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Can You Really Work from Home with Kids?

Many parents want to work from home so they can spend quality time with their kids. The thought of sitting in a cubicle while your child is in day care doesn’t sit right with some parents. Parents are caught between a rock and a hard place. They need to make money in order to make ends meet, but they also want to be the primary care giver for their children to raise them with their family’s moral values and not those of the daycare center.

A perfect solution?

If you are one of the parents who likes to write or has a computer practicable skill, then working from home on the computer or laptop is a perfect solution, correct? Well, actually, in many cases, like mine, it’s partiallyOffice correct.

The idealistic vision of Mom and Dad working from home on their laptops while little Johnny is fast asleep in his bassinet is just that…an idealistic vision. The reality is more like little Johnny doesn’t want to sleep, he wants to be held and big sister Sally who just turned 3 wants to show you how well she cleaned the bathroom using your favorite, and expensive, beauty products.

Reality Strikes

The reality is that it’s not always easy to work from home with kids. My kids are older, but just as demanding. I find that I tend to dictate articles in my digital voice recorder while driving to and from basketball, football and cheerleading competitions. I edit articles in the wee hours of the morning while they’re asleep and the house is quiet.

I use the snippets of overheard teen-aged conversations as material for articles and down time in the Dentist waiting room or while folding clothes as quiet time to formulate new ideas for blogging posts.

Be Adaptable

The one important quality that I’ve found that has helped me work from home is being adaptable. I’m not saying that you compromise your goals, what I’m saying is that you’ve got to be able to re-adjust them on the fly while still getting done what you need to get done.

I make my daily goals known to my family. Periodically throughout the day, they’ll ask, “Mom, how many articles did you get done today?” Or, “Mom, did you finish that article on…” Sometimes I have to burn the midnight oil to accomplish my daily goals, but it’s a small price to pay to be able to work from home.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Amanda Vlahakis July 27, 2008, 8:27 am

    Great advice, most people can do what you have done if they are organised yet highly flexible at the same time.

    I’ve worked from home with my children for about 6 years now since the first one was 1yr old, and find that if you are very organised and creative in keeping the little ones happy/amused you can get quite a bit of work done whilst they are around.

    Anything left over work for the day can be done in the evening whilst they are sleeping and you are free to concentrate and finish the rest of what may need doing.

    The older mine have got (nearly 4 and 7 now) the easier it gets to work with them in the room, as they become more and more self sufficient as the years tick by.

    Of course there are the little disasters that crop up no matter how organised you are…usually whilst you are on a business call and they know you can’t do anything to stop them!!

    Flexibility is essential because you can’t expect to fully plan your day by the hour with children around interrupting your plans with their demands and mishaps.

    I just get what I can done when I have time to do it with no more planning involved than a ‘to do today’ list, and find with this flexible method, a lot gets accomplished each day.

    Amanda Vlahakiss last blog post..Vintage Retail Inspiration

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