Let’s face it, starting a home based business and working from home, when you have kids underfoot may seem a little daunting!
Perhaps you’re concerned about isolating yourself from the outside world and being at home 24/7, trying to manage your business and keep the kids happy at the same time.
If you are concerned about ‘getting cabin fever’, you always have options:- go out to lunch with friends; arrange a play date for yourself and the kids, take a walk around the block or go for a dip in your pool.
After all, starting a home business should also be about having the flexibility to enjoy your home and family life, and having a better work-life-balance. You should ensure that you do take advantage and you enjoy your new found freedom once in awhile, as long as it doesn’t stop you from getting your work done.
If you take an hour or two off during the day, you can always make up for it in the evening when the kids are in bed.
Working from home when you have young children can be a juggling act at times. Sometimes the quiet peacefulness of an office can seem even more appealing when you’re trying to meet a deadline or deal with customers, when children are underfoot. But, take heart: working from home with children is possible and it can most definitely work to your advantage.
Here are some simple things to keep in mind.
Kids Need Attention
Kids aren’t happy (or good at) keeping themselves occupied for hours on end. Schedule your work time during preschool hours, favourite TV times, nap/rest periods, or after everyone has gone to bed for the night. Older children may be able to entertain themselves when school’s out if you plan ahead. Set up craft and reading stations to keep them busy. The trick is to figure out what works best for your family and to stick to it.
The beauty of starting a home business, particularly one that is managed online, is that you can set your own schedule. Many online businesses are operated only after hours, once the children are asleep. Your store is open 24/7 and it’s very easy to operate during the PM shift only. Often the few hours that you spend working during the week after the children are asleep for the night, will be more than sufficient to get your business through the week. A couple of hours spent working without interruptions far outweighs many more hours of stopping and starting and being interrupted constantly during the day.
Set The Ground Rules
Make sure that your entire family knows and understands the rules of the office. Be clear and firm about when you may be interrupted, and what is expected during working hours.
Kids won’t be little forever
Remember that your beautiful little cherubs won’t be little forever! That sooner or later, and usually before you know it, they will all grow to be teenagers and young adults who require less and less of your time. Having a business that can grow and expand with you based on your family commitments is absolutely priceless. You can start the business off slowly when the children are young and require more of your time, and then as they get older, devote more time to growing and expanding your business operations.
Share the Load with a Business Partner
Many people may even choose to start with a business partner, perhaps another mum or parent with young children at home. Being able to share the load between two equal partners can be very effective. It also offers you the benefits of different skills being bought into the business by two different people. Everyone knows that often ‘two heads are better than one’! Share the work load and share the child minding to make a business partnership work for you! Although this might not be for everyone, it works very well for some.