, when they ask you what you're doing, sit them down with you and show them (they have a tendency not to bug as much with silly stuff, after they understand what you're doing). If they have questions about what you're doing, answer them.

      ie: when I'd be making banners or ebook covers etc., I'd let my youngest son pick out some of the graphics and colours and he thought it was the awesomest thing to be helping mommy with work. I'd also let him help me pick out meals, cook and help me with the laundry. Yes sometimes it got pretty damn messy lol but he was spending time with his mom and that's all he cared about, as long as they were all happy, I was happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author myseoclub
    My son is ten in about six weeks time and me and my husband are very well organised so we manage great.

    We work while he is at school and take our breaks during the school holidays. If we have a big launch on we can always then do some more work when he has gone to bed.

    It really is easy to manage if you are organised and have good outsourcers!!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinw1
    In 1984 I went self-employed as a computer consultant - with a newborn in one arm (and a 300 baud modem for going online on Compu$erve ). The advice and experiences in this thread are like a blast from the past. Great to see all these folks juggling IM and kids and making it work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh C Guy
    Funny, it's usually when you want to get a lot of work done..then all the distractions are multiplied. I never understood this about people is that when you are trying to get focused, that's when they bother you the most. It could be marketing or working out or trying to play an instrument etc. On the other hand, that's life and we all have to get through it little by little and enjoy it!
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  • Profile picture of the author deannatroupe
    Funny I should spot this thread as I am about to give a speech about this topic in a few months. Having a home office is definitely ideal as soon as it becomes feasible. If you can get one of those virtual offices from somewhere like Regus, even better. I have a 13 year old, 11 year old, 10 year old, and 1 and a half year old and a disabled husband. I had to learn that some things would just go undone and be okay with that. I make sure to spend time with the family no matter what I have on the table. Also if I'm not working my day job I cook when I'm at home so that makes everyone feel okay when I'm at the computer. Outsourcing is definitely going to help you out. If you can't afford to spend a lot look to fiverr for people to do the work you need done. Also be sure to look at the warriors for hire section for people to outsource work to. Most importantly take a deep breath. It's gonna be okay. You're gonna do fine.
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    • Profile picture of the author busygal21
      I've been a work at home mom for years. Prior to IM, I was a general contractor building 20+ houses a year, developing land, building roads, running kids to private school, running a household etc. Working 16 hour days is the norm for me. But I love work.

      My kids learned early on, that during my business hours, I was not to be disturbed unless important. Bickering and fighting to disturb me was not tolerated, and they had to be quite. There is nothing wrong with them learning discipline and that you need to get your work done. But, on the other hand, I had quality time with them driving to and from school, during dinner hour, and helping with homework when needed. But when I said, I had clients coming over for a business meeting, they knew to leave me alone and go see their father if they needed something.

      I am very focused and very organized. Although, in IM, I feel that I have been less organized than usual.

      I feel it's important that kids learn at an early age the jobs and responsibilities that we as adults have. They can help, and I think that they like to help is any way possible. My kids helped me sweep sheetrock dust, schlep lumber, and clean up construction debris. Didn't hurt them a bit, and now they are well adjusted young adults. My son, and electrical engineer, very well respected by his peers and bosses, and my daughter soon to go to college this fall in medical lab sciences, and a top equestrian rider in the country.

      I'm very blessed that I have such great kids, and I feel that it is because of the way that we raised them, with understanding, dedication, showing them responsibility and focus. I hope you will be blessed too.

      Valerie
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  • Profile picture of the author ladywriter
    During schooltime it's ok because there's school. I've found summer to be terribly difficult because we still get up mornings to go to camp/whatever but the hours are much shorter so everyone's home at least part of the day wanting to spend time--and then driven to a friend's house/out/whatever and driven home. Lucky that mine is old enough to understand I have things to get done, but watching mom's face glued to a computer screen for too long is weird.

    Still working on something workable, waking up early is where I'm at but I'm so groggy nothing gets done. Hoping that will change.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paleochora
    Where I live we have two main seasons, summer and winter. The winter is mild but it gets dark earlier and the kids are at school. Summer is hot and there is lots of swimming/walking/cycling/fishing to get done.

    The great thing about working at home online is that you choose your hours. I know I can't make videos, for example, in the summer during the day because of the noise the kids and the cicadas make (well, I can do short narrations while they in another room watching TV but it's really hard to train the cicadas to do that) So my solution is to get up at 4:30 am. I do a "day's work" in the cool morning until about 11am and then take them to the beach and basically kick back for the rest of the day.

    During Winter it is in the evening when they are asleep and the mornings while they are at school when I choose to work. The cicadas leave me alone in the Winter
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