Becoming a Work at Home Mom

More and more women are choosing to stay home but still pursue a career. The old idea that women had to choose to be at home or away at work no longer applies. But if you currently work outside the home, you might wonder if you can take the plunge and become a WAHM.

Perhaps you have the business idea, or you have the acumen to start something new, but you just aren’t sure that you can actually do it. How will you know when the time is right?

There are a few things to consider:

Considerations

Can You Afford It

First, consider finances. Depending on what business you plan to work at home, it might take some time for you to make money in your new venture. Can you afford to live on your spouse’s income only during that time?

To determine if you can afford your WAHM venture, first do a budget and figure out what your base living expenses are each month. Does one income cover that expense? If not, do you have enough in savings to cover the difference if need be for the first few months of your WAHM business?

If one salary isn’t enough to cover the expenses, do you have savings that you can pull from if necessary? If not, consider working a few more months while putting as much as possible in the bank.

Before you take the plunge, also consider what kinds of start-up expenses there will be for your business. Can you afford to make that investment?

Remember that some start-up expenses are tax-deductible, but you still have to be able to make the purchases and investments now.

Can You Handle It

Working at home is often harder than it might appear initially. While the idea of working at home could hold some romance for you, the reality is that it’s much harder for most people than they initially realize, especially when there is a child in the house.

So, ask yourself if you will be able to find the time and quiet to effectively work at home. Think about the kind of job you’ll be doing. If it requires phone work, consider that you need to have quiet in the house before you can do that work.

If it requires computer time, is there a computer that you can use often for your work? Do you have a good area that you can claim as your workspace?

Once you have secured a spot and know what you’re going to do, think about the family arrangement. If you have very young children who aren’t even in preschool yet, do you have plans for how you will work around them? Do you have family who can help you or could you hire a babysitter?

If you need to work full-time and your kids are in school, how will you handle your work time once they are home from school? How about holidays, days off and summer vacations?

Are You Ready To Make Change

Transitioning from being a mom who works outside the home to one who works at home can be tough. Or, if you’ve been a stay-at-home mom, it can be difficult for your family, who must make the transition from seeing you as very accessible to them to being concerned with other matters.

Ask yourself these hard questions about the transition. Are you ready to work at home? Can you handle the isolation? Do you think you can be a work at home mom and still see to your family’s needs? Most moms decide to work at home because they want to be available to their children; if you plant your children in front of the television so you can work, you haven’t necessarily succeeded in your mission.

If you’ve been thinking about becoming a WAHM for some time, you likely know the answers to all of these questions already. Once you know that you’re ready for the change, the transition can be fairly simple because your confidence will help provide a good result.

Why Become a Work at Home Mom

A lot of moms struggle with the concept of becoming a work at home mom. It’s tempting to do it, but they just aren’t sure if it’s the right thing for them.

But there are many reasons why choosing to become a WAHM is ideal. Let’s count the ways:

Time

When you work outside the home, you lose a lot of time. Not at work, because when you work at home you might likely put in as many hours as when you work outside the home, but after work, and before work.

Depending on where you live, there is a commute to consider and other obligations that might keep you from getting home just when you like.

When you add kids to the mix, being gone a lot is a problem. They need to see their parents, and when you work outside the home, you might be gone up to 10 hours a day (or more, depending in your job and that commute).

When you work in the home, you don’t need to “leave” for work until it’s time to begin work. No commute required. And when you’re done with work, you can leave and be home, well, immediately.

Chaos

The life of a household with two working parents can be chaotic. You might get home from work only to turn right around and head to soccer practice, or gymnastics, or piano lessons, or a combination of all of them.

There’s a certain amount of chaos build into that situation.  When you work at home, you are already there.

When it’s time to head to soccer, you simply shut down your work for the day (or for now, if you intend to return later) and you go to soccer. Sometimes you might even be able to bring your work with you.

In addition, you won’t have any of the scheduling problems that moms who work outside the home might have. You can allow your kids afterschool activities and playdates. You’re there to either supervise or do the driving.

Money

You might be surprised to discover that you can save money by working at home, thereby increasing your net income. When you work at home, you don’t have to pay for full-time daycare.

Depending on the ages of your children, you might need to take advantage of some part-time daycare until the kids are in school, however.

You won’t have a commute, so you will save on gas, and you can likely save on clothing. Even if you do meet with clients, or do parties, or work partly outside the home at your home-based business, you can have a much simpler work wardrobe than you would have if you worked outside the home.

