Recently I exhibited at the Mums Enterprise Roadshow in Birmingham, these events have been organised to be a child-friendly, work and business exhibition helping mums on a mission whether that be retraining, finding flexible work, starting up or growing a business. When I launched my own VA business I didn’t tell anyone I was a mum for fear of being judged as a Business Owner. But the reality is – a large proportion of VAs are parents and are juggling the various demands. So, I asked the VAs in my VA Help Desk – Membership Community to write me a blog post about a day in the life of their VA business. First off, is Penny Redman – we have featured Penny on the blog before and you can read the feature all about her by clicking here.
So what’s it like on a day to day basis being a VA and Mum and working from home? Well I can certainly say that no two days are the same! I’ve been a VA for 18 months now and it is a great option for those who want a better work/life balance with a lot less guilt.
On an average day I get everyone up and out and get back home for 9.15am having walked 2 miles on the school run. I then make a cuppa, clean up from breakfast and stick the dishwasher and a load of washing on. I’m usually in the office for 9.30am and I start off with checking my to do list and then check all my social media accounts. I’ll then pretty much work until 2.45pm when I leave to do the school run and another 2 miles.
In between working I’ll empty the dishwasher, put washing out and whizz around with hoover and sometimes get the dinner started. I usually do these bits whilst I’m waiting for the kettle to boil – I limit myself to ten minute breaks. This means that by the time I get back from the school run the house is up together and I can just spend a couple of hours being mum.
On Monday nights I always work as my hubby watches Monday night football. I will usually work at least one other evening during the week also. In this time, I will work on my business whether that’s responding to enquiries, looking at marketing, business planning or doing client work if I am particularly busy. I always go to spin class on Tuesday mornings and finish at 1pm on a Friday. I don’t usually work weekends but again if I am really busy I will do but I never email clients on evenings or weekends and use boomerang with Gmail to schedule when emails get sent. My core hours for working and taking client calls are 9-3pm and I check/reply to client emails between 3-5pm. All my clients know I’m a working mum and that I work school hours. They don’t have an issue with this as I am open and up front with them from the start.
School holidays are a different ball game altogether. If it’s just another holiday and we’re not away as a family I will usually get up at 6.30am and work from 7am until 9.30-10.30am. Then we will go out for the day. I will then usually work in the evening from 8pm-10.30pm. We will also have a whole morning at a local play barn with great Wi-Fi and I also use a holiday club on one day so I can catch up and have a normal working day. It is tough during the holidays and can be a bit of a juggling act but it’s definitely worth it!
Of course there also those days when I don’t have a lot of work on. Then I’m free as a bird (until the school run) and will have coffee with friends, go shopping or more than likely curl up with a book. For me the best part of being a VA is that I set my schedule and only take on the work I need. I have complete flexibility to change my schedule as I please and quite often do so.
I would love to know your thoughts or experiences on “many VAs are parents” and if you would like to share your “A Day in the Life Of… ” story, I would love to hear from you, please email me on [email protected]. But in the short term, if you would like to learn more about Penny, you can meet Penny on social media:
Website URL: http://www.redmanva.com
Facebook URL: facebook.com/RedmanVA
Twitter ID: @redman_penny
LinkedIn URL: linkedin.com/pennymredman