Family of 3 on computerHow do parents working from home juggle kids and voice acting?

Hear from four voice actresses who have young children, run voice over businesses, and manage to keep it all together here on VOX Daily.

All In a Day’s Work!

If you are working from a home office right now and have young children, or if you were in this position years ago and remember those days, you know how challenging yet rewarding it can be to raise a family while operating a business out of your home.
Four voice actresses generously shared their experiences, (they’re still in the thick of it!), detailing what working from home has been like in the presence of their children.
These are their stories.

Laura Martin

Laura MartinLaura Martin finds it a challenge to balance work and home life, especially during summer months when children, ages 10 and 11, are home.

How does she find time to work?
She manages by doing some of her recordings late into the night when the house is quiet (depending on the strength of her voice at that hour) and also delegates simple jobs to her children to help her with business such as filing.
Laura beams, “It is a challenge, but I wouldn’t trade the freedom and flexibility for anything!”
Laura Martin

Deborah Sale Butler

Deborah Sale ButlerDeborah Sale Butler, voice actor and coach, used to work and collaborate with her husband, a composer, from home several years before their son arrived.
Auditioning in her home studio, which was also their second bedroom, became difficult once their son grew old enough to have his own room. After her husband moved his office out of the house and the subsequent sale of her recording booth, Deborah could still create an almost-acceptable audition with the gear she used to take to location voice-over classes, however didn’t have a quiet place (or time) to do full sessions at home.

How does Deborah make auditioning work without a pro home recording studio?
She auditions less and rarely submits for projects calling for a custom demo. That being said, Deborah gets booked off her demos by people who find her and contact her directly or by sending a produced demo, meeting three new LA producers in precisely that way.

To ensure that she continues to serve her clients, Deborah had also made arrangements to work with Dave and Dave in LA so that she can carry on working for her long-time corporate narration and on-hold clients and has even been able to do a few new gigs. Most of Deborah’s work comes from local producers who call and book her, fully aware that she is a part-time voice over talent.

Deborah shares, “Caring for my son is my all-time favorite job, and I’m just happy to be able to make some grocery money every month from the gigs I get. When Liam goes to school full-time, I can reconsider my marketing efforts!”
Deborah Sale Butler

Jill Tarnoff

Jill TarnoffJill Tarnoff’s children have become more accommodating of her career with age. She used to have to record when they were at preschool or asleep, but now that they are 11 and 13, her boys are more familiar with what they need to do during recordings (like being quiet, for example!).

The combination of longer school days and a clearer understanding of the recording environment means that Jill is able to get more done and can now dedicate herself to a full day’s work.
One son, age 11, is following in mommy’s footsteps and has already cut his first demo and is a member of a voice acting club.
With voice over work being so appealing, the kids are readily cooperating with Jill to help her fulfill her dreams.
Jill Tarnoff

Debbie Grattan

Debbie GrattanDebbie Grattan is a mother to two small children, ages 8 and 5. Her husband, Paul Rarick, also works from home and is a professional coach. A full time nanny looks after the children and during the summer takes them out every day. With some time freed up, Debbie puts all of her energy into work, noting that if her youngest child was around, she would not be able to wash a dish much less run a voice over business.

Although Debbie and her husband are focused on business during the day, their office door is always open to receive the children. She also takes breaks to make the kids snacks and meals.
When working from home with kids it’s quite beneficial to have a talent for multitasking.

Debbie relates, “It is challenging to try and keep all the plates spinning at once; Field emails, record, edit, have conversations with clients, invoice, etc. in addition to having to make sure my child is also safe and entertained. I find myself up and down from my office chair many times during the day, and sometimes leave things in mid-stream to go and answer a ‘crisis’. Then I have to move back into ‘work mode’ to get back up to speed with whatever it was I just left.”

Debbie Grattan feels blessed to have all that she has in her life, noting how wonderful it is to be able to work in a profession that is great fun and also very rewarding. To be a mom on top of that is icing on the cake!
Debbie Grattan

4 Things These Working Moms Have in Common:

1. Each voice artist puts their family ahead of voice over work
2. When they work, their time is maximized and they get down to business
3. All four have made efforts and sacrifices to balance their work / home life
4. The flexibility to do what they love while spending time with those they love

Are You Working From Home With Young Children?

What have your experiences been like?
Although we’ve heard from a number of moms, and no doubt we’ll hear from many more, dads are more than welcome to chime in too with thoughts and comments about what it is like for you working from home in the company of your kids!
Any tips you want to share about how to manage would be superb in addition to comments.
Best wishes,


  1. I have four kids aged 12, 9, 6, and 2, and aside from an occasional drive to a local studio, I do most of my voice work from home. During the school year, the big kids go to school, and the little one has someone looking after him till 15:00. Therefore, I work from 9:00-15:00, spend the afternoon hours with my kids, and go back to work at 20:00 as needed.
    Of course, if a client calls between 15:00-20:00, and they hear noisy kids bouncing off the walls in the background… well, I don’t think that is likely to impress my clients LOL. That’s why my email signature and my website all clearly state my work hours.
    Caller ID also helps me determine whether I should get myself quickly to a quiet location before answering the phone, or if I can answer the phone with Raffi music playing at full volume in the background.
    The main problem is the summer and other vacations. To arm myself against the kids’ inevitable boredom, before the summer starts, I pack up on art and activity kits, video games, DVDs, science kits, and books (my favorite). I also enlist grandma’s help, and she takes the kids to the pool, bowling, etc.
    It may not be easy to work from home with kids, but it’s certainly do-able and rewarding to boot!

  2. My 3-year old is getting used to my routine. She’s fairly quiet during my editing hours, and that’s a lot to expect from a toddler.


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