Bringing My Daughter To Work Day - When I Work at Home on a Computer



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Katie Hellmuth's picture
All #SmallBizDiary Entries by Katie Hellmuth
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Showing my kids how to work and how to earn and save money is very important to me. I want them to see the value in working for yourself in a job you created, as risky and as uncomfortable as that can be sometimes with the irregular paychecks coming in. Being that what I do is nurture a community of business owners here at Tin Shingle, and design and manage some of this website, showing my kids what I do can be challenging. It's not like I work in a store all day long, or build things in a workshop.

When I moved from New York City out to a small town called Beacon, I started blogging because I couldn't contain my love for where I lived. I built that into a blog I run full time called A Little Beacon Blog, and now take advertising for. This new job as a publisher often takes me away from the computer and puts me on field trips, like to take photos of a new brewery being built, or polling businesses if they want parking meters, or to a meeting with the mayor about said parking meters, or sales calls to interested local advertisers.

Taking My Daughter on Sales Calls

Lately, I have been bringing my daughter, Ruby, on these field trips with me. I am realizing that these are teachable moments, where I can show her what I do. Pictured below is a 10 Year Anniversary Party for a local dentist, Beacon Dental, who later became an advertiser at A Little Beacon Blog.

Thanks to the family-friendly nature of Beacon, and of the blogging business I set up, I could bring Ruby along on a sales call to a local butcher in town, Barb’s Butchery. Barb wanted to advertise in our Restaurant Guide in the Things To Do In Beacon Guides, and I needed to meet with her to close the sale. As our schedules would have it, she and I weren't available until after 3pm, and that's Kid Time, after I pickup Ruby from school. So I brought Ruby with me, but my phone died, so back-up entertainment was out! Luckily I had paper, tape and kid-friendly scissors in my purse. Ruby occupied herself by constructing a jungle gym our of paper, pictured below. You can’t do that in every job! Which is why I created a business - to make my own rules to fit my own life as it changes.


Bringing My Daughter Along on Flyer Fridays

When I hang flyers around town to promote articles published at A Little Beacon Blog, I tend to do it on a Friday, and I bring (drag/bribe) my daughter. Ruby has watched me ask permission to post the flyers, and get welcomed or rejected if a store has a no-flyer policy. During one of our business lunches at local soul food eatery BJ’s, she dared me to ask the owner if I could hang the flyer, and was quite insistent after being resistant about the errand that was taking her away from playing at home. When I asked her why she cared so much right now, her response was: “Because I want to see if she says yes!”

Paying My Daughter to Accompany Me on Flyer Fridays

I have been searching for ways to pay my kids for jobs and not chores to help them earn money for summer day camps, and feel what it’s like to earn and spend money. This has been a success, and my daughter negotiates a high rate!

Telling My Kids What I am Doing at Work 

Sometime I hide my work from my kids, so that they don’t feel like I am not paying attention to them. But when my 4 year old son was sick with the five-day-fever, I had to co-host a live webinar for businesses tuning in at Tin Shingle, and did not have babysitter backup. I got on his eye level and told him that mommy was going to be a teacher at 12pm on the computer at her desk, and that he needed to be quiet and could watch videos until 1pm when I was finished. When his response was: “And then will you turn back to normal?” I knew we were on the same page, where he was happy and knew what was going on, and co-hosting the webinar with Sabina was a success.

These field trips have made me not dread "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" which is now "Take Your Kids to Work Day", because I can show them the different capacities in which I work!