61. Work and Life Boundaries When Working From Home and Balancing Parenting

work and life boundaries with parentingAs working from home has become more common, so have questions and discussions about work life balance.  Today we go beyond the typical work-life balance to include the unique challenges faced by parents working from home.  Our guest, Leslie, embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship with her husband and then discovered that they were expecting a baby.  In this conversation, Leslie shares her experiences navigating the challenges of trying to balance work and motherhood.

Together we discuss how so many people are seeking work-life balance but what they really are in need of are clear boundaries.  Leslie speaks on how she and her husband have implemented boundaries in their routines to balance their professional and parenting responsibilities. We discuss the importance of setting clear working hours and parenting hours and incorporating flexibility into schedules.  With clear boundaries, effective planning, and support, Leslie demonstrates that it is indeed possible to run a home-based business while remaining a present parent.

Learn more about my Boundaries and Calendars program; a community of women learning to stop feeling so busy and start loving their calendars.

Find tips from Leslie HERE.

Main Episode Takeaways

  • We are all searching for work – life balance when what we really need are work and life boundaries. 
  • The purpose of self care is connection.
  • We have to create a structured schedule before we can start to make exceptions and be flexible with our schedules.
  • It is possible to work from home and be a present parent as long as you have clear boundaries, solid plans, and good support.

Want to learn more about boundaries?

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61. Work and Life Boundaries When Working From Home and Balancing Parenting

Mary: Let’s talk boundaries. I’m here with Leslie Huffer and we are discussing boundaries with working from home as a mother. Thanks for being here, Leslie. 

Leslie: Thanks for having me. 

Mary: Tell us a little bit about you and how you got to be interested in this topic. 

Leslie: Yeah. So my story is I started out, I graduated college and kind of thought I would stay on the path of teaching. I graduated with a teaching degree, special ed and elementary ed. So I kind of did, you know, the typical four years and thought I’m going to just do this until I retire. So I taught for, eight and a half years. And the last couple of years of teaching kind of had this kind of ache to do something creative create another income stream. And so I had just gotten married. And so it was about six months after I got married, I said to my husband, I’m like, I really want to get into writing. I just really enjoy writing. And as I started to kind of dig into it, I realized that there was opportunities to be making money from companies. They would pay you to blog for them and write emails. And I thought, oh my gosh, what a dream. I love to write. And I can’t believe I could get paid to write an email. That was just mind blowing to me. So I kind of started like digging into that a little bit, that freelance world. And my husband was super supportive and just said, yeah, you know, go for it, you know, do what you want to do.

So started kind of getting some clients. It was really exciting. And then over the next year or so, what we were finding was a lot of people were really liking the written content, but they also really wanted video content. So my husband’s background is actually in videography, he’s done it for years just as a hobby. So he was, his full time job was corporate sales, my full time job was teaching, but we wanted, like, we both needed this creative outlet. So we’re like, why don’t we join forces and make a little marketing company? So we did, it was a side hustle. This is like, you know, 2019 ish. Well then gosh, 2020 hits with COVID and kind of the world shuts down and everyone realizes like it’s important to be digital and have, you know, digital content out there so that, as tough as it was in a lot of industries, it was really great for digital marketing. And so we were able to grow our business even more to the point where at the end of 2021, we kind of looked at each other. We’re like, I think we could do this full time. Like this has been really fun to both be able to, you know, kind of, both be working into the same industry and supporting the same goals. Because what we were finding was soon after we got married. You know, we were going to our full time jobs. We were spending 40 plus hours a week separate from each other, stressful in its own way. But then when we came home at night, we’d be like, okay, we have, you know, a stress from work or he has a stress from work. And we didn’t even really know how to support each other. So we would just kind of like make dinner together, go on a walk, watch Netflix and then go to sleep and repeat the next day. So we were like, is this it? Like we, you know, finally found each other. And now we’re going to just be in this cycle of just being stuck, you know, the monotony of that. And I know, you know, maybe we should have expected that, but we were just so shocked by, you know, how much our jobs were just kind of zapping us of any like energy. And we just couldn’t give our best to each other. 