Since you won’t see the same people every day, you can settle for fewer work pieces. Mostly, however, you can dress very casually if you work at home.

You might also see savings in unexpected areas. You will eat lunch at home most or all of the time, thereby saving on lunch costs. You won’t be caught up ordering things from co-workers or their children. You won’t have to contribute to the workplace birthday fund.

Quality Of Life

Of course, this is debatable in that not everyone can claim that working at home gives them a better quality of life. That’s due to the simple fact that working at home isn’t for everyone.

But if you think that working at home might be the thing for you, it’s important to consider that your quality of life might improve.

When you work at home, you have much more control over your time than you do when you work outside the home. Depending on what kind of work you do at home, you might have absolute control or just some control, but in either event, you will ultimately have a bit more control over your time than when you work outside the home.

If the kids get sick, you can be there for them. If you get sick, you can take a day off and make up for it the next day. If you want to take a day off and run errands or see a movie, you can do that.

You ultimately control when the work gets done and as long as it gets done, you have a great deal of control over when and how. For people who like to work at night, working at home is ideal because they can work through the night and sleep late the next day.

There are many benefits to becoming a work at home mom. Consider what’s important to you in life and then consider if working outside the home or inside the home is the best way to achieve those life goals.

Earning Extra Income as a Work at Home Mom

Working at home can be exhausting for a mom, and breaks might be rare. But you might work from home because you need the extra money and can’t afford to take breaks. But you can create breaks within the context of work.

Let’s look at this further. What we mean is that you can still work your full-time WAHM job, but add something in to break the monotony, or perhaps bring in extra money for holidays or to fill in a gap when your industry slows down temporarily.

These jobs likely won’t net you a full-time income, but they are fun and interesting alternatives from the everyday work that you might be burnt from.

Letter Writers

At Christmas, many WAHMs make extra money by writing letters from Santa. These can be postmarked from the “North Pole” or they can be on special paper or they might include special treats from Santa.

You can build a quick website and market it to other moms who might be interested in their child or children getting a letter from Santa.

There are also websites that specialize in writing letters for people who can’t do it themselves or who want to present a more polished image than their own writing might provide.

Cake Bakers

Many at-home moms turn into amateur bakers for weekend gatherings, from birthday parties to weddings. If you can bake well and can learn, or know, the art of cake decorating, you can make extra money at home selling decorated cakes.

This can be a nice break from your regular WAHM job, especially if your regular job is a solitary or sedentary affair. Making and decorating cakes can be creative, offering a nice respite from the demands of a less creative job.

Mystery Shopping

If you miss being out and about while working your WAHM job, you might want to pick up a mystery shopping job now and then. These can be quick (taking less than an hour) but can net you a few dollars and sometimes free products.

Look online for mystery shopping companies that provide services to the kinds of business you would like to shop – you might do mystery shops at restaurants, apartment complexes or cell phone kiosks.

Sell Products

While many moms make a full-time living as consultants selling everything from skincare products to food, you can do it on a part-time basis and work when you need some variety or extra cash.

If you decide to sell items as a part-time gig, make sure you read the fine print carefully of the company you sign up with. Some have minimum requirements you must meet on a monthly or quarterly basis. Make sure that even on a part-time basis you can meet that minimum requirement.

Go Outside The House

Working at home might be what you have always wanted to do, and you are happy with all that it brings to your life. But you might have a desire to get out more. There are always options for very part-time jobs that serve you well in some way.

For example, if you are a fitness freak, you might work just a few hours a week at the gym, netting you not only some extra money but likely a break on your gym fees. You might work just during the holidays at a department store.

The key to creating a WAHM arrangement that works for you is to work through any challenges you might face working at home. Picking up a now and then the extra job might be the key to keeping yourself happy working at home.

Examine Your Skills and Turn Them Into Business

As you think about the myriad of work-at-home opportunities, you could be overlooking one important thing – you have skills that you can turn into a career.

Although it’s easy and sometimes tempting to sign up with a company or to begin selling a product, there are many skills that each of us brings to the table that can help us to create our own successful at-home enterprises.

Before you settle on a work-at-home job, carefully examine your skillset and determine if you can make a solid at-home work opportunity out of your skills.

Though there is no harm in joining an already successful company, many moms are more interested in starting their own businesses. If you are that kind of mom, consider your skills first so you choose the right at-home business for you.

