WOW – how many times do I hear this in my business? I have the same difficulties as well – everyone who has ever worked from home and have children (Mums and Dads) have experienced the same thing.
Whether school holidays or off sick from school – it is a challenge for all home based business owners.
Firstly here are a couple of tips – which have worked for me quite successfully.
- School Holidays – have set times that you will spend with your children and make sure they realise how important these times are.For example: say to your child or children that you will take them out for the morning and have lunch with them but after lunch, they will be on their own to play, read a book or go outside and kick a ball around. That will free you up for at least 2-3 hours of solid work.
I know – I hear you say that this is fine if you have older children. Yes, I know. However if you have babies or small children, you can work around this by playing with them until they have a nap and then you step in your business shoes for 1-2 hours.
I have done this from experience so know that it can work if you are disciplined in your approach and use your time effectively.
- Working around sick children. This is obviously a lot more difficult because the times that they need you – is generally all day. But, there is still ways around this.For example: when I had to get a seminar ready one day and my oldest son was home sick – he sat next to me and prepared all of the labels on my computer and then went to have a rest. Then he came back and helped me to pull the bags together. Then went for a rest.
Another example: my youngest son was home with a cold and was so clingy but I knew I had to get something out for a client. I gave him my undivided attention for 15 minutes and then he sat in front of a movie for 1/2 hour (yes, I know but sometimes a little TV is not harmful!). We did this throughout the day but during that time I had managed a whole 4 hours worth of work. Not bad considering how clingy and needy he was.
When your children come home from school it is also essential that you spend time with them. So for me, I spend at least the first 15 minutes sitting with them to find out what they did at school. My sons generally ask me what I did during the day as well. It is a lovely 15 minutes. When my oldest son was younger, he would sit at the desk next to me and do his homework next to me. Every 1/2hr I would check if he was okay and that is when he would ask me questions about his homework. This worked really well.
Working from home with children is all about give and take. If your children know you are busy but that you will take time out for them at a set time, it is Win Win for both or all of you.
I am not saying that the above answers every equation but hopefully it may help during the school holidays and to work closely with your children.