So anyway, we’re like, let’s do this. Like, let’s take this leap full time. And we really were getting a lot of satisfaction out of helping clients and kind of diving into that creative part of us. Like I said, I love to write, he loves to do videos. We still were like pinching ourselves that people were paying us to do these things. So we took the leap and we decided to do our business full time. And a week later, I found out I was pregnant. So it was very wild timing. Such a, you know, a blessing looking back to just because I was able to be home, you know, throughout my whole pregnancy, which is what’s really nice, you know, having the flexibility to go to appointments during the day. Any woman that’s had kids knows you go to a million and one appointments. So the thought of like having to like make sub plans every time I do an appointment would have been really, really challenging. So I was grateful for the timing. And you know, what we found now is our daughter’s 14 months is just kind of like finding that balance between, you know, being full time business owners and also full time parents. You know, it’s, it’s changed so much over, over the time, you know, since she’s been a newborn and now she’s a busy little toddler, but it’s just so wild that this is my life. It just kind of came from making that one small decision to kind of dig into this creative, you know, itch that I had. 

And now the fact that we have this profitable thriving business from home in our home with our daughter, like it’s such a, you know, really a dream come true. Cause my goal ultimately was always to be able to do something from home. So that’s why I was excited to find that I could do something that I love, to get paid for and be home with my daughter. It’s been great. It’s been a blessing. It’s been a lot of you know, learning curves as we’ve, we kind of figured it out and, and what it looks like to balance both. So anyway, that’s kind of the, my story in a nutshell. 

Mary: Awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. Working from home with a toddler and a husband there. I mean, it’s got like boundaries all over it. 

Leslie: Right. Yeah. This is gonna, this is gonna be a great, we can take this a lot of different avenues for sure.

Mary: Yeah. So let’s talk specifically to the part of working from home while you’re parenting. And a young child, because I hear often people, and I myself, right, have some thoughts and questions and feelings about trying to manage work responsibilities during our parenting time. Let’s start with what are some of the challenges that you’ve experienced or that we hear about? 

Leslie: Yeah, so one thing that I have found to be challenging for me is, you know, because I work from home I’m surrounded by my to do list constantly, my mom to do list right so emptying the dishwasher, doing a load of laundry, changing a diaper, you know, making a grocery list, meal prepping, all these different things that pull my attention away from the business part of it. So I feel like I’m, it’s hard for me sometimes to find that perfect, you know, balance between like, is it work time? Is it mom time? They kind of blur a lot of the day. And as, like I said, her needs change, like for a while, when she was a newborn, we would just be able to like have meetings and get projects done and she would just kind of sleep. And now, you know, she takes one nap a day, which is great. But the rest of the day, she is busy, busy, busy. So it’s a ton of communications and communicating expectations with my husband and just kind of talking through, you know, when are you going to take her? When am I going to take her? You know, what does it look like? Do you need a, you have a project that you need to work on, you know, pretty intensely? Should I take her out of the house so you can get a lot of work done and vice versa, you know, all of those things. So definitely the challenge I would say would be getting pulled in different directions. And then when I am working, like recognizing that I sometimes need like complete control over my environment. And that’s sometimes hard to get when you have a toddler. 

Mary: Yeah, for sure. For sure. And I have the same experience, right? So I’m thinking about you know, my children are older now, but I remember when we all came home because of COVID and I had a two year old and a full coaching practice and just working from home while children were here, I had to really clarify some of my boundaries around that and getting clear with like, this is my working space. This is where I work, like designating the room in the house that was mommy’s working space and being clear about my working hours. This is when I work and this is when I don’t work, right? And also, like, what are times when I can be interrupted and what times when I cannot be interrupted? So if I’m coaching a client I need to be fully present with them and those are uninterrupted working hours. And if I’m you know, doing other kind of business related tasks where interruptions are, are not such a big deal, then it’s important for me to be somewhat available during those, but I really have worked on training my children and coaching them about like, what’s an emergency? When would I want to be interrupted? When would I not want to be interrupted? What to do if you need help during the times that you know, I have a sign on my door that says um, mommy is working. Please do come in unless you have an emergency, which is, and then I list the emergency. If you need something else, these are your other resources. So I have a sign on my door that talks about you know, when to interrupt and what to do if you need some other kind of help, that’s not an emergency. And I learned that really just through the pandemic. Because that’s when I came home to work and 

Leslie: everybody came home too. That was abrupt.

