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Little Helpers | 10 Tips for Working with Little Ones at Home Ep 32

Iva 0:57

Today is one of those amazing one on one conversations with my business bestie Desiree and we are going to be sharing with you 10 tips on how to work when you have little ones around and we have been through this stage of life already for quite some time. And so we feel that we can definitely have come up with 10 items or 10 tips that our listeners can take into account when they are also launching their business and trying to make everything work. So Desiree it is always so good to have you here with me in the studio.


Desiree 1:58

I know! I love these episodes so much and I definitely love the topic of this episode even more because they're really the 10 top tips that we've put together after sharing what works, what doesn't work, what's helpful, what's not helpful. They've often resulted in like the cries of help like Iva, I'm trying to finish this but I can't or you know, and we've showered each other with tips and advices and this is how this list was born. So without further ado, let us share these top tips with you.


Iva 2:39

Yes, and a disclaimer: obviously we haven't tried everything under the sun because you know there's so much to glean from but you know this is from our experience and also from our conversations with other moms as well. But we will love to hear if you have any more additional tips that you feel should have made the list but did not and we can always add them to the next to the next one as we iterate and perfect the exact one that we have going on.


Desiree 3:13

Yeah, and just to put a little bit of context to this, if you are new around here listening to our podcast, Iva is a mom of two little ones that are now seven and five years old. And I am a mom of two little ones: five and then a one year old. So we have gone through several seasons of our life respectively and most currently, I think I am in the season where I still have a very little one around me where oh yes I am using these tips on the daily to get me through the day. 


Iva 3:55

Yeah, so let's start with number one, which is meditation, taking time to breathe or taking time to at least find something that can allow you to do some self-care in order to regain a little bit of what we call sanity, but self-care, and we have made an episode about this in the past so you can go and check it out in our previous seasons, I think was on Season One. And we talked about self-care because it can mean different things to different people and some people might think that self-care is all about getting a massage done or your nails done and they might be in the stage where they feel that they don't even have time to even shower. So self-care for someone that feels in that space. might be something like can you find a bit of time where you can at least you know, drink your tea or your coffee while it's still hot or trying to find five minutes while children are napping maybe or later in the evening where you can journal or do something that is really nourishing. I guess the key point here is that you find something that really nourishes your soul and helps you to reset in in a way that your body and your mind can feel refreshed. So that is what we mean by taking time to meditate taking time to self-care. And also adding to this is a bit the idea of how much can you allow yourself to ditch the guilt of doing those activities because in the pursuing of self-care or trying to meditate then we feel guilty that we're trying to do these things for ourselves. But it is the best thing that we can actually do because from that space, we can really provide the necessary focus, attention and affection to our kids once our cup is full, so to speak. Right?


Desiree 6:18

Right. We always ask all of our guests who are with us on the podcast at the end of each conversation ‘what is the one thing that they do in order to create this harmony in their life rather than balance?’ because we always throw valance out the window once we become moms but to really have this harmony. And without fail, most of the Moms always answered self-care, taking care of themselves whether it is in the form of meditation which we both love or like you mentioned other ones, but I think a lot of moms are really on the same kind of path here because we know about putting on the oxygen mask first to be just a better mom, you know for the little ones to be more productive and even if we used to see it maybe as a not a waste of time, that's probably the wrong choice of words. But like you said, the guilt as well of spending time on self-care where you could be doing something productive either for your business or you know for your kids but to do it for yourself it's not selfish at all. It is necessary. So that is definitely our tip number one. 

Tip number two is to really embrace the nap times. If you still have little ones they may still nap here and there. If you have older ones, maybe you have quiet time at home, you know where you just let them just be a little bit quiet even if they may not sleep. But so what I have learned personally, is to drop all of the activities when my little one year old falls asleep for her nap time. First of all, I don't know exactly how long it's going to be, it does change, but I dropped everything. I dropped the housework and I use that time to work because that is something I cannot really do when she's awake plus I don't always want to do it when she's awake and I there are things that I really need to focus and be on my own: the house, the housework, honestly that can totally be done with the kids around. Often we see it as like a chore or like the household and the housework and everything. But for kids even these activities like emptying a dishwasher can be fun. Sorting laundry like my little one she's  17 months she loves just helping me put the clothes into the washing machine. She helps me like take the cutlery out from the dishwasher. For her it's like a game. So I leave all of these tasks when she's awake and as soon as their eyes close, that's it. It's my golden hour and I get some things done. Plus I work really well under pressure and when not pressure but like under a time limit. And I'm even more productive than when I tried to do something half-heartedly with half of focus. When she's awake,


