Reasonable Working Hours for Self-Employed Parents by Kelli Shand

Reasonable Working Hours for Self-Employed Parents

As a business owner or rather, an equal partner in a business, I have recently taken some heat for the amount of hours I work in a week. Some in the business world feel one must work an insane amount of hours to grow a business. I disagree. Do the hours of work equal a job well done? If I work more, do I get more done, and done well? Does it matter if I work 5 hours or 50 a day? if I can get the job done in less time isn’t that a good thing?

The business I have help to build is one who’s mission is to support parents in their efforts to work from home so they can spend more time with their children. If I am working 45 plus hours in a week, isn’t that defeating the purpose? I might as well go back to a high paying corporate job. My husband who makes a decent salary only works 40 hours a week and no weekends.

I admit, I am not super-mom. Working over 8 hours in a day is just not possible, if I want to keep balance. Yes, I could do it- but that would mean I would spend no quality time with my 2 small children, they would always see me working. I could stay up all through the night and work, but my health would suffer. I could ignore the laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, and cooking, but my family would suffer. I could skip all fun activities like going to the park, play-dates, swimming and vacationing but how good of a life would that be? Isn’t the purpose of life to enjoy all that it offers. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in hard work. I know that a business can’t survive without it. But can’t we, as working parents find balance? Some weeks might be more work, some less. If we make all deadlines and do a good job, isn’t that a job well done?  

I am taking a step back and reflecting on what really matters in this thing we call life. Committing to an insane number of daily working hours is just a priority. Family comes First…

By Kelli


STRESSED! as a Work At Home Mother By Kelli Shand

by Kelli Shand

Our Milk

Since becoming…. a new business owner, a mother to 2 young boys and 
pregnant again, finding a way to de-stress has become top priority. 
The old ways of de-stressing no longer apply. Pregnancy no longer 
allows me to have a nice glass of wine, or a cold margarita at the end 
of a hectic day, no long hot baths, or relaxing in the steam room. 
Yes, going for a massage is good- but I can’t afford weekly sessions. 
So, I have been on a search for the perfect fix, and what do you know, 
I’ve found it!

I was a bit apprehensive at first. I was by far the youngest and even 
with my big belly, the thinnest. When I entered the pool, all 15 
ladies stopped and stared. I new I had entered into a close knit 
group, and did not feel entirely welcome. The first few classes, no 
one talked to me, they carried on with their mermaids and flutter 
kicks with no regard to my presence. But by the second week, when they 
knew I was committed, I finally gained acceptance and my de-stressing 
had begun. I had found the perfect fix. Water Aerobics! There is 
something about exercise combined with water that lifts the spirit 
while toning the body. It was relaxation and vigor all at the same time.

Four days a week, I take an hour break from work and head to class. 
Afterward, I feel invigorated and ready to take on anything that comes 
my way. I highly recommend water aerobics to all of you busy mothers. 
I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with it, even when I am able to enjoy that 
glass of wine.

Working from Whereever I may be…by Kelli of Our Milk

 by Kelli Shand

Working From Wherever I May Be… Besides allowing me to stay at home with my children, the second reason I started my internet business is that is gives me the ability to work anywhere in the world. With my laptop and cell phone in hand, I can carry on working just about anywhere.

I have such a strong passion for travel, just for travels sake, I now no longer have to cancel trips because of work. How fabulous! Next week, I have any opportunity to take my two young sons to Milan. My husband has a business trip to Italy (my all time favorite place,) for two weeks- nice hotel, meals, taxis all paid for by his company. And, my mom works for a major airline so our flights are next to nothing- we just show up at the airport and stand-by for any flight we want. My 4 year old is a seasoned traveler who has been to more countries in his short life than most would ever dream. On the plane he quietly colors, naps or watches movies. He adjusts well to jet-lag, sleeping in strange places, and foreign food.

How perfect!

So, what is the problem some might ask. One word. Jack. Jack is my 18 mo. old and hates traveling! I’m not even sure how he can be related to us. On a recent 5 hour flight to Atlanta, he was that baby that not only cried the entire flight, but the one that yelled with all his might, kicked your seat, threw toys down the aisle- for the entire 5 hours. I’m surprised we weren’t banned from flying again with that airline!

 Once there, he cried, misbehaved, would not sleep, and was generally fussy. The whole experience was one of the worst I’ve ever had. Both my husband and I said we’d never travel with him again. Since that month or so has passed since our last trip, the pain has slowly worn off and the horror has been a bit forgotten. The trip to Milan seems so enticing- this is after all my dream- to be able to work from wherever I might be. I’m just thinking that maybe that place is home! Stay tuned…….. 


Home-Office Noise Levels, Am I in Compliance? by Kelli Shand/Our Milk Money

by Kelli Shand

Home-Office Noise Levels, Am I in Compliance? I enjoy running my business out of my home. It allows me many luxuries that working in an office can’t offer. I could go into all the pluses, but there are too many to mention, and I’m going to keep this short. But, the main reason I love working from home is my children are always near, most of the time in the same room, or at least in view. Yes, my work environment is sometimes noisy, wild and chaotic, but it’s what I have come accustom to, and quite frankly I enjoy it.  Let me give a bit of background. I’m an only child and lived 18 years with just my mother. I am quiet by nature. I enjoy doing things alone- going to movies, restaurants and even traveling by myself. I truly enjoy solitude…….that was until I became a mom. Now with 2 little boys and a third on the way, silence no longer exists. I’m not sure how I have adapted, but I’m sure it had something to do with the grace of God. I know my life will never be a quiet one again, and I am ok with it. Ok, so continuing with my story….My husband was home from work sick this week, and got to experience a bit of my workday. He informed me the noise (from the children) exceeded the workplace limit of 85dB! (He is somewhat of a noise level expert.) “No way could I work in this noise,” he said…..I just had to laugh. I’ve never seen him recover from the flu that quickly.  

I could go out and buy a set of ear defenders, but I’m quite happy not being in compliance.

Kelli Shand

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Do I Really Need to Be Connected All the Time? by Kelli Shand

 By Kelli Shand

As a new business owner, do I really need to be connected at all times? I am a MAC person. I love all the new products they come out with, the latest technology, from the thin, sleek laptops to the latest i-pod. Which brings me to the i-phone. Before I was a business owner, I pondered the necessity of owning one. Yes, they are cool, and what fun I could have, but do I really need one, do I really need to be connected to the world at all times?  For months, I have kept myself away from all temptations to buy an i-phone, (I even walk on the other side of the street when I see a MAC store.) Now though, I am a business owner, things have changed. I get mountains of e-mails each day that all need to be answered. So, unless I want to stay in my office all day, this i-phone seems to be my answer. Or is it? I’ve seen others doing this, but I can’t really imagine answering e-mails while playing at the park with my kids, or while grocery shopping, or having lunch out, or at the beach, or during family outings, or driving, or working out, or even in the restroom……there must be limits, right?  I haven’t decided about purchasing an i-phone. If I do, I know I’ll have to set some limits. Hopefully you won’t see me answering e-mails at the park, focusing on work, while my children are eating sand! 

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