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Ep. 76 Benefits and Trials of Working From Home with Kids

by | Smart AF Show

working from home

Benefits and Trials of Working From Home with Kids

Many people over the last year have been flung into working at home with their kids. Finding a new groove to your working style can be difficult – for you and your kids when you now work from home.

Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean talk about the challenges and benefits of mixing a home office with kids. Since 2006, Torie has worked exclusively from her laptop – before kids, and since 2008 with kids. She sees it as an amazing opportunity for both you and your kids.

Here are their tips for working from home with kids.

We have 20+ combined years of experience with work from home jobs.

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SAF 76

Torie: [00:00:00] But I did always feel like I had a child on my head while I was typing 

Sean: [00:00:04] Sleeping at your feet. 

Torie: [00:00:05] Yes. Sleeping at my feet or in my lap. Like wherever it was. Yeah.

Hey guys, welcome to the show. I’m your host Torie Mathis. And I’m here with the one and only Sean Mathis, founder of Miles Through Time Automotive Museum. I got to tell your title before you started talking.

So we have been in business for a really long time. In fact, I have been in business and actually working from my laptop since before we had kids. And so it’s been quite a different journey from where I first started to where I am now with a 10 and 12 year old. And it’s funny, we were just talking the other day that Sean was like, what are we going to do with the kids during the summer?

I’m like, man, I’ve been doing summers forever. They never leave you. Working with kids at home, and I know this last year, a lot of people have had to do this. Even the whole last school year, we had our kids were at home and did homeschool for about half the year. And it was not easy. Even with all the experience that I had with kids at home, I was not prepared for what that entailed, but since I did have some experience there are some things that I think have worked really well for me. And some things that haven’t worked really well.

Sean: [00:01:31] What works really well?

Torie: [00:01:33] Some of the things that worked really well, no, that’s the word I don’t want to be like, I have to work, watch TV. Like I never tried to do that. Though, that does work if like you absolutely, have to take a meeting or have to have kids, especially younger occupied. One thing when the kids were really young, is that right?

When they napped, I didn’t stop working and do things around the house like that wasn’t the right time. I know a lot of people like their wait for naps, and then they would use that time to do whatever they thought was important, laundry or dishes or whatever. And I think that all of those types of tasks need to be done in front of the kids, maybe with the kids.

Even if they’re little like. I wore the kids forever, had the little baby Bjorn things like those kinds of things can be done with the kids. I always took nap times and those times of it that they were asleep or playing to do, like whatever was really important. What’s the one thing that I need to buckle down and do right now, and I can get the most done and make the most progress to move to the next level. 

Sean: [00:02:33] That requires concentration. 

Torie: [00:02:35] Yes. 

Sean: [00:02:36] Doing laundry doesn’t necessarily mean concentration. 

Torie: [00:02:38] Laundry does need to be done or the dishes need to be done. Like those things can be done with the kids. There’s some constant like concentration.

That’s a really good way of putting it that can’t be done. The kids are there and, climbing on top of you. But I did always feel like I had a child on my head while I was typing. Yes. Sleeping at my feet in my lap. Like wherever it was because. I, and again, we were just talking about this there’s, you see it on TV that like the dad works at home, but when he does he goes to the office and shuts the door, and then nobody is allowed to talk to dad from that certain time.

And I’ve never done that. That doesn’t work for me. I think that like the kids need to see you work. I think they need to see you work and see that is important. And that is what you do. It’s nothing that I’ve ever hid from them. I don’t usually take calls in front of them just because they always want to come and talk to me.

And so that’s one time that I might go out of the room or shut a door or whatever. But for the most part for working, I have always done it in front of the kids. 

Sean: [00:03:43] On it, it’s easy to explain to them as well. Like you like the roof over your head, then you gotta let us work. Like we’re not watching video games and hanging out on YouTube.

Like they are like, we’re doing something that is helping feed them. So th they, they need to know, like we’re not playing around, like this has to get done. 

Torie: [00:04:03] I think because the kids have always had me around, I’ve always been there when they got home from school. I’ve always been there before they went to school that they’re not, they’ve never experienced that mom has to actually get up and leave for the entire day.

I don’t think they really understand that. So yeah. Sometimes they’re like you’re on your computer or you’re doing this. And so just letting them know that

yeah, this is what I do

Sean: [00:04:26] every once in a while. Cause every once in a while they do like to point that out. You’re on devices.

Torie: [00:04:31] How come you get to be on there? Yeah, I think about that video and I posted it a long time ago and I was like, this is me. And it says newscaster guy and he’s in his office and he’s like trying to give this. Super serious interview. And then the door opens and this little kid walks in, I think ding, and starts doing stuff.