Mary: Yeah. Yeah. But I hear often people who like, there’s such a challenge with, especially parents who are trying to work from home while parenting and the context switching is, I think, what’s hard, like the amount of mental and emotional energy that it takes to switch context from a parenting responsibility to a business responsibility. Those I think we need to be intentional about and making sure that like our focus is where we want it to be. What are your thoughts about that? 

Leslie: Yeah, absolutely. I think as moms in general, we have to think so many steps ahead, right? We have to always be thinking and then, you know, to put on the hat of a business owner, same thing. And those don’t always perfectly align, you know? So I think that can be challenging. I think, you know, some of the advice that you’ve given is things that I really want to incorporate with my daughter as she’s getting older you know, because she was born into this, right? She was born into having both parents at home all the time. And we laugh sometimes thinking like she’ll go to her friends one day and be like, wait, your parents go to work. Like they leave, like it’s going to be so, you know, she, this is just her experience and as you know, we’re so grateful to have the time with her and we would not change a thing, there are times where we’re like, we see why people go away for work, you know, because there are days and moments where we’re like, we can’t get anything done, you know?

But yeah, definitely kind of finding that perfect, you know, balance, I think doesn’t exist because at all times I’m a mom, right? Business I can kind of clock in and out of as a small business owner, it feels like I can’t always, but I think, you know, kind of keeping those priorities in check. Like if she’s happy, healthy, and cared for, then I can feel like I can get my work done, you know? And if she’s not, then that kind of takes you know, my vision goes kind of to her versus to my, to my work thing. So fortunately, you know, because we own our own business, there’s flexibility with scheduling and different things like that, but it’s hard. I don’t know if there’s a, you know, necessarily a perfect answer to it. And I think what it’s going to take is a lot of like adapting and evolving, you know, as she gets older, but then, you know, what’s going to happen is we’ll probably have another one. So then it all kind of starts over, you know, so I think flexibility is so key. I think, you know, coming from the education background, I really thrived in having a routine and a schedule with, you know, myself and my students. And, you know, at the beginning of the year, pretty much the school would give you a schedule, like this is your first period class, the second period and all of that. 

And so, you know, kind of taking some of those ideas and bringing them to the you know, home setting. Of thinking about, like, what would be a good daily routine? Again, nothing can be set in stone because there’s flexibility and she could be teething or different, you know, things could be coming up in our business or whatever, but as much as we can to have somewhat of a routine. And I think that’s helpful for kids too just to kind of know what to expect. And, you know, I’m pretty routine when it comes to nap times and when she eats lunch and all of those things, I think are really, really helpful, but yeah, kind of like you mentioned, like starting young to really teach them like mom’s busy right now, you know, and, and these are things that you can do independently while mom’s busy. So

Mary: Yeah. Yeah. Nice. I love that. My question for you really is like, what boundaries, what are the limits and guidelines that you have set for yourself to kind of be able to parent and work from home at the same time, because I think that’s what listeners might be really interested in. 

Leslie: Yeah. Well one thing that my husband and I are going to start implementing, we just had this conversation is the idea of having one hour to not be a parent. I mean, of course we’re always a parent, but like one hour where the other parent takes our daughter, whether they take her somewhere or we go somewhere and we can just completely kind of, you know cut ourselves off from having to answer, you know, questions or open a snack or wipe a butt or whatever it is. And just kind of remind ourselves of like, what do we like to do? Well, how do we fill our own cups? Because sometimes I forget that. Like my husband and I were talking the other day and I said, if you had the whole day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? We’re both kind of like, what would we do? Cause we you know, days are so consumed with, with her. Right. And, and of course business stuff too, but you know, how do we recharge? And I think it changes in different seasons. You know, of course a massage is amazing or getting your nails on is amazing, but like, what if you just have a little bit of time each day? Like how do you really pour back into yourself so that you can show up better for your marriage and your kids and your business and all, all of those things. So we really want to actually get it on the calendar and I think that will be really helpful for us. 