Money

Have you ever worked as a cashier? What skills did that require? If you had to reconcile your cash drawer, you have some experience with bookkeeping. You also likely have some customer service skills. Many women work at home as bookkeepers or as assistants to accountants.

Office Skills

If you have ever worked in an office, you might have a long list of beneficial qualities that would help in an at-home job. These include phone skills, customer service skills, software experience and perhaps even some marketing or public relations skills.

Office skills and experience (as well as any training you might also have) can be used in a variety of ways with at-home jobs. Many moms work at home as virtual assistants, for example, which require customer service skills, software experience and basic office training.

Other moms with office skills can work at home for a local business. To save money, local businesses are more likely these days to hire people to work from home to handle calls, mail and basic clerical duties.

Technical Skills

Those who have worked in graphic design and website design are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the work-at-home job market. That is, you can easily turn your graphic design and website design skills into an at-home business.

Your services will likely cost another business less than using an in-house designer and if you provide the same – or better – quality, you can create a niche for yourself that others might not be able to easily fill.

Other technical skills that might be useful for at-home businesses include computer repair, specific software application training and other skills that you might have learned in a previous job, in college, or that you took specific classes for.

Entertainment

Many moms have had success in turning their entertainment skills into an at-home business. Your ability to put on a beautiful party can be turned into a business that puts on tea party birthdays for young girls.

Or you might start a catering business from home. Or you could become a personal chef. Some moms start successful home businesses that are borne out of their theater or singing experience.

The key to turning your skills and experience into a successful home business is to be honest about your skills. Know what you can do and what you are weak at. Perhaps you know that you can run a lucrative web design business, but you can’t handle money. Maybe you can hire another WAHM to do your bookkeeping for you. In that way, you help yourself and another mom at the same time.

Make a list of the skills you have and those you might like to acquire and from that list, create some ideas for your at-home business. You might be surprised how much you bring to the at-home business table.

Be Careful To Avoid Work at Home Mom Scams

If you really want to work at home, you might be tempted by the many ads online and even in newspapers, that promise easy work and good money.

It’s hard not to be tempted by these ads and promises. But there are many scams out there, and they can strip you of money, reputation and, at the very least, your confidence.

The Most Common Scam

Yes, this one is still around. You might remember seeing these ads in newspapers years ago, promising “easy money!” for stuffing envelopes. The ads are generally targeted to moms at home, students and retired people. It’s easy to get sucked into the idea that you can make money by stuffing envelopes for businesses, but in reality, you don’t.

You are asked to send money (usually $29.99) and in return, you will get a list if of businesses you might contact to try and get their envelope stuffing business. The reality is that few if any, companies hire people to stuff their envelopes. And these days, with more and more people relying on online methods to contact potential customers and clients, they need this service even less.

Sometimes people who pay the money will be given information on how to advertise in newspapers and online for people to start an envelope stuffing business. You make $29.99 off these poor people as they contact you for more information.

If you see this offer, or it’s sent to you directly, it’s best to ignore it, no matter how tempting.

How To Spot A Scam

It’s not easy to spot a scam. If you are desperate to work at home and looking for something that’s already set up for you (in that you don’t have to actually start your own business), you might be tempted by these offers to work at home.

There are several criteria to help you determine if you are dealing with unscrupulous people who are trying to scam you.

First, if an offer promises big pay for easy work, it might be a scam. The reality is that few people can get paid big dollars for easy work and little work. Big pay usually is a reward for big work, so while it might be tempting to think that you can get paid big dollars for little work, you have to objectively consider the possibilities there.

Any offer that promises you a lot of work for a fee is likely not on the up and up. You shouldn’t have to pay to work. You shouldn’t have to pay for a job. Of course, some businesses (like businesses where you sell products as a consultant for a company) will require a small up-front investment.

In that case, however, you are investing in your own business, not the business of others. You are investing to get the products you need to run your business and that is decidedly different than paying to get a job.

Ask questions. If you get vague answers, or your questions are ignored completely, that should set off a few warning bells with you. You should be able to dig up a street address for the company, the names of the relevant players in the company and you should be able to check the company’s history with the Better Business Bureau and other such agencies.

Don’t sign up for a job or to work with a company without talking to someone on the phone or person. Don’t settle for the information available on a website in the FAQs. Instead, make sure you can make contact with someone you can talk to one-on-one (not in email). If you can’t do that, you might want to look elsewhere.

If you do need to make an investment in product or materials (not for the job itself) use your credit card. Don’t write a check or use a debit card because those will be harder to get protection with. If you use a credit card, you get protection from the credit card company if things go wrong.

