“Opportunities to earn a living from the comfort of one’s own home have become increasingly more prevalent in recent years, be it from data entry, medical transcription, or entrepreneurship. My family owns a small medical billing company, and I began working from home a few months after I became pregnant in the fall of 2008. I was fortunate to never have had to put my daughter in daycare, but it took most of that first year to figure out how to make this working arrangement “work” for me.
The most important skill I have learned is how to spend my time as efficiently as possible. Effective time management is the key to making this situation work for you, your employer, and your family. I work from home with a 15-month-old, so what works for me might not necessarily work for someone with older children, but the basic concept is the same: find a rhythm that allows you to be productive but still an active parent. It takes some trial and error and a lot of patience, but the reward is worth the struggle.
· * Set a schedule, and stick to it. Try to get your day started, serve meals, and get little ones down for their naps at about the same time every day.
· * Save tasks that require your full attention for nap time.
· * Have a basket of toys, or stackable bins filled with things to keep your child occupied near your work space. Toddlers love to take things out, and it makes cleanup easy.
· * Assign a comfortable space for your child next to your work area: floor mats (the foam, easy to wipe kind), a children’s chair, a small drawing table, etc. Keep their activities in this area.
· * Have plenty of DVDs and books on hand to keep them entertained. If you subscribe to Netflix, their website has a decent selection of television shows and movies for children that you can play on an extra computer (I use a laptop) for your child.
Hopefully you will find this basic guideline helpful. Obviously the day-to-day demands will change with time, and you will have to become adept at adapting to these changes and juggling the various roles you need to play. “