Running a home business when you have children isn’t easy. It is hard to divide your time between your work and the most important people in your life; in fact, you may often feel like you have difficulty doing anything well. Most entrepreneurs have this exact same problem, but it is important to realize that you can be a business owner and have a happy family, too. You just have to be consistent; the following tips can help you accomplish your goals when it comes to both your work and your family life.
First, take the time to sit down and map out what your day will be like. Make sure you include work time and time with your family. Go over the schedule with your children so that they know what to expect. You’ll find that if you consistently work the same hours each day, your children will slowly begin to understand and respect your schedule. They will also look forward to the time that you have carved out just for them; encourage them to think about something special you can do during that time, whether it’s a game, a craft or just hanging out together outside. It is important, however, that you make sure you stick to what you tell them. Don’t let a business meeting or anything having to do with work interfere unless it is an emergency. Your children will be very disappointed if they don’t have a chance to spend time with you, and making sure you honor your word to them will show them that they are important.
If you are the primary caregiver, keep the option of hiring a nanny or babysitter open. If you want to run a successful business, you simply won’t be able to devote as much time to your children during working hours. Having a nanny come over when you are working could be the answer; you will still be there to address the needs of your children if necessary, but they will have another adult looking out for them and helping them while you work. If you would prefer not to hire outside help, examine your schedule and see if it is possible to engage in evening and nighttime work. You could also talk to your partner and try to adjust your schedules so that you each have responsibility for your children at different times.
While your family probably has certain rules that you try to reinforce for your children, you will need to add to this list when you start your business. For example, your children need to know what is expected of them if a client comes to the house or how they need to act when you are on the phone. Go over the rules with your children and post them in a prominent area of the home. While it may take a little while to catch on, your kids will get the hang of things eventually.
Having a home business presents a unique set of challenges, particularly if you have a family. Use the information presented above to help you fulfill all of your life roles to the best of your ability.