Friday, August 11, 2017

Parenting while owning a home business

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Sam and I have worked from home throughout our marriage: first telecommuting, and then owning our own online business of DVD sales. I wrote out our story in Working from home, Part 1 and Working from home, Part 2, if you want the background.

As we approached starting a family, we realized we wanted to continue to prioritize working together, but we knew it would take some sacrifices and shuffling to make working from home jibe with parenting small children.

Here are the pros and cons so far as we coparent and homeschool a ten-year-old, six-year-old, and two-year-old while running a family business for our income. This is from our experience and might not reflect your own if you already run a business or choose to begin one, but I hope it gives you some perspective on what it can be like.

Our Marriage

We started working from home by accident, but once we got going, we loved it. We had nine years together as a married couple before Mikko came along (well, he beat our anniversary by one day), and that was nine years of seeing each other nearly all day, every day. When we tell some people that, they groan or shudder, but we still really like the person we married! Now that we have kids and live in a(n increasingly) small(er) space, we've made the choice to separate more during the day so one or the other of us can have dedicated work time. We also rented a small and inexpensive work loft for storage and office space. So Sam and I don't see each other quite as much as before — but I'm guessing a whole lot more than most couples where one or both partners work outside the home. I totally understand why other couples would choose the work they do and know that not being together as much is a necessary evil in those cases, but I really do enjoy seeing Sam as much as possible and think it's helped keep our partnership strong.

Coparenting

When we were thinking of having kids, Sam and I knew we each wanted two things: to continue pursuing income and our passions, and to raise our kids. Having a family business has allowed us to divide those goals so we each get a share of both of them. We purposely chose this business in particular (after trying and discarding several others over the years) because it gave us the most income for the least amount of stress, leaving us time to share the parenting.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Happy tenth

Celebrating 10 years with Mikko, my firstborn.



He's the same age as my blog,
since my journey as a parent started with him
and inspired me to write about the
new road we were on together.

Looking back is always bittersweet,
seeing all the adorable stages gone in a blink,
but I love all the years we've had with him so far,
and enjoy and appreciate
the unique, determined, compassionate person he is.

We look forward to many more.

Happy birthday to Mikko.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Splashing in the wading pool



Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

We went to the wading pool
for summer splashy fun.

Here's a video of our adventures:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Why do we gender children? — How to approach kids neutrally

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

I have three boys with long hair, and one in particular who favors bright colors and sparkles, so I have something to say about our habit to gender people.

When we go out, it seems like everyone we interact with has to say something to make it clear they have interpreted these children as girls — whether it's a cashier offering a sticker as "one for you and one for your sister" or a waiter calling them "sweetie" (which I wouldn't have even caught but that sets off Mikko's spider senses) or a stranger outright saying, "What pretty young girls you are!"

Note a few things upfront:

(a) These are not mean or rude people. They're interacting with my children and doing so in a pleasant, friendly manner. I appreciate that a lot.

(b) There is nothing wrong with being a girl. Or a boy. Or a person born as a boy who identifies partially or wholly as a girl, and vice versa. There is nothing wrong with being gender fluid.

(c) This is probably the biggest one: I'm not here calling out individuals for being problematic. Heaven knows such individuals exist, but most of our interactions are with well-meaning folks. And I know that I am one of them! I'm sure I do this type of thing as well when I awkwardly try to interact with a stranger's kid. I'm more thinking of our culture as a whole and questioning why we feel the need so strongly to gender-identify people in general and children in particular.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy America Day!



When Mikko was young, that's what he called
the Fourth of July
, and it always made me smile.



Even now, the kids like shouting out,
"Happy birthday, America!"

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Turn a baby wrap into a kid hammock

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Did you know you can repurpose a woven wrap
into an indoor hammock?

If you're an avid wrapper, probably so.

If not, let me BLOW YOUR MIND.




I learned this trick when trying to break in
and soften up a new-to-me wrap that
was still a bit too stiff.


Choose a sturdy table,
and tie a sturdy knot.

Longer wraps can run the length of the table,
shorter ones the width.

Pro tip: You'll want to tie the hammock
tighter and higher than you think it needs to be,
because it will stretch down
once someone lies in it.


Then pop in a kid or two,
and let 'em chill.