Iva 9:31

Let's be honest when we are doing our own business from home and we are still in those growing stages. And we are entering this entrepreneurial arena what happens is that we need to play a little bit with what we have and as you said is very well is the fact that sometimes naptimes can be a bit unpredictable, like it's not a set or fixed amount of time. However it does help to create that practice of understanding that I can have the discipline, I can have the focus to do what I need to do and prioritize that first because that also sends a very important message to your subconscious mind on how important or how seriously, are you wanting to take your business? And then if the answer is yes, I do want to take it seriously. Then that means that it must have priority over other things. Maybe not over your children, but maybe then over housework and chores or anything that can be done as you said, while the kids are awake because it's your time for you to really hone in on this venture that you are creating. And so it requires also its own space so to speak. So if you can use nap times to send that clear message to your subconscious mind and to yourself having that intention of saying, ‘You know what, I'm not going to touch a dirty dish. I'm going to touch the laptop and I'm going to send those few emails, I'm going to like make those few phone calls, I'm going to do anything that is related to my business.’ You are sending that message that this is your intention and this is your priority. So you're going to start taking it more seriously. But also you're going to have that practice to tune in whenever the moment arises and connect it.

That it's time blocking. So that's tip number three, when it comes to being able to carve out that time when you have little ones around and you don't have to really get too ambitious. Time can be very much disrupted with little ones, you know, everything can happen within a given day or within the span of a few hours where you thought that your expectations were going to go into one direction but they didn't. So having this time blocking and looking at it like okay, within this reasonable amount of time. What are the things that I can do is possibly a little bit less daunting than trying to come up with a full list of to-do/s and trying to tick them all off right or trying to put them all within the day. Because most likely we're going to feel like we feel like we didn't reach the whole end of the list by the time the day was done. But however, with the time blocking, you're able to have a little bit more flexibility in allowing yourself to say, ‘Okay, what activities or what things related to my business require the most time and does that time align with the available time that I have in this moment?’ So yeah, it has this better alignment where you don't feel so I guess so stressed or depleted from trying to make it happen are trying to like fit it all in in one go.


Desiree 13:15

Yeah, it's a mistake I used to make all the time you know, and I used to go to bed frustrated, thinking I didn't get all the things done I wanted to do but they were virtually impossible to complete in the amount of time I had right which is nap time or just those pockets of time. So I also when I started time blocking I'm like okay, I cannot fit boarded three of these tasks because I know these tasks take be this in this much time. But you know if there is an occasion that I finished task number one faster than I anticipated I can always go back to my to do list and get another one blocked in there. So it is flexible, but it's time blocking I think is so much just about being realistic of the time that is available to you and what is the ticker say? 


Iva 14:08

Yeah,and I know that us mamas that are entrepreneurial by nature, we're also very driven and we're very ambitious so we really have this like high hopes that yes, you know if I can do three I can actually do five you know, why not? Why not go for it and then we feel the crash from realizing that we only did two out of the out of the five that we have


Desiree 14:34

I feel so accomplished, right? I feel so accomplished if I completed my three tasks I set out and gosh, I feel even better if I did an extra one as well. But no, it's it changes so much just from your own mind and your own feeling of accomplishment. So here's number four that is that has really changed a lot for me is using the notes or notes app and the voice function in your notes app to get things done. So whenever I went on my stroller walks or I my main mode of transport here in Tokyo is the bicycle. So sometimes I'm around and I get my best ideas when I'm walking. When I'm out with my little daughter or when I'm picking up my son from school and I'm on the bike and like ‘oh, I could write a blog post about this. Oh, I could do a social media posted this, oh, I need to write this email to that person.’ And I'm like, ‘’Oh, but I need to. I need to do it when I get back home and I can write it’ and guess what happens when you get home? Those ideas are often gone right or are not as full as they were in your mind. So what I've started to do is just to use my notes app, hit that microphone and start talking. And it's just amazing because everything in that moment is captured. I save time, right because I didn't actually have to sit down and use a very valuable block of my time. I did it while I was doing something else. It flowed out of me and then all I need to do afterwards is go back into that node, edit it, edit it out and just make it into a neater written form. But the outline is fully there. So that has been an absolute game changer and getting work done. While I am physically with my little ones.


