‘‘ THE KIDS KNOW I NEED TO WORK‘‘
34, mum boss of Little Nail Shop, a home-based nail salon. She has five kids aged seven, six, four, three years, and eight months old. Sticking to a daily routine is mum-of-five Fangfang Hemsley’s secret to juggling a home-based nail business and Mummy duties – all on her own.
The work-at-home mother fits in her client appointments around her kids’ weekday schedules, which include school in the morning and an uber-early bedtime at around 7.30pm.
“I usually don’t take appointments in the afternoons so I can spend time with the kids and prep dinner,” says Fangfang, who used to work in customer service. She quit her full-time job to care for her second child, who was suffering from bronchitis.
On days she has to take afternoon appointments, the younger ones take a nap, while the older kids will play quietly on their own.
A hands-on husband is another reason why her work-at-home arrangement works. He preps the kids in the morning for school and even takes over all of her Mummy duties once a year when she has to travel overseas to get supplies for her nail business.
For a work-at-home arrangement to succeed, Fangfang emphasises the importance of good communication – not only with Hubby, but also with the kids.
“For example, I always let the children know when a customer is coming and they understand that they have to be cooperative. I feel it’s important for WAHMs to let their kids know that although Mum is at home, she still needs to work,” she says.
“At the same time, your presence at home shouldn’t just be physical; you need to engage the kids sufficiently, too.”