Work At Home Hassle-Free

How a parent of young children can find the time to work at home hassle-free without taking anything away from their families.

For everyone out there who wants to work at home, but is afraid to take the can be done.

It's true. With just a little bit of planning, anyone-even you, Mom-can work at home and still get the job done. Flexibility, organization, and responsible are the key words you'll need to remember. Your whole family must be flexible and dedicated to the fact that you are a working individual, not just a stay at home parent.

First of all, you must be in control. Not your kids, not your You must decide what the rules will be and you must enforce them. If you believe in your rules and regulations and the fact that you should work if you so choose, everyone else will believe it, too.

Create rules that work for you, but which also can be followed by your family. This step is probably the hardest. I suggest input from everyone who will be affected by this decision.

Decide how many hours you want to spend working at home, relay that to your family, and then sit down and determine how best to achieve that goal. For instance, if you must have four solid hours to yourself and you have a toddler and a husband who works full-time, your options are slim, but viable. One, you work late at night when baby is asleep; two you work early in the morning when baby is asleep; three, you work during the day when baby is napping; or, four, you work from 6-10 while Daddy spends time with baby. (Option number four works best for me.)

If the work is not flexible, must be done at a certain time in the day, and you can't trust baby to nap during that time-frame, you might want to think about having a baby-sitter come in for a couple hours.

If you have preschoolers and toddlers, it's difficult to find any time for extras, they keep you busy enough. However, it can be done. For instance, quiet time can be made to be just that...quiet time. If quiet time becomes a part of their schedule, they will conform. I suggest a one to two hour rest, or quiet period for this age. Most children still need a nap at this age, and will nap if the parent sticks to the schedule.

Another thing to consider is what type of work you will be committing yourself to. Baby-sitting, obviously would fit in with your schedule, if you have children of your own. Computer work, telemarketing, typesetting, and research also can be accomplished easily with your children in the same room.

If you don't have children, but household chores and TV seem to get in the way of your working day, I suggest time-budgeting. Set aside time slots throughout the day in which to incorporate some of the pressing housework. These "break times" from your real job are not only necessary, they can be very fruitful. A load of laundry can be loaded into the washer in the space of a 10 minute coffee break. The living room carpet can be vacuumed in less than five minutes. Putting Muffy out to do her business on the lawn won't slow you down much from the tasks at hand, and who doesn't need some fresh air from time to time? TV should be watched during lunchtime. Tape your favorite show and watch it after hours or during lunch.

Again, you must be organized, responsible, flexible. If you can incorporate these key words into your lifestyle, you, too, can join the elite segment of the population that works from the comfort of their own homes.

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