The Tricky Bit


Honor, a week old

As well as running a business, I have two daughters, aged two and four.

When I had my first baby I had recently started a PhD in 15th century politics, and for some (quite misguided) reason I decided that running my own business would be easier than doing a PhD, so I launched Natural History.  By the time I had everything up and running, not alone had I spent a lot more money than I thought it was all going to cost (more on that later) but I was pregnant again.

Pregnancy was fine, but the toddler+newborn+fledgling business part was definitely a challenge, especially as I was now incorporating trade into my business plan and finding out about a whole new world of business.  However, I quickly learned a couple of valuable things about being an entrepreneur with a small children.

1) You can breastfeed at your desk AND type with both hands if you adjust the height of your chair, swaddle the baby and lie her on her side on the desk in the appropriate vicinity.

2) Although your ability to spend long hours at the office has been dramatically curtailed, you can and should use this to your advantage.  Instead of spending my time packing orders and typing invoices, I now had to find myself some proper part time administrative help.  As a result I found that I could spend more time building relationships with potential customers via email and social media, researching new markets and learning about the best way to achieve my goals, none of which I think I could have done if I had carried on the way I had before I had a newborn.  Being forced to change the way I worked was the best thing that could have happened to me.

Balancing working for myself and being a parent is something that is naturally on my mind a lot, so I will be talking about this more as we go.  I would also love to hear from other entrepreneurs with small children!