Best home business

Monday, 20 August 2007

Four WAHM Perspectives: Summer Months vs. School Days When Running a Business

by Jill Hart

School supplies abound in department stores; moms are purchasing new clothes for their grumbling kids and counting down the days until summer ends. It’s that time of year again – the back to school frenzy has begun.

This time of year is chaotic for all parents, but it may have the most impact on those who are also trying to manage a home-based business. Most moms say it’s easiest to run their business while the kids are at school, but surprisingly there are a few that embrace the juggling act year-round.

Tami Barker

Stayin Home and Lovin It is a fitting name for the business that Tami Barker, mother of two, has found success with. Barker helps educate others about the toxic-free products as well as the Wellness Company that carries them. Working out of her Washington home, she is truly “lovin” life as a work-at-home-mom (WAHM).

Barker, who runs her business primarily by phone, explains that she finds it easy to run her business during the school season. “My kids are older, so it’s easier during school months when they are gone most of the day. During the summer I like to spend as much time as possible with them having fun, although I do still have some business hours.”

“My business is very flexible, so even during the school year I can be the one that takes my kids to sports and after school activities. I also have the flexibility to go on field trips and help out in the classroom when I can. I always have my calendar by my side to prevent any conflicts with my personal and business schedules.”

Lorie Kelley

When asked whether running her business goes smoother during summer months or the school season, Lorie Kelley, feels it’s about the same for her year-round. The mother of two children says, “When you have your own business, you make your own hours. I just change my schedule to fit my lifestyle.”

Kelley, whose home business is run from her West Virginia residence, works as a travel agent through Coastal Families Worldwide. Despite homeschooling her children, she has built her business up to a place where it can support her family when necessary. Kelley states, “My husband had no work one winter. I was just 5 months into the business, but I was making enough to support us! I thank God for what he has done for my family!”

Gina Neef

Eco-friendly business mom, Gina Neef, agrees that running a business during the school year is as equally demanding as in the summer-time. Neef is an Executive Director with The MOM Team™ whose two children both attend public school. “When they are in school running my business is a little easier,” Neef says, “but I do manage both well.

Neef’s business, which she runs mostly online and over the phone from her Texas home, takes plenty of planning ahead of time to make the balancing act of business vs. family work. “I schedule time with my kids and don’t take calls at certain times of the day. I schedule my time well and have great support from my husband,” says Neef.

Diana Ennen

Florida-based mom Diana Ennen has worked from home for over twenty years. This experienced WAHM finds the summer months much more difficult in terms of running her business. “My business is much easier to run during the school year.” she states, “In fact, even when summer camp is in session, it's still more difficult in the summer.”

“As I'm working primarily on the computer, they can't see how busy I am at times. For example, I might be in the middle of a huge publicity blitz for a client who got national recognition and I need to spread the word, but my kids just see me typing. They interrupt and I lose the focus that I had. As a writer it's tough, too, because I could be really into writing a press release or something for a book I'm working on and then they come in and interrupt, I again lose my train of thought and often never get it back.”

“You feel like you need to entertain your kids during the summer. Even though I plan ahead and have lots of activities, crafts, etc., they still get bored. It's hard for me to focus on getting work done during the summer months.”


Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, Jill is a contributing author in The Business Mom Guide Book and I'll Be Home For Christmas and co-author of the upcoming book, Home Based Blessings. Jill has articles published across the web on sites like and Jill and her husband, Allen of reside in Nebraska with their two children.