Do your research and understand the various risks and rewards of the company you are considering there are many bad deals out there and many scams, but if you do your research, you should be able to find the right opportunity for you.

Work at Home Moms Need To Learn The Finer Art Of Networking

Getting your WAHM business off the ground can be tough. At any given time, you might be competing with thousands of other businesses that are also trying to get attention for their own businesses. How can you make yours stand out? It’s all about networking.

Networking is simply talking to people, getting the word out about your business and then doing the same for others. In recent years, the world of networking has changed to reflect the impact that the internet can have. If you play your cards right, you can network almost exclusively online.

If you have a WAHM business, you might want to know how to leverage the power of the internet to drive traffic to your own business.

Here are some ideas:

Website

Build a website. No longer do you have to know HTML to build a website; you can buy a software program that will build the site for you or you can pay for someone to design the site for you.

Once you have a website, you need traffic to that website, so write – or have written – articles that are targeted to your subject matter.

If you are working at home selling your homemade coin purses, for example, you might write and post articles that talk about fabric, the craft of sewing and unique gifts, all while extolling the virtues of coin purses.

Links

Once you have a website, you have something you can direct people to. Having a website isn’t a “build it and they will come” kind of proposition. You need to market that website, promote it in some fashion.

Here’s how you can do that. Read blogs that are somehow related to your subject area. In the case of your coin purse business, for example, you might read blogs that are about housekeeping, crafting, sewing, and fashion.

Make comments on blog posts and provide a link to your site. People will read your comments and if they like what they read; they might click on your link. That drives people to the site and provides you with a method to get information about your website out to hundreds or thousands of people at a time.

Facebook

Many businesses create Facebook pages. You might have a personal Facebook page, but this is different. You create a page just for your business and provide as much information as you can about yourself and your business there.

You can also provide a link to your Facebook page on the blog comments you leave, as well as provide a link to your Facebook page from your own website.

This can benefit others as well because you can invite people to become your “friends” on Facebook. If they also have businesses they want to promote, they can become your “friends” and possibly find more friends themselves, which helps their business as well.

Twitter

Yes, everyone these days is “Twittering”. It can be a time-waster as people twitter that they “just put dinner in the oven” or are “waiting for a delayed flight”. But many people have also discovered the power of Twitter as a networking tool.

You can post a link to your site in your Twitter profile and you can post comments related to what you do. People will “follow” you and you can “follow” them.

As you post blog comments, or you update your web page or even post updates to your own blog, you can make Twitter comments that include links to these things. You can also add a link to your Twitter page on your website.

It might take some time to get all of these things started but take the time to do it – it’s all nearly free advertising and can turn into big money for you.

Online Opportunities For Work at Home Moms

If your interest in working at home focuses on a job that requires no phone use and no leaving the house for work, you might be looking for an online job.

What’s an online job? Basically, an online job is that which you get online, work online and that requires you only to have a computer and some other job-specific tools.

Many WAHMs find that online jobs work well for them because they can work whenever and however, they want and can withstand many interruptions without much problem.

Ebay

One of the most well-known of the online jobs, Ebay has made many a mom a nice income from home. You can sell any number of items on Ebay, but moms often sell used baby and children clothing, custom clothing, collectibles and other such items.

Selling items on Ebay comes with its own set of challenges. There is shopping to be done, so that you can build an inventory of things to sell, and the job requires good customer service skills.

Some customers can be difficult to deal with and you don’t have the advantage of looking them in the face when dealing with them.

Making money on Ebay has become a bit tougher in recent years as postal rates have risen and Ebay fees have increased. Smart WAHMs have adjusted how they sell in order to keep their profit consistent.

They might sell clothes in “lots” rather than single items. They might seek out new methods for acquiring goods and buy in bulk so they can get a better deal on inventory.

There’s little investment necessary to sell on Ebay, other than a computer (high-speed access is recommended for uploading auctions), and inventory. It also requires the investment in basic mailing materials and sometimes business cards.

Writing

Several recent national news stories have pointed up the many benefits of writing online. From professional writers to people with little writing experience there are many opportunities for people who can put words together into a compelling whole.

To become an online writer, you can begin with sites that let you upload your stories and then pay you a small amount based on how many page views the article gets.

This is ideal for a new writer who might have a hard time taking on clients but can write well. Once you have established yourself on these sites — and made a few dollars to boot — you can begin finding clients.