Iva 16:40

That is such a great tip because it really puts the power of technology back in our hands. And what I mean by that is that we have gotten so used to having this device in our hands at all times- our phones, and so yeah, there's the habits that we have. It's like we're always scrolling. We're always like ticking you know, social media and who liked what and who posted what and that is great. But again, it ties in with what we were discussing also with using nap times to really do things related to the business and not chores or housework and the same goes with this you know you have technology on your side. So you can use it to make yourself more productive to really capture as Desiree does ideas on the go. So then, you know when you get back home you just finished them or edit them quickly, but it's pretty much done. Instead of being distracted by all the other apps that don't really leave you closer to where you want to be business wise. So that also entails being very intentional. And I think phones nowadays also have a function that can limit how much certain apps you can use, like they would send you an alarm or blocked them from you to be able to open them and use them because you have already used up the time that you have allowed yourself for that day or quota so to speak. And that's also pretty good if you feel that you need that extra discipline. To say I'm taking my phone out but it's not to do the entertainment part is to do the work part and then setting certain layers of security so to speak, so that you're not able to access distractions, but that you're able to access the apps that are going to help you do the things that you need to do on the go.


Desiree 18:37

Absolutely. We need to embrace it. 


Iva 18:41

Yes. So we need to make technology work for us at the end of the day. And I think we we've spoken about technology in the past. And I got this I don't remember who said it first. But it was sort of like you know, technology is like fire. It can help you cook your food, but it can also, burn your house down if you don’t know how to how to control it and manage it. And the same with technology. We have to be very, very intentional and careful. Because then all of our time has gone to scrolling and we didn't really get to do what was going to move the needle for us.

So that also takes us to tip number five which is doing a little bit the night shift. I call it the night shift. I don't know why you call it Des, but I'm like okay, I’m on my night shift


Desiree 20:23

I like that word. I'm gonna adapt that.


Iva 20:25

When the kids finally go to bed, then it's like you can get that more focused work the one that requires longer stretches of time or concentration done because you know that you're not going to be distracted. And you also don't have that looming thought of they're going to wake up or I need to head out so I'm not late to pick them up or to go somewhere right, so you don't have like in the back of your head all this pending time constraints that we have during the day. So at night, we can really just go in one full sprint and do like that. Big chunk of intentional, concentrated work that really requires strategizing, planning. You know at night usually, we used to also take time to record some of the episodes in our premises. That was the time where the kids were asleep and we're like okay, finally we can sit down and really do an episode. Knowing that we 


Desiree 21:40

I think that was until I got pregnant and was so nauseous at night, wasn't it?


Iva 21:46

Yes, yes. So that used to be part of our night shift. We knew that we have those nightly recordings, but it could be anything else that's related to your business where you feel that you're really you know, you're, you know, have limitations in terms of attention where your attention is going, but rather, you can fully be on right and your spouse can also take care of themselves while you're in your night shift and you can do what you need to do so that's also another option. However, we It comes with a disclaimer because also you can go way into the wee hours and also that is not the point because you also don't want to be tired and the next morning and children don't care how late you went to bed. They are going to wake up early anyway. Or sometimes they even sort of smell it they sort of know and they all have a much earlier wake up time the next days. So you know again, measure things and try to also put yourself with certain how can I say like layers of accountability, if you will. What I have done in the past for example is I tell my husband like ‘hey, I really want to go to bed early. I want to finish this but I want to go to bed when you go to bed. So when you go to bed come and like drag me to bed’ because I know I’ll to stay up a little bit later. Another hack that I have though, if you know that you have that tendency and that's what I did myself. I bought a pair of red glasses that block out the blue light from the computer and from the artificial light that you turn on when it's nighttime. And so I put them on whenever I'm working at night because it naturally is going to induce melatonin levels in my brain to allow me to sleep better because what happens is that when I work until late I get this adrenaline high from having gotten from having done work from having finished it or just from the fact that I'm getting stimulated by artificial light when it's so these glasses allowing me to do work but they naturally start to shift my melatonin production so that I start to naturally get sleepy. They usually that it's it kicks in at about 40 minutes to an hour from wearing them. And then I know that by the time I go to bed is not going to take me longer to fall asleep because I'm still activated and stimulated by the blue light so that it has hack within this tip of working at night that you can also do if you feel that you work willing to the night but then you cannot fall asleep. 