So, and what that looks like for us right now is every morning it changes. So for me, I might say, Hey, from 10 to 11, it’s my hour. And he might say from two to three, it’s my hour. And he might go to the gym during his time. And I might read a book or go grab a coffee somewhere or do something where it’s just for me each day. And I think that’s going to be really, really helpful because so much of my day is, is her. And I think that’s how it should be like, you know, of course there are favorite little, little humans. Right. But I do think I will show up better for her if I kind of pour back into myself and remind myself of things that I like to do. I like to write. I like to read. I like you know, going on a walk or, or catching up with a friend or whatever that looks like. So honestly, taking a nap could be nice too. So, so just those things that like those little self care moments of just not having to be the parent in that moment will be really, really nice. Yeah. 

Mary: I wonder if some language around that hour, if you’re open to a suggestion, maybe some language around that, that hour of it being like, mom’s time for self care and dad’s play date with child.

Leslie: Yes. Framing it like that way to her. Yes. 

Mary: Yeah. Yeah. And for people who maybe don’t have a second parent that’s home and available to switch on and off with or maybe they have a second parent or a partner that’s working outside of the home, this could be relevant to them as well because it could just be like, say you have mom who’s home and dad’s working, right? And dad comes home like they could have an hour play date, get home and mom could use that time to have a date with herself. Or similarly, if you have a single parent, let’s say dad’s the single parent and working all the time. That child could have playdates with grandparents or aunts and uncles, friends, whoever the support person is in the child’s life. But I like the idea of making it like a date with, you have a date with yourself and she has a date with dad. So connection is the key, like purpose of self care is, is about connection. And so like you’re connecting to the child and he’s connecting to himself during the same time.

Leslie: That’s really good. And I think as a mom to a daughter, everything that I do, I want to model for her something that I’d love for her to incorporate as she gets older, right? So if she sees that every single day mom takes time for herself and cares for herself, my hope is that that carries on to her as she, as she ages and that something that she wants to do is every day do something special for herself.

Mary: Right. And then hopefully as she kind of ages and gets to a place where self care is important to her too, and she’s able to use time to take care of herself then that would be part of her routine. 

Leslie: Yeah, absolutely. And I know there, there will be a day where, you know, she could place independently, you know, too where I can, you know, have my hour while she’s in the same house or whatever too, but right now she obviously needs supervision. But I know that through the different seasons, it’ll look different and I’m okay with that. But just kind of knowing that I have at least an hour of the day that’s my very own. I’m just looking forward to that.

Mary: Yeah. I love that. All right. What other advice do you have to listeners who might be home parenting and working at the same time? 

Leslie: Yeah. So we’ve kind of talked about, yeah, routines kind of scheduling time for yourself. I think as much as you can get on the calendar, do that with it with kind of thinking I have to be flexible with things, of course. But I think it’s really important if you work inside the home to get outside the home, when you can. So for us, that looks like daily, we go on a walk and we live in Indiana. So it’s not like great weather year round, but it’s doable. So we, when it’s winter, we bundle up and we, we get outside. And I just think that’s been really helpful for a lot of different reasons. I think nature is very healing and just good to get out in nature regardless, but you know, on a practical level, it really helps the circadian rhythm, which I think is helping us to sleep better and all of those things. So I think it all ties together. So I think, you know, I always tell people like, yes, we work from home, but like as much as possible, we try to get out and about, you know, it’s, it’s nice to be able to have the option to do things from home.

But like this morning I took my daughter out and we had had a couple of things to return to the store. I’m like, wait, I’m going to take her with me because it’s an opportunity to take her out and about. She loves to socialize with people. Now she says hi to everyone and bye to everyone. And just enjoys that. And I get to check something off my list. I don’t have to do it outside of, you know, work hours necessarily because I set my own schedule, which is a huge blessing. So if we can get out and, you know, schedule time with friends, we have a play date scheduled for her tomorrow. We were getting together with some good friends. So I just think, you know, being, especially being a work at home parent or stay at home parent as much as you can to get out.

