Running a Business with Kids

Running a Business with Kids

The lights shut off, and for the fifteenth time, everyone in the audience heard our indignant two-year-old exclaim, “Hey! I can’t see!” We were at Makayla’s ballet recital and her dance wasn’t until Act III. I’d woken up around five in the morning to setup the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market and was delighted that Ali, our intrepid employee, could take over for me so that I could attend. I picked up a bouquet of flowers (complete with asparagus, because Omniflora Farm bouquets are the coolest) and arrived at the school in time to meet Katy and carry in Emma, who was wailing in her car seat.

Running a business with three kids five and under is like being the ball in a game of Calvin Ball. Sometimes the moments are quiet, like when Kelsey looks up at the nighttime sky and whispers, “stars,” and sometimes, they are almost more than I can handle. “Daddy, can you stop telling us to go play together and play with us,” Makayla asked yesterday morning.


There are moments I cherish long after they end. Kelsey was napping, Katy had Emma at the mill, and Makayla brought out oranges and milk to the patio where I was working. We had snack time listening to the birds together and then time swinging in the hammock. I told her how much I appreciated her waiting for her younger sisters to be settled before we had us time and how touched I was that she made a snack for us all by herself.

Other moments break my heart. During a stressful day a couple months ago, Makayla told me she didn’t need her bedroom painted pink and purple anymore. She’d been asking for it for a while and giving it up was her way of making things easier. Even though she said it wasn’t connected, it reminded me to manage my stress levels better, especially when I’m at home.

To that end, I’ve been trying to intentionally receive the blessings of little moments. Doing deliveries as a family, we dropped soap off at Calefs Country Store , and I bought chocolate caramels for the kids. When I came out of UPS a little later, Kelsey looked at me surprised and said sweetly, “Daddy, you’re supposed to bring us chocolate.” I still chuckle picturing her saying it. Emma has been smiling and cooing up a storm lately and will sit there contentedly if you’re folding laundry or doing dishes, but when you stop to play with her, she gets so excited. Then, there’s Makayla who’s far cleverer than any five-year-old should be, and of whom I’m immensely proud for walking onto a stage to do a choreographed dance in front of hundreds of people (tip of the hat to Belletete Ballet Studio). The money you would have to pay me to do that!

I could say more, but Makayla’s at school, the other two are sleeping, Katy is at the mill prepping for Pro Portsmouth’s Market Square Day, and those dishes won’t do themselves.

Until next time,

Joel and Katy

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