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Working From Home With Kids

Many people believe that they can’t handle multiple rolls required to both raise a family and create an income. However, with a little patience and determination, it can be done.

Infancy

Infants do require a lot of Mom (and Dad), but with a little advanced preparation, even a new parent can make it work. A baby will spend most of his or her time sleeping, eating and crying. The trick is to work when baby sleeps, but only during the morning hours. Leave the afternoon and nighttime for doing housework and catching up on sleep. A new WAHM (Work at Home Mom) may try to squeeze several hours in a day, but it isn’t worth it. Start with one to two hours every other day to get into the swing of things. A lifesaver for many WAHMs is to get food, diapers and bottles/sippy cups ready the night before.

Toddlerhood

As kids grow, so do their tendencies to want to do everything Mom does. Toddlers want to be big. Working with a 2- or 3-year-old in tow requires loads of patience. Grab some crayons and paper, a toy laptop, and an old, disconnected phone and let the toddler “work” his or her own job. Try for 15-minute spurts. While that isn’t a great deal of time, it’s usually enough to get organized and prepared to work during the child’s nap or bedtime.

The truth about working from home

Tons of ads claim you can “work from home and make big bucks while spending all your time with your family.” The reality is that these jobs don’t really exist. Working from home means just that—working. A successful career, whether in or outside of the home, means dedication and staying on top of customer needs while tending personal obligations (diapers, snacks, potty training) all at the same time. The old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” really holds here.

Best work-from-home jobs

The best jobs are the ones the intent telecommuter already knows how to do. For the creative types, photography or graphic design are excellent choices. Writers can work from home with little more than a computer and a train of thought. Crafty? Consider making jewelry or jumping on the “green” train and helping others save Mother Earth by using recycled materials for art. There are also many party format businesses such as Stella & Dot, 31 Gifts, and Tupperware that can offer flexibility, fun, and even some hefty product discounts. The caveat with these careers is that most people enter into them expecting to start sorting piles of cash overnight. With any side business, cash flow is usually shorter than the naps the children are, or are not, taking.

Many women work from home because they need a little extra income to supplement a spouse’s job or to replace wages lost after entering parenthood. Others do it for the opportunity to be someone other than “Mom” for a few moments of time. Ultimately, the decision to work from home is one that must be entered into with an open mind and the knowledge that the children’s needs must come first.

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