Home Business & Kids – Making it Work

One of the biggest reasons cited by home business owners for leaving the traditional workplace behind to be able to be home with their children. Let’s face it, quality day care – that is, care that is both affordable and safe – is difficult to find. And when you add to that the other costs of going to work such as gas, business attire and lunches, it often seems as though it would make more financial sense to remain at home.

And so, you begin your home-business with every intention of having your children right by your side every step of the way. After all, that’s why you decided to remain at home, right? You might be surprised to learn then that your business may be better off if your children are in day care at least for part of the day.

But doesn’t this defeat the whole purpose of working at home, you ask? Not necessarily. Let me explain.

We all know how demanding kids can be, particularly toddlers and those of pre-school age (I know this first-hand – I have a four year-old son). The only timetable they operate on is their own and it generally has only one time: NOW. This means you can expert numerous interruptions each and every day which, in turn, will likely result in tasks taking twice as long to complete as they would ordinarily. In an environment such as this, frustration and irritability are bound to set in and before long, you may find yourself strongly considering abandoning your home business dream.

This can all be avoided by making arrangements for your children to spend a few hours each week in daycare or preschool. For example, my four year-old goes to school for two and one half hours three afternoons each week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). He also spends about ten hours each week in an in-home daycare where he gets to play with another child his age. I use the majority of those seventeen or so hours each week (it’s actually closer to fifteen hours if you deduct the time spent taking him and picking him up) doing the work that is difficult to complete when he’s around, such as making telephone calls or meeting with clients. With this arrangement, we’re both happy: I get a few hours each day to really focus on what needs to be done and he gets some play time with friends.

If you are having trouble getting things done with your kids at home, take some time to assess your work and identify which portion of it needs your undivided attention and which portion can be done in small bits and pieces. Then, estimate how much time you would need each week to accomplish those critical tasks; this is the amount of time for which you should consider using some type of childcare arrangement, at least until your child reaches school age.

Taking even just a few hours each week to focus solely on your business is bound to reap benefits down the road. Give yourself that chance; you will be glad you did.

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About Michele Blandino

Michele Blandino is a freelance writer based in central New Jersey. She is also a wife, mother (Jennifer - age 9 and Michael - age 4), daughter, sister, scrapbooker, Girl Scout leader, active church member, school volunteer, occasional walker, and long-suffering Rutgers Scarlet Knight fan.