Mary: Yeah, I love that. So I think it’s been several times I’ve heard you use the word schedule, routine, things like that. Tell me a little bit what is your daily, weekly schedule look like? 

Leslie: Yeah. So what we found, the rhythm that works well for us is my husband, he does a lot of video editing and a lot of heavy creative work, and he just finds that his creativity is at its peak in the morning. So what that looks like for us is that I’m typically the one that does breakfast with her and we clean that up and we kind of do some different activities in the morning. Maybe I’ll take her, like I said, out and about. We’ll run an errand, go to the library, do maybe some like sensory activities at home. I love to incorporate some of my education background and try different things with her when it comes to motor skill development and all of that. I just. I love all of that. So we do a lot of that, a lot of free play time with her and then you know, we do lunch, put her down for a nap and then we kind of swap. So then the afternoons, typically my husband takes her. And they have kind of like you mentioned, like that special time with dad and mom’s able to get a little bit more done. During nap times, it kind of depends, but we try to like today we both, he went to the gym and I stayed home and did a home workout. And sometimes we swap that. So just trying to, you know, move our bodies and get exercise if we can, cause then we show up better for each other, were not as cranky with each other when we’re getting endorphins, which is helpful, I think, especially this time of year. And so, you know, working out, we try to have conversations about dinner, by breakfast, because I don’t know about you, but at our house, it’s like, if we don’t have dinner planned, then like everything feels frazzled. And then the evening is, you know, stressful and all of that. So we try to really plan on the weekends, but like, sometimes it’s kind of a day to day decision of like, Hey, what do we need? What are we going to have tonight? Do we need to leave any meat to thaw or, you know, kind of planning all of that out versus like scrambling at the last second. Feeling like you have control over even that one part of the day has been so, so, so helpful for us. We like to eat healthy, but like what ends up happening if we don’t have a plan, we’ll be like, we’ll just get takeout. We’ll just do this. It’s fast. It’s easy. But that’s expensive. You know, it’s not as good for us. We really enjoy cooking when we have the time to do it. And so I think a lot of that is just clearing the mental space and making that decision ahead of time has been key for us. So yeah, by the time the evening rolls around, it kind of is dependent on who has a little bit more work to finish up.

Typically we get all of our work done so we can both be very present with her in the evenings, do dinner together. One of us takes bath and one of us cleans the kitchen, do a little bit more playtime. And then we put her down at like seven. And then we’re like, Oh my gosh, we get time with each other. So we try not to fall into the trap of scrolling our phones. As soon as we put her down, we really are trying to be intentional about creating that, you know, at home date experience, whether that’s even just watching a show together or like last night I like made cookies, you know, for us or just different things like that to make it special, because we’re not really in a season where we’re like getting a lot of babysitters and going out of the house a ton, just the two of us. We probably should be doing that more in that. something we just were talking about, like maybe in 2024, like we’ll start doing that a little bit more, but I do think that’s a priority, even if it’s once a month, twice a month for him and I to get out just the two of us and to try not to talk just about her or about business.

So, you know, the funny thing, my husband and I say is we were married for four years before we had her. And like I forget about that, you know, almost in some ways we, we can’t remember life before her. So kind of reminding ourselves of those, those times where we just could talk, talk, talk for hours about everything and anything and everything. And we still have that close, close friendship, but we rarely get time outside of the home together. So I think that could be something good that we can incorporate more of, but hopefully the answer is like what a day, a day in the life looks like for us. And it can change and it can be, you know, flexible, like I said, but for the most part, I take mornings with her and he takes afternoons and then evenings kind of family time.

Mary: Perfect. I love that. And another thing that I picked up on as you were talking was that you do have a structure, that you have a regular schedule and that you can be flexible when needed, which I find that that actually really serves us best, especially when I do like my boundaries and calendars program with folks is that you have to have a structured schedule in place that you feel comfortable and confident with first before you can decide when to make exceptions and how to be flexible so that you’re like, okay, I have this routine and I’m going to make and keep these commitments that I have to myself and this routine is thought through like executive functioning at my best I’ve created. And then if and when things come up, then I can think clearly about do I want to make an exception for a different reason? So like if I have a sick child, I want to make an exception and show up for my sick child. Right? If there’s emergency, a true emergency, then I might choose to tend to that emergency instead of the structure and the schedule that I have, but I have to have a clear schedule to be able to make exceptions from.

