Spring Break… For Entrepreneurs!
6 March 2019
BUSINESS AND FAMILY
What do entrepreneurial parents do during school breaks? They organize! Between business hours and special activities, they optimize their business-family balance. To follow on from our Code DH capsule on the topic (in French), which got a lot of people talking, here are some accounts from entrepreneurial moms and dads.
“Thanks to the help, in particular from my friends and loved ones, I always manage to make plans for my daughter, who I’m raising alone as her dad lives in another country. During spring break, she’ll go to day camp and spend time at one of my friend’s who has children the same age. Yasmina will also come into work with me, which she has often done since she was a baby. She’s happy enough sitting with her books, playing on the computer or colouring in, and she’s even starting to help me out, too. I’ll hardly see her all day! She knows where everything is, she helps do filing and packing. It’s great when she comes into work with me, it teaches her about work, the entrepreneurial way of life, especially from her mom and grandma. It’s a school of life where she learns things she wouldn’t learn elsewhere.” — Linda Mahieddine, Vice President of Danièle Henkel Inc., Co-Founder of Danièle Henkel To Go, and mom to 9-year-old Yasmina
“My children go to a French school, so they have two weeks off. I’ve already taken three days off to take them skiing and to the museum, and I’ll take another day off this week. My wife has taken a few days off, too, and the rest of the time, they’ll go to day camps. Being an entrepreneur enables me to have a more flexible schedule, so I can arrange things how I like. People can still contact me when I’m off work, and I still check my emails. A day off during the school break is just like a snow day for me. If I manage to get some work done, great, but I don’t set any goals, because that would spoil the time I spend with my kids. My work-life balance works well for me. Being there for my children is really important, and the older they get, the more time they’ll want for themselves. I’d rather be available for them when they need me than force myself to be there when I don’t need to.” — Philippe Marty, Product Manager and Partner of ReelyActive, and dad to Louis (11), Paul (9), Jeanne (5) and Clémence (2)
“My business provides catering services to elementary schools, so the school break is a quiet time for me. I make the most of my time off to plan forward and organize, and, of course, spend time with my daughter. We get out for plenty of activities (tubing, theatre, BAnQ), but I also use the time to take a breath and relax. When I founded my company, I told myself that it would give me more time with my kids, but I soon found out that I was wrong! There’s just so much to do. Of course, I can pick my kids up earlier, but sometimes I want to put them to bed early, too, so I can get on with some work!” — Aurore Robert-Mavounia, Owner of Miss Mav, and mom to Malaïka (7) and Aydann (2)
“I decided to work for myself to make it easier to maintain a work-life balance. Childhood goes by in a flash and I wanted to be there for my daughters. I couldn’t take time off for the school break, so I try to organize things with their dad, and I have telephone and Skype meetings while they’re in their play room. I explain this to my clients — whom I specifically chose because they understand the reality of being self-employed and a single mom. My daughter has generalized anxiety disorder, so I can’t hire an occasional babysitter. I’m going to take a couple of days off so that my girls have my undivided attention, we’ll do lots of activities (cupcake workshop, indoor water park, outdoor games), which will do me a world of good, too!” — Cynthia Côté, Marketing and Communications Consultant at Cynthia Côté Communications, and mom to Juliette (9) and Rose-Aline (6)
“I can’t take any time off in the school break because of my workload and due a matter of income. We’re working to increase our profitability so that we can be closed for several weeks per year without being financially impacted. My eldest will go to camp, he’ll spend a special day with his mom, and stay with a friend in Toronto for the weekend. He’s really excited about spending time away from us, he sees it as an advantage to being a ‘big boy.’ This is our first Spring Break so it’s all new to us, maybe we’ll decide to take the time off next year.” — Simon Gauthier Boudreau, Co-Owner and Project Manager of the website design studio Tom&Tom, and dad to Félix (6) and Milo (10 months)
“In my case, the beauty of being an entrepreneur is not having a set routine, being able to choose my own schedule and be spontaneous. During the school break, we’ll get outside if the weather is nice, we’ll spend time doing various activities, and I’ll work at night when the kids are asleep! My children like being involved in the business. Six-year-old Théo says, ‘We make products that love the planet.’ At Planette, there’s no hierarchy or sub-tasks… When we have a contract to fill, the person who puts the lids on the bottles is just as important as the person who signed the contract! My kids love to help out, even with little jobs! I love my life as an entrepreneurial mom, because I can be in the right place at the right time!” — Myriam Tellier, Co-Owner of Planette, and mom to Mathias (8), Théo (6) and Rose (3)