in the Home Business Environment
Copyright © Stone Evans, The Home Biz Guy
Between the family, friends and neighbors who call or come by, and
the telemarketers who insist on ringing your number off the hook,
getting through the workday can be a real challenge.
When you introduce children into the home office environment, 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? Ill
be right back…
Ok, that wasn’t so bad was it? She’s happy, I’m happy (having bonded
with my daughter) and now I’m back to continue my conversation with
you What’s the lesson here? Flexibility is a major key to
balancing your home business priorities with 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 long periods
of time is next to impossible. Naptime does offer some reprieve, but
any break from the kids is usually short lived.
Even with older children, summertime introduces new challenges with
kids running in and out of the house all throughout the day.
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 least
challenge to our work productivity.
Children, who are old enough to understand the idea of schedules and
chores, are old enough to understand the needs of your home
business. Explain to your children that you do your work at home 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, then
outline a work schedule and explain it to them. Do make sure they
understand that emergencies are definitely an acceptable reason to
interrupt your work. Then make sure they understand 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, schedule your work around
the needs of your baby.
It is simple. Babies eat, sleep and poop. Sometimes they play.
Fortunately, babies sleep more than they do anything else.
Naptime offers the best advantage for getting your work done. 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 hair
turning gray or disappearing altogether. But, gray hair is a sign of
I am venturing to guess that the person who devised the door lock
for the inside of the house did so because he had toddlers in his
own home. Inside door locks should only be utilized when 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, naptimes, 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 you are
working. It helps them to feel wanted and it helps them to be a part
of your daily life. There are times when it is okay for them to be
sitting in your lap while you work, and at other 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. Often they
will sit contently and play while you work. Just knowing you are
near is enough to keep them happy.
Be prepared to take an hourly break to deal with your toddler. Try
to do potty breaks at your hourly break and to do drink refills.
This can help your child grow into a routine that will work well
with your home business. At each break, spend a few minutes with
your child giving hugs and kisses and talking with your child about
what he or she wants to talk about.
Toddlers don’t always do well with the routine, so be prepared 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 obligations
*AND* see my children grow up. I would never contemplate trading 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 definitely
given me a new respect for all people who successfully run a home
business with kids in the work environment. I tip my hat to you…
You deserve it!