There’s little investment required to become an online writer, other than a good computer and word processing program. If you join sites to bid on work or acquire new clients, you might pay membership fees there.

Online Marketing

Many WAHMs have learned and conquered the world of online marketing, which allows you to market any number of items. Many people market eBooks and promote them over the web, then get a cut each time someone buys the book.

To that end, you can also build websites and get a small cut of the profits from when people click through the ads. You might start a blog (which also places this in the writing category) and promote it in a professional manner, bringing advertisers and many readers to your site. Some bloggers can claim incomes of more than $100,000 each year.

There are many opportunities for moms who want to work exclusively online. All it takes is a little research and creativity.

Structuring Time as a Work at Home Mom

To be successful working at home, you must have schedules. It’s easy to get sidetracked with the laundry, the cleaning, and the errand running. But to have a successful business that brings in the necessary income, staying focused on the job at hand is essential.

How can you do that? It’s all about scheduling. Let’s say that again – schedules are good, schedules are essential, schedules will keep your productive at work and in control at home.

Why Do You Need Schedules

Especially if you are a more creative thinker, scheduling things can seem rigid and unwelcome. You might not like the idea of having to schedule when you get things done, or the idea of planning meals ahead of time. But doing these things actually provides freedom.

When you work at home, you are shoulder to shoulder with the mess, the laundry, and the children. It’s easy to get sidetracked trying to take care of these things.

But if everything is on a schedule (even the children, if they are home during the day), you can get more done. You’ll be able to focus on work when you’re working because you won’t get sidetracked thinking about all the other things that you need to get done.

How Do You Schedule

Think about the things that you need to get done on a daily or weekly basis. Consider the laundry, the cooking, the general cleaning and the childcare. If you know that you are usually home on Sundays, for example, you can plan to make Sunday laundry day.

You don’t allow yourself to do laundry on any other day, but Sunday and you stick to that schedule. During the week, you won’t get sidetracked folding laundry.

Planning menus is essential. If you are the primary cook in your house, you must know what you are going to cook each day or at the end of your workday, you’re going to end up in the car in the fast-food lane.

Since most women choose to work at home in order to be more available to their family, working at home all day and then providing takeout is hardly a step above.

Instead, plan a week’s worth of menus at a time. Ideally, you will plan a month’s worth of menus, but you can start with a week. Buy all the groceries you need for the week and even clean and cut veggies, put meat in marinades and measure out rice ahead of time.

When you close up your workshop for the day, you can easily get a simple meal on the table because you were organized enough to get some prep done ahead of time.

To be efficient in work, it’s best if you just work when you’re working. That means don’t get sidetracked with paying bills or ordering books for your child’s book collection. Save those things for evening time, when you are more focused on home endeavors, or for your breaks.

Take Breaks

On that note, be structured enough with your time to take breaks. Think of yourself as working in an office. You might head to the break room for a cup of coffee and on the way, have a brief discussion with a coworker about a party you both attended the night before.

You might take another break later in the day and make a phone call to your child’s teacher.

If you think of your work at home life in a similar fashion, you can quickly see the results of your structured time. Take regular breaks and during that time, you can send a quick email to a friend or send a text to another. You might make that book order or that phone call.

A few minutes later, you return to work just as you would if you worked outside the home.

Get Started Right

Finally, start each day in an organized fashion. Make sure the breakfast dishes are done, that the beds are made, and the house is generally straightened. Sit down to a clean workspace.

As you start your work for the day, you’ll have a sense that everything is in order and you can feel at peace focusing on your work needs because there are no other pressing needs you must worry about right now.

Structuring your time as a WAHM might seem like one more thing you must take care of but doing so will actually free you to focus better at work and at home, even when those worlds intersect.

Find Your Passion, Find Your Work at Home Job

If you have ever heard the expression, “do what you love and the money will follow” then you understand the basic concept of finding a passion for your WAHM business.

You might spend a good deal of time working your WAHM business, so it’s important that it’s something you feel passionate about.

How Can You Find Your Passion

Think about the things in life that bring you great joy. Is it your kids? Your crafting? Your cooking? What do you enjoy doing the most? When you get a small pocket of time that’s not scheduled with other activities, what do you choose to do?

Also, think about the things you enjoyed doing before you were a mom. The things you did on the weekends when you had time. What did you do? What brings you joy? You might even mentally wander back to the first job you had when you were truly happy.

Your answers to the questions give you a sense of what your passions are. Then think about how you can turn these in WAHM businesses.

