The Truth: Running a business with small children
Us two Bloom Bakers have two children each, the youngest just turned one, the oldest is 8. Bloom Bakers was set up when Saskia’s second-born was just over one year and Lisa’s first-born was 7 months old. Lisa has had another child since then.
Let there be no mistake. We started our personalised biscuits business in probably the most challenging stage in both our lives. But seemingly motherhood made us more courageous. We both think that we wouldn’t have set up Bloom Bakers if it wasn’t for the kids.
We started it as much for our love of baking as for our love for our kids. Like so many other mums out there we sought an alternative to the strict nine-to-five in order to create a lifestyle where we could fit work around our kids’ needs and not the other way round. We had dreams of picking our kids up from school and being there for them after school. All in a bid to stop the mad rush that we found ourselves in to combine wrap around care for our two households; each with full-time working parents.
We are not afraid of hard work. In fact, we love working, just not at the expensive of our sanity!
So what is the reality like? Well, it turns out that while this is the better option for us, it is by no means easy!!! It might sometimes look like it from glancing at our social media presence and by looking at it all from afar. But trust us when we say: the truth is always a bit more crude than it looks.
So, while the kids never wait at the school gates, they sometimes do get parked in front of the TV when we are busy with big orders that simply need more time than we have on an evening or when they are at school or nursery.
And a lot of the times they do wait for us mama’s when we are busy closing a new order in a string of emails or calls. They also do wait at the checkout counters of numerous supermarkets because we have to pick up supplies.
As much as we try and make those outings worthwhile for them and as much as we try and bake during school hours or while they are sleeping, in the evenings or when their dads have them, they do on a fair few occasions have to wait for us because of Bloom. And that’s ok.
The upside we believe is the knowledge that they get to see what we do. They see what real work looks like. They hear us talk about our business. And we pride ourselves with the fact that they never tire of hearing about Bloom Bakers. The only thing that really tires them is that they cannot get their hands in the dough when we are kneading and that they often cannot eat any of the biscuits that our kitchens are filled with.
Our kids know the answer all too well when they ask: “Is this for the bake sale mama or can we eat them…?”
When guilt grips me I ask my 8 year old. Would you prefer mama to work in the office like other people do. Or would you rather have me baking from home. She thinks on this everytime I ask her. But she always answers the same. I prefer having you home.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy
The saving grace for us is that we are both parents to young kids. And the kids, just like us, happen to really enjoy each others’ company. So while we work hard, they are playing hard together. Which makes it a win-win situation most of the time. It makes it so much easier for us to come together with our tribe of kids and hold meetings in highly informal settings to make this business work.
It’s not an easy road that we have chosen. It is not necessarily the best road for anyone out there to walk. But it is without a doubt the best route we could have chosen for ourselves. Because after almost 4 years and kids between the age brackets of 1 and 8 we still wholeheartedly love what we do. And are extremely grateful that we can (for the most) make it work for our kids and families.
If you have any questions about running a small business as a parent then do ask us! If we can impart any real-life experience and advice then we will happily do so.