Leslie: Yeah, I think we learned that in some ways the hard way because we went through a season of just like flying by the seat of our pants and was by the end of the day, we look at each other and be like, do we get anything done? Definitely, it helps to like, have a have a list and things that we want to get done and kind of an idea of that. Of course, giving ourselves grace all the way through, but we’ve found to be more productive, you know, when we do that for sure. And I think that a lot of my education background, like I said, ties into that, like desire for that routine and that schedule and, you know, having that little bit of control over what the day could look like with, you know, like I said, grace and flexibility for sure.

Mary: Yeah. I love it. Awesome. So I know you said you don’t really think there’s a balance and I agree, 

Leslie: maybe not perfect balance. Yeah. 

Mary: Yeah. I don’t think that there’s necessarily a balance. I think oftentimes people are looking for kind of that work life balance and really what they need is boundaries. And I have women who come to me and they’re like trying to work with kids in the background that are distracting them and the context switching is just so overwhelming, that it doesn’t really work. And I’ll be honest, sometimes my advice is like choose when you’re going to work and choose when you’re going to parent so that you can be present for both of those and show up the way you want to. Let’s decide when you’re working hours are, and you’re working hours are not, because I don’t know that working with children who are needing to be cared for often works well for people. But it is possible and I think you’re a great example and you’re giving us hope about how you can have an at home business and still be a present parent with enough boundaries in place, with enough planning, with enough support. So I appreciate you so much sharing your story. So, what’s left unsaid. 

Leslie: Yeah I think, you know, kind of going off of that I think it takes some intentionality for sure. It takes some work up front, but then it’s, it just kind of works, you know, and I think, again, you kind of can adapt in different seasons, but if you’re intentional upfront and you have those conversations and you put those structures in place, I do see a lot of, you know, fruit from that. And, and what, you know, we’ve tried to do with our daughter specifically me with my education background is I’ve really tried to teach her, you know, how to do things more independently, even as a young child, you know, she’s 14 months and she’s able to do, you know, little things around the house or little activities pretty independently. And so that’s, that’s kind of become my passion through a lot of this is I didn’t think I would be so passionate about like equipping other women to like engage their kids while they’re also getting other things done during the day. But that’s kind of like naturally blossomed from being an at home mom, you know, a week into pregnancy, I was all of a sudden, you know, working from home.

So I’ve learned a lot of like tricks and things that I’ve worked well with my daughter. And I actually kind of created a community on Instagram to share some of those ideas. So it’s just short little videos or different ideas that I share out that are things that kids can do for even from a very young age, pretty independently that allows the mom to guilt free get things done, you know, cause you know that they’re cared for and they’re safe. It’s using everyday objects for the most part, things that you don’t really need to go buy at the store or anything overly fancy. Things that I feel like have grown her attention span and grown her independence. One very simple idea that I shared, that’s like so basic, but some moms are like, well, I never thought about that was having like a busy box at your feet. So like, if I am, you know, in a call and she needs to be with me, if my husband’s not home or whatever, so she’s close to mom. So she feels that closeness and she kind of just can like wiggle down there. But she knows those are like toys that she likes to get into. She only can get on them when I’m doing a call or whatever. So having a busy box or, you know, I share different like things that are teaching fine motor skills of one thing that I share out is like things that kids can do in their high chair that don’t involve eating. Cause I mean, of course I can plop a snack on there and she’ll love that. But if I just need to empty the dishwasher and I need like 10 minutes of just like being able to do that there, I share different things that you can do. Like one of the ideas was taking washy tape or painters tape or whatever, just plopping it around the edge of the high chair and she can rip them all off or whatever.