Desiree 24:52

That is fantastic. Thanks for sharing that I need to get myself a pair of these glasses for sure. Yeah, if you've listened to some of our past episode, especially the new year's resolution one I've also said I want to work a little bit less in the season of my life, automate my business more so I can spend more time with my daughter but also spend more time with my husband. Now I've come out of a crazy season where I used to work a lot at night especially when having a baby around. It's often your only opportunity. Right and exactly like Iva said it's so easy to get carried away and then you're left with no sleep at all and you get grumpy and everything so that also is not the point. So what I do now as well I dedicate certain days, you know certain days where I know I'm gonna you know relax after dinner and that's like a timed quality time for me and my husband as well to enjoy together but then I have these work nights the night shift scheduled, and I look forward to it. Honestly, I look forward to it because I love it. I love working on my business, but it's also again tapping into your subconscious to say this is my time of focus. Now it's intentional. And it's because I choose to have it and then I feel as well more productive because I know it's not an infinity loop of ‘oh I have every night to work too late because I don't I set these boundaries for myself as well.’ Yeah, so that is tip number five. 

Tip number six is to get yourself a Virtual Assistant. It is in our seasons of being moms with little ones trying to grow a business while also living abroad. One of the best hacks and tips is to get support on board right? Even if we have a wonderful virtual assistant that we work with that streamlines our tasks to make this podcast happen. happen she also helps me in my side of the business because I know that I just have less time now and the time I have I want to spend with my little one because she grows up way too fast. So this virtual assistant is priceless. Because she can totally do the tasks that you are you train her right and ever any task you want her to complete. It allows me to stay in my zone of genius of maybe creating of strategizing of, you know putting or preparing content or something and she is literally the one that you know either communicates with our guests or you know, prepares our episodes so all we have to do is also just show up to the recordings, or you know, we have certain tasks done for us at the times where we need she's also wonderful and reminds us like hi the newsletter is going out later today. You know just a reminder but oh yeah, yeah, we need to finish that off. It's very, very helpful. And I think the best investment that you can have when you're working with little ones around you.


Iva 28:23

And sometimes at the beginning, we might feel that we don't have yet the cash flow, we don't have yet that consistent stream of income coming in to justify quote unquote having a virtual assistant but I also want to share that a virtual assistants don't necessarily have to come in this like you know the the assistant that we have that she's a person she's a lovely, lovely girl that is helping us out but he could also be like setting up alerts right on your phone reminders out and automating grocery shopping you know if you buy things through online shopping and you say every X amount of days I know I always need, you know toilet paper and you know household items and certain things. Then you can automate that so that it frees up your mental space to do other things related to the business that are definitely more in line with where you want to go. So online payments or reminders and even or even investing in software that helps you keep track of certain things and there are some that are paid some that are free. For example, we have an amazing you know system that they said of course you know her knowledge of automation and everything She has set up for us when it comes to the workflow off the podcast you know how to episodes go from being recorded to being edited to being, you know, uploaded etc.

And it really, really helps you to streamline things so you can really see them in a better, more organized way. So there are a millions of things out there. We're not going to get into specifics of anything in particular, but it's just to provide you with the sense that if you feel that you're not there yet to have an actual virtual assistant, there's a lot of virtual assistants that can also do some of the heavy lifting for you.


