It happens all the time. You and your spouse are chatting over pizza one night and an app idea pops into your head. Or your sister pitches you to invest in some real estate with her. Maybe a friend asks if you want to partner on a cool new business she’s been wanting to start up. Or maybe your parents offer up a position for you in their business when you finish college. Whatever the situation, it is all too common that these businesses get going informally, and this can create major problems if the business grows, or worse, if the business goes south. Going into business with family or friends is always risky, but when done right, it can be quite rewarding. Consider these as your starting point when starting a family business:
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Once upon a time, in a far away land, a mother was lounging by the pool, the summer’s hottest book in one hand and a margarita in the other. After a quick dip to cool off, she stretched out on her chaise, tipped her wide-brimmed hat over her eyes and drifted into a long, relaxing afternoon nap.
Of course, this is only a fantasy, since any mother knows this type of relaxation simply doesn’t exist in reality. Still, even the busiest parent is often met with a small period of time where the stars align and the kids nap at the same time, or a compassionate spouse, parent, or friend gives you an afternoon off. For those fleeting moments, from the pre-planned to the spontaneous, here are some ideas for self-care so you don’t use that time to fold the laundry.
Parenting is tough. Navigating a career is challenging. Keeping up with the curated lives on social media is exhausting. Making others feel loved, appreciated, and supported is so, so good for this world and just too easy to do. Here are a few ways to do some good for the women in your professional and personal life:
I’m the type of person who adds something on my to-do list just to cross it off. I thrive on organization and certainty. I have a detailed five-year plan in my mind at all times. So as you can imagine, starting a family and living with a toddler and a baby has me way outside my comfort zone. Though the unpredictability of parenting can make me crazy, there are some ways to adapt both to the Type-A organization and the children’s chaos.
I used to travel. Not like wanderlust world traveler kind of travel, but a reasonable amount. I’ve seen my fair share of places, though I have many on my list left to visit. But you know, you have kids, and you work full time. And it takes planning. And it costs money. And, let’s be honest, is it really even fun to travel with kids? We did do a bit of traveling–both domestic and international–with our first. But we added another kid to the mix and all travel came to a halt. We finally–FINALLY–planned and booked a vacation to Mexico, which we took last month. And it was so wonderful. I mean, it wasn’t leave-your-kids-and-spend-a-week-sipping-cocktails-on-the-beach wonderful, but it was better than I expected.
Full disclosure: the best part of this trip was that my parents and my brother, sister-in-law and niece were on this trip. Yeah, yeah. It was nice to spend time with them. But the absolutely BEST part was a ratio of six adults to three kids. Glorious.
Summer is just around the corner, so it’s time to break out the self-tanner and actually shave my legs more than once a week. I typically try to use each season to do a little update to my wardrobe. Although my preference is to spend money on casual clothes, since I have to dress professionally five out of seven days each week, I try to refresh my work wardrobe each season with just a few pieces since it’s mildly unacceptable to continue to wear my circa 2004 Express pants (which I really have and really do still wear). This summer, I’m focusing on a few versatile pieces that are fresh but also classic enough to be worthy of investment.
I only got the volunteering bug in college, and it began as a way to get extra credit in a required geology class. Despite the initial selfish motivations, I fell in love with volunteering and I’ve been finding ways to give my time ever since. I’ve worked with many organizations and causes over the years, including teaching various subjects from science to communication and peaceful resolution of conflicts in inner city elementary school classrooms, assisting with large gala events for organizations providing necessary and life-altering services for children with disabilities, participating in home building projects in third-world countries, and sitting on a board of an organization raising scholarship funds for deserving university undergraduates.
Pinterest. The double-edged sword for the creatively challenged. On the one hand, you have an infinite supply of creative ideas at your fingertips to create a beautiful party. On the other hand, it creates unrealistic expectations and inevitable disappointment when your creations don’t turn out the way they looked online. To add insult to injury, I’m friends with the world’s most creative women. Their parties are always adorable and staged down to the smallest details. And somehow, to my complete befuddlement, they don’t spend an arm and a leg putting it all together.
I’m not creative. I mean, not in the artistic sense. Need me to resolve a complex issue in an asset purchase agreement? I’m your girl. Have a landlord-tenant dispute that’s at an impasse? Call me up. But if you want photo-ready, staged parties, with perfectly assembled centerpieces and a professionally designed dessert table, I’m completely helpless.
Starting a family is an exciting, chaotic, adventurous time. Sometimes it’s planned. Sometimes it’s a pleasant (or terrifying) surprise. In all cases, it results in the creation of a life for whom you are physically, emotionally, financially, and legally responsible. Super exciting to take that on, right? There are enough challenges to being a new parent, so follow these steps to tackle the basic legal considerations that arise when you start a family.
One of our toughest rooms in the house is our kitchen. At first glance, it’s relatively upgraded and large, with lots of storage. We replaced all the appliances when we moved in because half of them weren’t working, so that was already a considerable expense. We’ve been vacillating about additional kitchen upgrades because smaller upgrades like new counter and backsplash feel like a band aid on a bigger issue, but gutting and remodeling isn’t a financial option right now and we just wouldn’t get any real return on investment (see my tips for ideal ROI on remodeling here). Until we decide what to do in the kitchen, I’ll just fantasize about my dream kitchen. Check out my inspiration below.