Keys to Making Work-at-Home Work for You

Working from home is becoming a popular choice for parents who want or need to organize their jobs around their home life, instead of the other way around. Many moms make this choice because it makes it a little easier to keep their family's needs in focus.

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While working at home can seem like the best of both worlds, it takes good planning and a lot of energy to balance parenting responsibilities and at-home employment.

While approaches to working at home vary from person to person, successful home-based workers agree that it's important to:

  • Establish a core routine.
  • Learn to roll with the punches.
  • List your priorities and schedule important meetings and phone calls during times when children are asleep or in anotherís care.
  • If you need a break, take it and make up the time later.
  • Know your limits and define your boundaries. Donít take on more than what you can successfully achieve. Be able to say itís OK to stop working when the work day is done.
  • If you are feeling isolated, call a friend or colleague and talk about the business at hand.
  • Network; itís key. Get together with others who do the same work.
  • Connect with other families in your area with whom you can share child care and chauffeuring. Look into co-op situations with other parents who have flexible hours.
  • Set up a separate office space in your home, an area dedicated to work. At the very least, consider putting up a partition in a room thatís shared.
  • If working in a team, give the other person some space, both professionally and personally.
  • Love what you are doing. If you donít, and you couple it with caring for children, itís a recipe for disaster.
  • Donít try to be super-human. If you can afford outside help, with housework for instance, get it.
  • Be willing to be flexible with time, so that if your child needs attention or a reward for cooperating, you can spend the time with him or her.
  • Always remember why you are working from home. The big reason is to be with the kids. Keep that goal in focus.
  • See also:
    Read about one mom's experiences in Working from Home: Is it really possible?

    Work-at-Home Resources:
    Websites, Books and Organizations