Desiree 30:44

Absolutely. And tip number seven is that we really love as well is to involve our kids in our business in what we do if that is possible in the type of business that you do. But even if your business has nothing to do with children, the fact of involving them and sharing with them so they it allows them to see what you do it allows you to model what you do model a certain type of intrapreneurial behavior at home, right maybe it is something that is suitable for them in the future when they grow up. It's also nice for them to see mommy work it's not always Daddy that works. It's also mommy that works. Right? It's, it's okay, I find that it's okay. And we recently had a wonderful episode as well. With one of our guests who it's all about creating a family team and to celebrate wins with them. You not to celebrate, ‘oh, I signed a new client or oh, you know, I reached this in this goal this month’ and have them part of the celebration. I do that with my little one day jump up and down and I was like, Guess what, guess what, Mommy got this because you allowed me to work yesterday afternoon. i You allowed me to finish this and now guess what happened because of that and we danced around we put on our favorite song, we celebrate and it makes them not resent the fact that you're maybe working once in a while around them because when they are little there is that time when you know you have to pull out your laptop quickly. When they are around to do something. It is natural. Don't beat yourself up over it and it does happen and it's okay. If they're involved. They are going to really, really celebrate with you and what I always say I want to if they're interested, let's hope one day I have a sort of legacy business as well. I want to Will my business on to them. I want them maybe one of them one day will want to take over the brand that I have created. They want to be a part of it and carry it on or develop it together with me once they're old enough I want them to be a part of it and I'm working towards legacy income as well. That you know it is for them for doing it for them and if they are as little as five-year-old may be involved or knowing what Mommy is doing right now. I think it can be a powerful way to demonstrating this beautiful entrepreneurial journey for them.


Iva 33:35

Yes, absolutely. And jumping into Tip number eight, which is having that flexibility of using, you know, whatever available time that we have during the day we call it pockets of time right whatever pocket of time we have available. It's always good to have with you either your laptop or you know if you have an iPad or if your phone is actually where the magic is happening at the moment. Whenever you are out doing you know walks you know taking your child on the stroller and you know that you can get some things you know done while they're asleep on the on the way like you can stop quickly. I don't know at a park bench or like some coffee place or somewhere where you know you have like those few quick minutes that you can connect to a Wi Fi and get a couple of things out. Do it and don't feel as Desiree said, don't feel guilty that you are not doing something else because that is a little bit what happens at the beginning especially when you when we have little ones we just have to work around what is available to us and sometimes those unexpected pockets of time to come in places like as we're walking from A to B or the you know in the middle of the park well I don't know they are playing in the sand in the sand pit and you have just like you know a few things that you can glance at quickly. You can bring your equipment with you right like your portable things so that you can get that on their way.


Desiree 35:24

Exactly. There's been so many occasions where I was like, where I was out and then all of a sudden, gee, I fell asleep and I was like, I wish I would have brought my laptop I could have quickly done just one thing. This one task right now I'm always like oh good opportunities. So even now it doesn't matter where we go. I usually have my laptop with me. When I bought my laptop a couple of years ago when they asked me the specs I need and I was like ‘I don't care but it has to be has to fit into my diaper bag.’ For me size is important. So you know, just be prepared to really fully use up those pockets of time. And I think the next points are really related, aren't they? And that is really mindset. Mindset is so incredibly important when you are on that journey of building a business in a foreign country with your little ones around to, as Iva already mentioned, tapping into your subconscious and I know she'll elaborate on that, but also what she mentioned as dropping that guilt, right? We should not be guilty for anything. Everything we do now has its purpose. Everything we do all is also for the kids so it's really those mindset shifts that we need to do I hope the other tips as well will help you get away from the frustration and more go into the mindset of celebration the things you have achieved at the end of the day, rather than being frustrated of the things you were not able to achieve. So working on your mindset is one of the biggest tips that we can give you today as well.