And then the nanny runs in and like grabs the kid and is trying to take the kid out. And the guy’s just keeps on talking like, no nothing’s happening back here. And I think that there’s two ways that you can take that. And one is probably going to stress you the hell out. Like one is like trying to control the situation like, Oh my God, I can’t believe that happened.

Or. Hey, everybody understands. You got kids, like it’s totally okay. Your kid walks into your zoom meeting and you’re like, honey, I’m in my meeting right now and have them leave. Like you don’t really have to make a big deal in those things. There’s sometimes your jerk reaction is to, especially if you’re trying to do something super serious or you’re in a very professional setting 

Sean: [00:05:30] it’s depending on your age, on the kid’s age as well, working in front of them like how you’ve done this whole time, they they’re trained better than the kid that’s, gets the work at home, hidden from them. They don’t know Hey, there’s mommy. They want a hug in front of, whatever video conference you’re on or something, which isn’t bad, but, They would probably understand that they should probably wait if they knew what you were doing instead of it was being hidden from them.

Torie: [00:05:58] Another really great thing about working in front of kids is that our kids have actually become very interested in some of the things that we do, even Riley, when he was really little me using Photoshop, he actually wanted to see it and I showed him how to do some things. And I think he was only like six.

And he was like in there messing with Photoshop, like taking backgrounds out and putting himself in the sky, doing all this kind of stuff. Bella has a YouTube channel. I showed her how to edit a couple of videos and she has just really, 

Sean: [00:06:24] She’s got her own studio. 

Torie: [00:06:25] Yeah. She set up her own studio.

She requested a couple of things from me. She edits her own video. She makes her own intro. She goes and licenses, music videos, and finds like little clips. And like she’s done a really good job. And because she’s been seeing me do it for so long, I think it was really easy for her to just get those couple first steps and then run with it and know that.

Yeah, she can be successful doing the same thing, doing things that are similar. There’s a couple other things that the kids, Oh they’ve seen that, like we’ve designed and printed t-shirts Bella and Riley both have designed their own shirts and they have them up for sale and they both bought their own, gear.

Bella has some designs in her little sketchbook that she’s got all of her. She’s wrote out Merch and she wrote all these little pictures of what her merchandise is going to look like. And she’s got hats and she’s got sweatshirts and t-shirts and she went and had exactly, I had to show her a couple of things, how to do it.

And she went and put her logo for her YouTube channel on a whole bunch of things. She ordered herself a sweatshirt and she wears it to school. Now she’s she’s got her own brand and she is 10, if we didn’t work in front of her and we weren’t willing to let them like be a part of that. Because I think that letting them be a part of that is awesome.

Let them see that. Let them want to be interested in what you’re doing. I don’t, my parents went away to work. Like I really didn’t know too much of what they were doing though. My dad had us a water, drilling business. And there were times that I was able to go with him. But his work, like he wants the boys to do it.

He really doesn’t want it. Me to be too much of a part of it, but I have shoveled some gravel with my dad. I have jumped off the drilling truck many a times, so there is a little bit there But being able to have them see, what I’m doing, allows them to be interested and want to do things like that themselves.

And I think that’s one of the most important things about being an entrepreneur with kids is that you are a fantastic example of what can happen and what can be done. 

Sean: [00:08:18] Yeah. Don’t hide the fact that, you’re an entrepreneur and a family person. 

Torie: [00:08:23] Another great thing about having the kids with the business is.

Like when you guys did the floor at Miles Through Time like they got to be a part of that. And now you have this video of the kids. Sean did a time-lapse video of the kids while they were installing this checkered floor in the museum. And they’re the ones that did though, pretty much the whole thing until you had some like small adjustments at the end, right?

Sean: [00:08:48] Yeah, small adjustments. 

I had to completely break it apart and spin the whole thing,

Torie: [00:08:54] But that wasn’t because of them. 

Sean: [00:08:56] No, it was my fault. So they got to be super it was super easy to click all the pieces together. It’s like, why not have them? Do as much as possible for it. And they take some sort of ownership and being a part of it.

Torie: [00:09:11] Riley being a little bit older, the last few events that we’ve had at the museum, he’s really been a part of it. He’s so outgoing and just great at like showing people around and answering people’s questions. And he’s like a little host.

Bella wants all day long. Bella wants no part of it. Like she just wants to be like, you’re right next to me, which is fine.

Sean: [00:09:31] But it’s amazing that, she’s but then plugging them into a business rally would be the salesperson and Bella would be the creator like you, that would be in the background, just doing the things, getting things done. 

Torie: [00:09:43] That’s true. When we did the Tesla world record Riley was out actually helping everybody direct cars and that kind of stuff.

And he took direction really well from people that were, having him help out and fill in. And he was a runner running, 

Sean: [00:09:57] He just told me like two days ago he was like, I probably walked more than anybody at that event, out of the blue, out of nowhere. 

