Tips for Working at Home With Kids
By Susie Cortright
You're one of the lucky ones.
You have managed the best of both worlds by choosing to stay at home with your children while still advancing in your career. So how do you make it work? Here are a few tips:
Control your environment. A clearly designated office will help you stay on task. And an organized workspace will help minimize distractions and make the most of the limited time you have available.
Break work into manageable chunks. It's all about to-do lists. When my child is awake, she has my full attention, though I always have a to-do list on the table. The list just seems to grow all day and when naptime rolls around, I'm focused and ready to tackle the tasks at hand.
Make the most of quiet time. When are you most productive? It may be possible for you to get work done during the day (while your children are napping or at school), but, chances are, the best opportunities for productivity occur when your child is down for the night.
My work day, for example, typically begins at 3 a.m. That way, I can spend uninterrupted, quality time with my daughter during the day.
Remember your priorities. A child whose mother ignores her in order to work at home is probably better off in the care of someone who is less distracted.
Get help when you need it. Lesley Spencer is the founder and director of Home-Based Working Moms. "I think it is important to understand it is very difficult to be a successful mom and worker at the same time," Spencer says. "If you are working, your children are going to need your attention. Of course, you can get by with short amounts of work or phone calls but repeated attempts to work while your children are with you is not fair to them or you. I feel it is best to work while your children are asleep or at school. If you are working more than about 10 hours a week, you probably need outside help to give your children the attention they need. Consider part-time preschools, Mother's Day Out programs, neighborhood babysitters, family or friends or a babysitting co-op to help with your child care needs."
© Susie Michelle Cortright, 2001-
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