Iva 37:17

Absolutely. And the as this it was saying it has it has to do with giving ourselves permission to understand that we yeah, we do have a different mix than other possibly working mothers in which they have the dedicated space where work gets to happen and then they get to leave it behind because that space is more an office type of setup. So when we are navigating a space where home and business collide because they're happening sort of around the same areas where the laundry also is taking place and the feeding and the everything, eat, eat, eat is subconsciously things start to get a little bit you know, mixed up and we need to be able to allow ourselves the capacity to embrace that things will look a little bit chaotic that that we are jumping from hat to hat back and forth at any given moment in time during the day. Like we're mommy looking after the you know the booboo the cut, the scrape the scrape knee or you know, whatever it is. And we're also working the, the CEO hat where we are negotiating with suppliers where we are, you know, handling requests or inquiries from leads or from clients etc. And so we're always like navigating in between two waters. And understanding that we do have the capacity for that understanding that nobody has done the journey that you are doing. So you get to define it gets to be your playground, under your own rules. What actually matters, you can get inspiration and you can get so to speak like certain role models that you admire within other people, within famous people like experts, coaches, everything. But ultimately it is you and no one is able to do you better than you. So you do you. That's the only thing that you can do anyway. So when you are in the space it's important to have the confidence to say like okay, maybe my business bestie does it this way and it works great for her but her family dynamic is possibly different. Her family setup is different, like her circumstances are slightly different. And so you know you have to take that into account, you cannot replicate one to one what someone else is doing. You can get inspiration, you get certain elements I like and I want to incorporate them more into my life but ultimately, it is your journey and with that being said we have reached number 10 in our list of tips and this is a big one because this is what we are all about. 

We advocate this in almost every episode. And it's the it's the aspect of being in harmony with the season of life that we happen to be in and that season looks differently from time to time, but it's not permanent and sometimes we believe that it is so even if you feel that you are in a specially difficult or challenging season, where everyone's getting sick all the time, where we're everybody's like staying home at all times where it feels like you will never be able to step out of the chaos to even be able to drink your hot tea or your hot coffee in peace for five minutes. Please know that these too shall pass. No season is ever static and permanent forever. It feels that way when you're caught in the moment and that's why we go back to tip number one. Take some time for self-care and to replenish yourself because that is the only way that you can navigate an especially challenging or chaotic season of life. Someone who is is going over something, a family member, relatives, what have you, a move, you know, like life is dynamic in that way. And the season of life means that you get to be in harmony with what is if you are moving countries, then other things are definitely going to be taken priority over the business, but it's not going to be forever and once the moving is done and the settling down is done. You can reclaim more of that space but then while you're in it, try to enjoy it because that is a season in and of itself and you're creating memories as it is any way of that moment in time and you can get to cherish them as well. As equally as you're cherishing the memories that you're making. While you're moving ahead and you're building a business like Desiree shared she's building a legacy. She knows she's playing the long game. This is not trying to get to you know, a million in six weeks. You have this 


Desiree 42:47

Doesn't hurt trying.


Iva 42:50

Right and you can you can definitely you know aim for that and that is awesome. But you are playing the long game because what you do is part of your purpose and your passion and when you're when what you're doing is part of your purpose and your passion. You don't want it to end. You don't want it to be like okay, I do this and then in six in six months, then about you do this and then for the rest of your life you are just enjoying the gifts that you have to offer more and more and more because that is what is keeping you alive. Anyway. So that is playing the long game. The long game means that it doesn't matter how long it takes. Are you having fun? Are you enjoying yourself?  Are you making great memories? Are you watching your children grow up and spending time with them as well and doing all the things and again, it gets to be your playground, your rules and you get to do you. So those are the tips that we have for you today.


Desiree 43:49

And there you have it. Those are our 10 Top tips of how to get work done when you have little ones around you. They have helped us tremendously. We always love to think about the fact that we're not only able to make an income but also an impact, whether it's on our community around us whether it is for our children, for our family. You've got to do this while you're in complete harmony so I hope you found these useful to send us a message comment on this. Leave us a review on what your top tips are that have moved the needle forward for you as well. While you know growing your business with little ones around you so I really hope you enjoyed our episode today. And we can't wait to see you in the next one.


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Hey, Mama, do you love being the gatekeeper of your family's health at home? Do you love helping others? Do you love surrounding yourself with like minded moms? Do you want to start creating that residual income? If you've just answered yes to any of these questions, then you might just be ready to join us on this journey. Both Iva and I will teach you on how you can get monthly pay checks by literally elevating your family's health and helping others do the same. Partnering with Young Living has brought us abundance in so many ways. Just visit to let us know you're interested, and we'll be in touch with you to get started.

Episodes Mentioned

Sharing is Caring | Self Care with Kids IS Possible and Here's How

Ney Year’s Resolutions | How to Keep Going After 'Quitter's Day’

There’s no ‘I’ in Team | Building Family Teams

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