Torie: [00:10:03] So proud that he did stuff. Cause he was like, I did more than Bella and I’m like you didn’t see what Bella was doing so I can understand why you would feel that way.

But Bella had her own part of that day and Bella did a lot and I’m very proud of both of you for everything that you did, but it’s good that he’s really proud of what he did do. Cause he was a really big help. And, but for that, Bella, I showed her just a couple of things. Cause we were doing the live videos.

I showed her how to go in and out of the different scenes. So it could go from our pre-taped thing to actually like putting me on screen and interviewing like Tim Echols. She was the one running all of it. Like I just showed her how to do it. If it wasn’t perfect, like it was okay. Like it was.

Her thing though, like that was her responsibility and she did an amazing job. She was like telling me when, everything was cool and it switched over and. That was her part. And that was what she was comfortable with. And I think knowing that and knowing what your kids are good at and what they’ll be able to go in there and help you with it.

It’s important for them to be a part of those types of things, because then they’ll grow up knowing possibilities that other people’s kids may never know because their parents work some nine to five downtown and commuted for two hours a day. It gets different. So it’s a good opportunity. If your kids see you work to make them a part of it and have them see you work, have them see what you do.

Show them stuff. Like I love, let’s see what I made today. Sometimes. Like they don’t care at all, but I’m going to show them anyway. Sometimes they’re super interested. And they’ll ask me questions and want to know more and they’ll come back a few days later randomly and be like, show me how to do that.

So I can, and it’ll be something that they’re actually interested in. Like I said, even if they’re not interested, I’m still going to show them one of these times. They will be. 

Sean: [00:11:47] And I like to remind them that they’re lucky that they get to be a part of all these things know, do the Guinness world record have the museum, we’re, self-employed we get to go on cruises and trips and all these different things that they see.

We’re still like, it’s it is either actual work still that we’re doing, or we’re working through these things. Even when we were on a cruise, they get to go to kids camp and do all their things. And we had to take a little bit of time to get a few work things done, but they didn’t stop us from going and enjoying those things.

And they it’s important that they see that, like we don’t. We don’t get to just go do these things cause we want to we have to work for it. And it’s important for them to understand that. And then, because they’re going to take that with them as they get older, they’re going to go, Hey, our parents did all these things so that we could do these things as a family when they were younger versus nothing.

I th there’s kids that. Do nothing. They have no idea what their parents do. You have a career day coming up. That Torie is actually going to be a part of it. And so that, that makes us like, Riley is super proud of his mom and wants. Torie there because she is a business owner.

I miss so many. I bet you, there’s probably the majority of the kids in the club. They have no idea what their damn parents do. I think it’s really neat. Why would you not want your kids involved as they can be even a little. Purely redundant stuff that you’ve had both of them do that it’s just repetitive.

Torie: [00:13:18] Yeah. I’ve actually, yeah, I’ve paid Riley. I don’t know if I’ve paid. Bella bill helped me with a couple of things, but she’s not all in yet. Whereas Riley wants to make money and I’m like, Hey, I need this done. And I need it done a hundred times and it’s like the same task and he sat there and he updated all these different pages and did all the same thing.

I checked a little bit. He did a great job. So again, it’s that ownership. It’s that being a part of it. And you never know, who would have known that it was six months later, he come back and talk about the world record and you never know what those little things are going to be that are going to click to make that difference.

It’s neat. 

Sean: [00:13:55] You got kids that it’s inevitable that they. They’re a part of whatever it is that you do. So you might as well just embrace it and enjoy it, where it needs to happen. 

Torie: [00:14:07] It is funny as well that. Because they see everything that we do and we’ve done so many things that maybe most kids, parents don’t do that I don’t think they see to us, it’s this is cool.

Don’t you think there’s a school? They’re like, yeah, this is my life. It’s not I got a bestselling author. I’m like, I’m a best selling author. And they’re like, yeah, mom, we know we’re like, that’s cool. We’ve been on TV multiple times. They’re like, yeah, you’ve been on TV. It’s not really a big deal to them, but I’m like, man, I didn’t have this kind of like neat stuff.

It’s still called us. We didn’t experience that when we were kids. So it’s funny with that, that like it’s just, it’s their life. So if you have kids at home, you probably understand, some of the struggles with that. But I think taking those struggles and making them just positives and getting the kids involved is probably the best way to go through that.

If you liked this episode, we would appreciate it. If you’d leave us a review and we’ll see you on the next one, you want to get smart tools to build your business go to getsmartaf.com

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

hi im torie
I help entrepreneurs  learn digital marketing.
And I make it easy! 

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.

Is YOUR marketing SMART?

Find out here.

Hi! I'm Torie!

Torie Mathis HeadshotI help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + to make more money. And I make it easy! 

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.


from your Digital Marketing Coach Torie Mathis!

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