The other day I was watching an interview on The TODAY Show with Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter and Jelly (his latest startup), and one thing he said struck a cord. In his interview, he mentions how he sets reminders on his cellphone to play with his toddler son Jacob. It was interesting to see how someone like Stone, who clearly has a lot on his plate, sets this quality time apart to be with his son. For an entrepreneur with toddlers, it can be challenging to separate work from personal life, especially when you work from home. This is something that I struggle with myself all the time. As an entrepreneur and mother of a 13-month-old, I find myself tempted to go on my phone to check work emails when I’m suppose to be spending time with him. I feel so guilty. But I think that the idea of setting reminders is genius!
So how do you find the balance between work and kids? The age-old question!
I asked a few momtrepreneurs to share some of their favorite tips for managing time with their toddlers in order to have quality time with them. Scroll through to check out what they had to say:
Tip #1: Have One Day Marked on Your Calendar as Not Available 1 of 5
"I always have one day a week marked on my calendar as not available. I do not tell clients or colleagues why, it is just simply noted that I am unavailable. That way I have one guaranteed day each week where I am all theirs. I also mark off 'lunch dates' once a week. I have a mommy/son date where I pick him up from school and we go out to eat. If time permits, we will add on an 'adventure with mommy,' where we go to a museum, park, or other special location."
- Melissa Phillips, Founder of Simply Perfect Events
Tip #2: Dance Together Every Day for 10 Minutes 2 of 5
"Although I'm an entrepreneur mom of two, I make sure I do some special things with them throughout the day. For example: I eat lunch at their kid table with them, and we dance together to fun music every day in the play room for about 10 minutes. They also each get their own book before bed at tuck in time. Once a month, they each get a special mommy and daddy alone date."
Tip #3: Do Not Check Emails First Thing in the Morning 3 of 5
"Do not check emails first thing in the morning. Instead, give your child your full attention. Snuggle in bed, eat breakfast together, play a game. Do a few things together at the start of the day to connect. Use a good old fashion egg timer as your time management tool. Let your child know that you have to get some work done, and set them up with puzzles, trains or whatever they're into. Set the timer and get to work. The timer will help you stay laser focused on your work."
- Dawn Falcone, Founder of Dawn Falcone Lifestyles
Tip#4: Handle Only True Emergencies During Times When You are Fully Present 4 of 5
"I like to do all unfinished work at night when they are sleeping. Another tip is to handle only true emergencies during the times when you are being fully present with your kids. If you are sitting on the floor playing with Lincoln Logs while answering emails, then you are not really playing or giving quality time to your kids. I have been guilty of this, so I make it a point that when I am with them, I am really with them."
- Jennifer Kelman, Founder of Jennifer Kelman Coaching
Tip#5: Use Nap Times to Get Work Done 5 of 5
"Naps are a huge opportunity for entrepreneur parents to get some work done, or at least answer emails. As my son begins to give up his nap, I'm continuing to enforce a regular "quiet time" in his room — sometimes he sleeps and sometimes he doesn't, but I'm not giving up on it!"
- Michelle Pfennighaus, Founder of Find your Balance Health
Read more of Carmen’s writing on her fashion blog, Viva Fashion.
Read more of Carmen’s writing at Viva Fashion, where she writes about fashion, beauty and lifestyle.