Operating a home business is
seldom easy and interruptions come
in all shapes, sizes and forms.
Between the family, friends and neighbors who call or come
and the telemarketers who insist on ringing your number off
the hook, getting through the workday can be a real
When you introduce children into the home office
your productivity and patience can be seriously tested.
For example, right now my three-year old daughter is pulling
on my shirt and begging me to read her a story. Clearly, I'm
in the middle of something important here, but how can I say
no to those eyes? I'll be right back...
Ok, that wasn't so bad was it? She's happy, I'm happy
bonded with my daughter) and now I'm back to continue my
conversation with you :-) What's the lesson here?
is a major key to balancing your home business priorities
your family's needs.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that maintaining a
deep level of concentration on work in a home business for
periods of time is next to impossible. Naptime does offer
reprieve, but any break from the kids is usually short
Even with older children, summertime introduces new
with kids running in and out of the house all throughout the
I would like to share with you some of the tips I have
discovered to help manage your home office with children in
your midst. Since children of different ages pose different
challenges, I will present my tips in terms of age groups.
OLDER CHILDREN AND TEENS
We will look at older children first since they pose the
challenge to our work productivity.
Children, who are old enough to understand the idea of
and chores, are old enough to understand the needs of your
business. Explain to your children that you do your work at
so that you can be near them when they need you. But also be
sure they understand that you must do your work so that you
will have the money necessary to keep your house, feed the
family and to provide them with money for entertainment.
Once your children understand the necessity of your work,
outline a work schedule and explain it to them. Do make sure
they understand that emergencies are definitely an
reason to interrupt your work. Then make sure they
that between hours x and y, you will be doing work --- and
then hold them to respecting your schedule.
Infants will never understand your needs for work. But
fortunately, babies do well under a schedule or routine.
Instead of expecting your child to work around your
schedule your work around the needs of your baby.
It is simple. Babies eat, sleep and poop. Sometimes they
Fortunately, babies sleep more than they do anything else.
Naptime offers the best advantage for getting your work
Get your baby into a routine of eat, sleep and play, and you
will experience unexpected levels of productivity.
If you have a toddler running around the house while you are
operating your home business, then you may find that your
turning gray or disappearing altogether. But, gray hair is a
sign of character, right. ;-)
I am venturing to guess that the person who devised the door
lock for the inside of the house did so because he had
in his own home. Inside door locks should only be utilized
you are making that important phone call and your toddler is
screaming for your attention. At all other times, your door
should remain unlocked with your door open.
Develop a routine with your children for meal times,
and play times. Work these times into your work schedule and
adhere to them. If you fail to keep appointments with your
children, your children will have less respect for your work
and do more to prevent you from the completion of your work.
Don't be afraid to let your children sit in your lap while
are working. It helps them to feel wanted and it helps them
be a part of your daily life. There are times when it is
for them to be sitting in your lap while you work, and at
times you need them out of your lap. Don't be afraid to tell
them to get down and go play or read a book so that you can
resume your work.
Permit your children to have their toys in your office.
they will sit contently and play while you work. Just
you are near is enough to keep them happy.
Be prepared to take an hourly break to deal with your
Try to do potty breaks at your hourly break and to do drink
refills. This can help your child grow into a routine that
work well with your home business. At each break, spend a
minutes with your child giving hugs and kisses and talking
your child about what he or she wants to talk about.
Toddlers don't always do well with the routine, so be
to take a few minutes when needed to give the attention that
your child so desperately needs in the moment.
I hope these tips serve to help you in the challenge of
operating a successful home business.
My home business permits me to fulfill my financial
*AND* see my children grow up. I would never contemplate
my home business for another kind of business. Even with the
added challenges of dealing with toddlers in my home office,
the upsides far outweigh the downsides.
Growing my own home business with children around has
given me a new respect for all people who successfully run a
home business with kids in the work environment. I tip my
to you... You deserve it!
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