Being able to work at home is, for many women, the answer to a prayer. Working at home is the solution to the problem of wanting to stay at home and care for their children while still earning an income. Although working at home is the answer to one set of problems, it brings with it another set of problems which have to be resolved if the stay at home mother is going to become a successful home based working mother. I am, of course, talking about the delicate operation of fitting maternal concerns in alongside a business woman's preoccupations. If you have been a stay at home mother for some time and are only just now making the transition to being a work at home mother, you will be facing a huge upheaval. In the first few weeks of getting your home business running, you will probably wonder why you ever thought you would be able to cope with looking after the family as well as running a business from home.
This is to be expected because you will be trying to live a double life, but you will soon realise that wearing two hats at once won't work in the home based business woman/stay at home mother world any more than it would as a fashion statement. You have to learn how to separate your roles so that you are only wearing one hat at a time. The first thing to do is to establish a workable routine which enables you to devote time to your business while ensuring that your partner and children don't feel left out. Strange though it may sound, this means asking them for help. You probably feel reluctant to do this as it seems like you are putting an extra burden on them but your partner should understand that you are now a family with two working parents and it would be unfair for all the household responsibilities to remain in your shoulders alone. A request for help like this will usually make your family feel that you are involving them in your life and, because they feel needed instead of being shut out, the help will be given willingly.
Your partner and older children will understand that you can't be expected to do everything on your own and even toddlers will be eager to join in to help with the rest of the family. Being allocated their own chores gives children a sense of responsibility which is something they enjoy from a very early age. Chores like unloading the dishwasher or laying the table for a meal or making beds can easily be delegated; they are only small tasks but, when you are starting your own business, every minute you can call your own counts.
Having enlisted the help of your family, the next thing you need to do is to write out your timetable. The more detailed you can make your timetable, the more help it will be to you, but having a simple daily to-do list will be a great help. A page-a-day diary or calendar is very useful for keeping a record of appointments, vacation dates etc.
It is also a good idea to jot down notes of business financial transactions for reference when you do your tax return. With your family helping you and your timetable providing a structure, you will soon find that you are running both your business and your home without worrying that you might be neglecting either of them. It is worth persevering through the initial first few weeks of organised chaos because working at home has so many advantages, the greatest of which is the freedom to be at home while your children are young.
Elaine Currie is the owner of the Free Work At Home Directory at http://www.huntingvenus.com and author of the book Ezine Article Writing - 10 Steps To Success. You can download a copy free of charge at: http://www.huntingvenus.com/free_ezine_articles_writing_ebook.shtml