Turn That Passion Into A Business

If you are an excellent cook, you might turn your passion for cooking into a personal chef business, a catering business, a business that supplies muffins and treats for offices, or even a menu planner (where you provide other moms with pre-planned menus that they simply follow each week when cooking for their own families).

Let’s say you adore children, yours and others. You can’t get enough of them and enjoy each moment you spend with children. It’s not your desire to “get away” from them to work, but to include them as much as possible. In that case, your WAHM business might center on children in some fashion. You might tutor kids or open a home daycare.

If you are a crafter, you can turn that passion into a business of many different sorts. You might make your crafts and sell them at craft shows, or on Etsy.com or even on eBay.

Some women have trunk shows in their home where they sell their wares. This works especially well if you are selling fashion accessories or jewelry that you make.

What If You Don’t Have A Passion

You might think about the things you like doing and realize that those things don’t translate well into a business. What then? Then it’s time to reexamine the things you like to do. That is, you might find that your passions do lend themselves well to a WAHM business.

Are you passionate about watching television? If so, you can turn that passion into a blog that might get a good number of readers. You might find a job reviewing your favorite shows for a funny or irreverent site.

There are sites that pay for book reviews; if you are a passionate reader, you might write book reviews that net you some pay. You can also set up a blog that is written for passionate bloggers. Learn how to market it and you could have a nice little income for yourself from that blog.

If you are passionate about fitness, you might find a WAHM job as a personal trainer, providing you have adequate equipment and space at your home.

You might also find a niche for yourself as a personal fitness motivator, providing customers with detailed and customized fitness plans and motivation.

Finding a business that is rooted in your passion isn’t hard once you examine your basic skill sets and combine that with your passion. You’re sure to do well when you start with the things you love doing.

How To Keep The Kids Occupied When You Work At Home

For many women, the idea of working at home is a dream. They like the idea of being at home for their kids after school, or if someone gets sick. There’s no longer any concern when a school break comes around. The kids have a place to be.

But there are some challenges to working at home with kids underfoot. Whether the children are younger or older, there can be challenges.

Those challenges might be a little more manageable when the children are older, but there are challenges, nonetheless.

Very Young Children

If you work at home and you have an infant or toddler, it’s unreasonable to assume that you can work full-time during the day and have the children at home as well. But all is not lost. Many moms find suitable solutions.

First, you can hire help to come in and help you with the child or children while you’re working. If your infant generally sleeps the morning away, consider having someone come to help in the afternoon when he’s more alert. Since you will be at home, you won’t have to pay a babysitter as much as you would if you were gone.

Some moms will work very early in the morning before their young child gets up and then late in the evening when the child has gone to bed. Of course, this might mean sacrificing some sleep yourself, but at least until the child or children are older, this can be a suitable arrangement.

Other moms who work at home with young ones will put the child in daycare. This might seem contrary to the notion of staying at home to be with your children, but there are times when there’s no other solution. Since you have control over your hours, you can drop your child off later than you would if you were commuting and you can also pick him or her up earlier. You can also visit at lunch if you like. As your children get older and enter preschool, this arrangement will no longer be necessary.

Preschool Children

If you have preschool-age children, your dreams of working at home become at once easier and more difficult. That is, at this age, children are more likely to play independently, but might also – vocally – demand your attention. This can be a challenge if you work on the phone.

Most moms find that the best arrangement for working at home with children this age is to work when the child is at preschool as well as in the early morning and late evening. Naptime is also ideal.

Once your child gives up a nap, you can still institute a “quiet time” each day during which your child can read quietly, watch a movie, or do coloring or other artwork. This gives you a block of time to get some work done as well.

School-Age Children

You might think that as soon as your children are in school, things will get easier. And they will. To a degree. But if you want to work full-time, you must account for those few hours after the kids get home from school and before your quitting time.

Many moms simply take the approach that involves setting up business hours and keeping the kids on a schedule that requires they respect those business hours. You can make clear to the kids that you aren’t available until your business hours are over (perhaps 5 p.m.).

One of the best solutions for most moms will involve keeping the kids busy. If you find many after-school activities for the kids, you might have to drive them somewhere, but otherwise can work undisturbed in the afternoon hours. You might also make an arrangement with other parents to trade off childcare duties. Or, if the kids are older and can play fairly independently, you can offer to host play dates now and then. The kids will be busy and out of your hair and you can finish your day’s work.

Being at home with the children is one of the great motivators for moms who work at home, but it does take some planning and organizing.

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