Balancing work & motherhood - literally and figurativelyBy genConnect.com | Lisa Kanarek
Kate Gosselin, former reality TV star and mom, just started working from home as a contributor to CouponCabin.com. Many of us who work from home may say, "big deal, we work from home too." But how many of us work with eight kids around?
It's not always easy to work with children around, but it's much easier when you go in with realistic expectations and a plan.
Here are a few simple ways moms can work from home:
1. Make arrangements for childcare before you start working from home. You can't (and shouldn't) count on the TV or your child's naptime to keep him or her busy and entertained while you work or make business calls. There are several options to consider, from family daycare (your child goes to someone else's house) to at-home child- care (a baby sitter comes to your home) to a baby-sitting co-op (you and other parents get together and take turns watching the kids).
2. Find a preschool you and your child like. If you have a toddler, consider enrolling him or her in preschool in the mornings so that you have quiet time to catch up on work. You don't have to feel guilty that your child isn't home with you all day. It's good for kids interact with other kids.
3. Be ready for anything. You never know when you're going to get an unexpected business call. Be prepared by keeping a box of toys in your home office closet or near your home office, to keep your child busy. Caller ID will make it easier to know whether or not to answer your phone, but if you have a scheduled conference call and your child decides not to nap that day, you'll have a backup plan.
4. Set up a mini home office within your home office. Bring in a small table and chairs and give your child an old, unused cell phone, glue sticks, and safety scissors. Add plenty of paper and colored pencils and crayons. Your child will be happy to be in the same room with you, and you'll reduce the number of supplies your child takes out of your desk because your child will have his or her own supplies. To protect your carpet, put a hard-plastic chair mat under your child's work area.
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Home office expert Lisa Kanarek is the founder of Working Naked, a website offering tips, proven strategies, how-to videos and more for optimizing your work-from-home lifestyle. Lisa is also the best-selling author of several business books including Working Naked: A Guide to The Bare Essentials of Home Office Life.
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