5 Tips for Working From Home With Kids Plus 4 More ResourcesBy
How many of you work from home? A quick show of hands. Me, I have been working from home for a long time – 10 and a half years to be exact. The one thing that has remained the same over the years has been change – changing diapers, changing schedules, changing attitudes, and so on. The one thing I would not change is the opportunity to do it all over again.
Having just survived (I mean enjoyed) three kids home on Spring Break and the thought of summer vacation being right around the corner, here are a few of my tips for working from home with kids:
1. Get Caller ID – If you haven’t done this already, you should have. This way you can choose to speak to a client now, or later when things are a bit more sane.
2. Divide and Conquer – With a little (okay, alot) of planning, you can still get quality hours in. Are your kids early birds or night owls? Capitalize on that time to get the bulk of your work done. After lunch each day, my kids have to take an hour of Quiet Time – on their beds. They can read, write or sleep. This gives me a chance to get in the office and check email, return phone calls, and regroup.
3. Enlist Some Help – When my kids were younger, I would hire a responsible teenager from the neighborhood to come over a few hours a few times a week and watch the kids while I worked. She would take them outside and play, and I could work. Now that they are older, my friends and I just take turns having all the kids over. It works well for everyone.
4. Communicate – Let your clients know about your new schedule. Chances are, they’ll understand. With good communication, you can effectively manage their expectations and keep them happy. Most everyone is a bit more laid back in the summer.
5. Put the Kids to Work – I have explained to my children since they were very young, why I work from home and the importance of their cooperation. Now that they are getting a bit older, they are ready to help out – even if that means helping with housework so Mom has more time to play later in the day. My almost 11 year old has dabbled in web design a bit and I purchased him a domain name – blogging in on the docket for this summer – it will help him with his writing skills.
I would also like to share a few other posts on the topic of working from home and maintaining the balance:
- The Pros and Cons of Working as a Freelance Designer by David Airey – so many of the pros are also the cons, but it all boils down to your attitude about them.
- Tony Clark’s Success from the Nest is full of excellent posts on working from home, but I really like his latest one, Balancing Work and Family as a Home-Based Entrepreneur.
- Business, It’s a Family Affair is another good post out of the archives of Dawud Miracle’s blog.
- And Wendy Piersall at eMoms at Home has an entire category full of great resources for maintaining the life/work balance.
Do you have any additional tips for working from home successfully? Please share!