In today’s difficult economy most families need more than one source of income and it is often for this reason alone that more parents are looking for a work at home opportunity that allows them to be with their children but also make money. This is where setting up an e-commerce enterprise is the ideal way to combine earning a proper income and being a work from home parent.
Being a stay at home mother or father however means that you are very busy organising kids a lot of the time, but you can always find time during the day to begin to building up a profitable home based online business that will certainly ease your financial worries and even give you plenty of cash to have a good time with your kids.
Supervising children in the home business environment is never going to be easy but you need to snatch some determined work committed time when you can to crack on with your business. Good periods are while your little ones are watching TV, or playing with their friends or possibly in the evening after they have gone to bed, if you are not too exhausted. The great thing about an online shop for example is that you are rarely tied to set working hours so you can fit it round your family needs so long as you always deal with enquiries or complaints within a reasonable timeframe.
Operating any business from home is seldom straightforward and interruptions come in all guises and when you introduce children into the home office environment, your productivity and patience can be severely tested. In addition you are going to have family members, friends and chatty neighbours who call or just drop in, and let’s not forget the persistent telemarketers who seem to have got hold of your office number and ring just when your youngest has emptied its potty all over the floor.
It is quite obvious that maintaining a deep level of concentration on vital work in your home office for long periods of time is nearly impossible. With younger children naptime does offer some quiet relief, but this is short lived if they wake up crying or seeking attention. Even with older children, who are a little more independent sunny summer days can pose new challenges with over excited kids running in and out of the house throughout the day.
Getting through any professional working day can at times seem to be an insurmountable challenge. So exactly how can your e-commerce business succeed when sometimes all the odds appear to be stacked against you? In two words – determination and flexibility, but mainly flexibility. This is a key factor in balancing your online business priorities with your young family’s needs.
Probably, in spite of their vulnerability and utter dependence on you, very young infants can fit well into your work routine so long as you schedule your work around the needs of your baby. But they are simpler to manage than older children as although they need feeding and changing regularly they do in fact sleep more than they do anything else. Once you get your baby into a routine of eat, sleep and play, your productivity will soar.
Toddlers are a whole new ball game that comes with plenty of pre-packed problems to drive you slowly insane. To live with a hyperactive toddler running around the house while you are trying to talk to clients or concentrate on the computer is enough to make you question your sanity. Whatever made you think you could run a business from home while mopping up spilt orange juice of separating squabbling siblings?
It can be done but you need to develop a definite and firmly adhered to routine so that your children know exactly when it is meal time, naptime and play time. Work these times into your work schedule and short of a major disaster don’t budge. Children will test your will at first but remain firm but also don’t let them down by failing to stick to the routine; if you do so your children will have less respect for your work and engineer more interruptions to prevent you from working.
If young children get bored or fractious don’t be afraid to let them sit in your lap while you are working. It helps them to feel wanted and to feel part of your daily working life. Of course there will be times when you need them out of your lap like if you have to phone a supplier or wrap a fragile parcel so don’t be afraid to tell them to get down and go play or read a book so that you can get on with what you need to do. However if they feel it is okay for them to climb into your lap while you work, without being rebuffed, they are going to grow up feeling much more secure and loved.
All young children need to feel they can turn to Mummy or Daddy when life gets scary or frustrating and any young child that is pushed aside for a business will inevitably become very resentful of the time you spend on your business. Your office door or working space should never be locked, except perhaps if you are making an important phone call and your toddler is screaming for your attention. At all other times, your door should remain unlocked and partly open so that you don’t miss any family emergencies or accidents such as cut heads or bruised knees. It is absolutely vital that your child NEVER feels that is comes second best to your business.
Allow your children to bring their toys in your office or even set them up with their own special computer. Usually they will sit contently and play while you work as just knowing you are near is enough to keep them peaceful and happy. Be prepared to take a regular break, of an hour at least, to deal with potty training and to offer snacks or drink refills. All this will encourage your child grow into a routine that will work well with your internet business.
During each break, spend quality time with your child giving hugs and kisses and encouraging meaningful conversation with your child so that he or she feel special and important to you. Bear in mind that some toddlers don’t always do well with the routine, so be prepared persist until things settle and to take a few minutes when needed to give the attention that your child may desperately crave.
Finally try to instill into your child, even if the process is painfully slow, that you are working and while you will get to attend to their needs almost immediately they must wait patiently and quietly for your attention. This is good practice for office emergencies and also starts to prepare them for the big wide world where they can’t always get attention on demand.
Older children and teenagers probably pose the least challenge to your working routine as they are generally old enough to understand the idea of schedules and chores and are normally quite happy to accept the needs of your home business. By explaining to your children that you do your work at home in order to be near them when they need you they will often take on quite grown up responsibilities to help you succeed.
Once they recognise that you must do your work so that you will have the money necessary to keep your home, feed the family and to provide them with money for entertainment they can be quite supportive, especially if you involve them a little and even ask them for their advice or opinions.
Try to outline a work schedule and explain it to them making quite sure that they understand that emergencies are definitely an acceptable reason to interrupt your work. Then confirm, with their co-operation, that between certain hours you will be doing a job that benefits the whole family and ask them to respect your schedule. Also stress the fact that in times of need they should be prepared to take over, cook simple meals and even deal with younger siblings.
Being a stay at home working parent is all about giving you the chance to grow a business, dealing with pressing financial obligations and enjoying your children at the same time. Once you have met the inevitable challenges head on and finally got the balance right you will probably never contemplate trading your e-commerce business for a nine-to-five job with a stranger taking care of your children.