Sunday, March 22, 2009

How I Make Working At Home With Kids A Success

Do you want to work from home but wonder, how can I do that with my kids around? You can and it is not as hard as many want to be work at home moms think. I have worked from home ever since my son was born and I recently started, Little Miss Julia. Five and a half years ago when my son was a newborn I could not bear having anyone else take care of him. Luckily, I had the luxury and flexibility to work from home. At first I was told you can’t do that with a newborn, then it was you can’t do that with a toddler and the story goes on and on. I did do it and still do it using some creative tactics with my children.

Balancing work and family is not always easy and in order to achieve success working at home you need to be flexible. When my son was an infant I would do work early in the morning when he was sleeping, during naps and when he was down for the night. It worked perfectly. As he grew and was awake a lot more I sat him with me on the chair and worked on my laptop. Needless to say he learned how to use a computer at an early age and at five and a half loves to play in Excel. In between work we had our fun doing whatever we were doing. I did not stress if something did not get done during the day because I knew I could do it early the next morning or at night. So many people say I can’t do that I would have to get up at 5:00 am. Yes you do and working from home requires some sacrifices like waking up early or staying up late. However, it is worth if you want to be home with your children.

My son is now in school full time and my daughter goes three full days. When they are at school I am at my office working for my family business. When I decided to start a business I knew I would have to squeeze it in between work, the kids and daily life. I found the perfect way to do that was to involve my kids in making the barrettes. I let them “help” design new styles, pick new colors and have them give me their opinion on my designs. I involved them in the website when it was being developed and everyday they want to check see if there are orders. I show them other sites that we are posted on and or reviewed on. I share with them if we got a new retail account and share in the general excitement of the business. I have found that by involving them rather then telling them I am working has made running a business from home easy to do. I will not say it is always a breeze and there are days they want nothing to do with it. However a simple explanation that I just need to finish this one thing and we can play usually works. Open communication and explanations go much further than “be quite I am working”.

I recently got a new retail account. It was at a store I did not want to go to but my daughter was insistent. We went in and I realized this could be a good account. I spoke to the manager and we got an order. I give my daughter the credit for getting that account and she is so proud and laughs whenever I tell her it is because of her we sold that store. She is only three and a half but she thinks she sold the barrettes and loves to talk about it. She now asks if we are going to sell barrettes today. Giving her some ownership of a success has made her want to go to stores rather then complaining we have to go.

I think the key to working at home with your kids around is to not exclude them from your activities but to include them. By doing so they are not going to feel as if all you want to do is work. I am sure that if I told my kids to be quite all the time and not to bother me my efforts of trying to run a business from home would fail. Rather than having excitement for what I do they would have resentment.

If you want to work from home, you can. Just remember to be flexible, show your kids what you do and try to involve them. Having them do the simplest of tasks like typing a number on a spreadsheet for you can go a long way. With time and trial and error you will find the pattern that works best for you and your children. Once you figure it out it can be happy and fulfilling for everyone.

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