So sharing those ideas, but then also for those moms who have the desire to be home, but maybe they can’t afford to do that because of finances. I also share a lot of like really feasible jobs for, for moms, if they want to stay home and be a work at home mom, because I think it’s, especially in 2023 and moving into 2024, it’s so possible. There’s so many avenues, you know, I kind of talked about different things like the three things that I say are really important when you’re looking at a job for moms working from home is it needs to be lucrative. Cause if you’re going to be pulled from your kids for any amount of time, you want it to be worth it, you know. Needs to be realistic with kids. So you’re not going to be, you know, on calls all day, every day because you’re realistically can’t with kids. And also enjoyable because you want, you’re a person too. And it’s, you don’t just want to do something that doesn’t fill you up and make you excited each day to do it. Then that’s not the right fit. Cause there’s way too many things out there for moms. So, yeah. Realistic with kids, lucrative and enjoyable for, for mom. So I like to share a lot of those ideas out on that community and it’s called the joyful work at home mom. It’s just at the joyful underscore W A H M for work at home mom. So just finding the joy in motherhood and different seasons and, you know, sharing with other moms and connecting with other moms. It’s been really, really rewarding. 

Mary: Awesome. Thanks so much for sharing that. When we were home for COVID and I had a full coaching practice, I remember really meeting with my family and saying like, this is kind of uninterrupted hours that I need. And what can you contribute? What can I realistically do? And my daughter at the time was two years old. And so she really did need like one person assigned to her all of her waking hours and my, other kids were in school. And so they were doing you know, school from home, we ended up hiring someone who had been laid off because of the pandemic to come in from nine to 12. And I did my coaching calls when we had her here as a child care provider in our home. And then my husband at the time and my teenagers at the time each took an hour block. And that was kind of their time with them, with her and it worked great. And then I was able to continue to nurture the clients that I had in my business. So I appreciate that it is possible. I do think it’s challenging. 

Leslie: For sure. Yes. Yeah, definitely. And I think, you know, we have those conversations that we may get to the point where we have to outsource to somebody else. One other practical thing that we just did in the last couple of months was we joined a gym that has childcare and the gym has, you know, we can do classes, we can work out there, but they also have a cafe. And so some parents, we’ve done this, we take her, you know, for an hour or so, and we can work in the cafe. She loves it. We get a lot done and then we just head home. So that is, I think, a way around that. If you don’t want to necessarily hire someone full time in your home. We can pop in anytime. We don’t have to schedule it. If I’m like, Hey, I need to get like some work, work done today. And I need to like, not be interrupted. We zip over it’s five minutes away. She gets to play with other kids and then we come back. So like, that’s another option too I think for moms that I didn’t even realize for so long. And so that’s been really, really nice.

Mary: Awesome. Yeah. I joke with my one friend that when our first kids were babies, we joined the gym so that we could take a shower . 

Leslie: That is hilarious. I haven’t heard that one. That’s hilarious. 

Mary: Yeah. They’re like, well, you go to the gym so that you can take a shower and get ready for the day. You may or may not work out. 

Leslie: That’s okay. Yeah. Or you work out for 10 minutes and take a 30 minute shower. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. That’s funny. Yeah. Cause we were talking, I think before we started recording about, you said you used to, you drag an exersaucer into your shower. So you could just like have a shower and they were safe, but yeah, we 

Mary: We kept the exersaucer in the master bathroom so that the child could be safely contained for us to take a shower.

Leslie: You never even moved it. You just were like, this is it’s place. And this is, I love that those are just like, you find what works for you. And that might work when they’re, you know, however many months and then eventually it stops working. But like keeping those in your back pocket, like moms are so good at figuring out things. So are dads, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I can speak to moms as a mom, like we figure stuff out. You know, we just find what works for our kids and it changes, like I said, in different seasons, but it’s kind of the joy of motherhood right there, you know, figuring out what, what they enjoy and how to keep them happy, healthy, and thriving.

Mary: Yeah. I love it. And having the boundaries in place so that actually enjoy your time as a parent and your time in your work. So I appreciate you being here, Leslie. And I invite everyone to reach out to her on her Instagram and follow her. She’s got great ideas. Thanks so much for being here. Thanks for having me.