Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Working from home with kids

Feisty Tapas headquarters (c) Feisty Tapas
As some of you know I work from home full-time (read "rather a large amount of hours a week") but I also have my 18 month toddler with me full-time. By mid-March I will have been doing this for a year. People have asked me for advice in the past but every child is different, some people even have a couple of children of a young age, some have twins and so on. Every case is different, every child is different so, whenever anyone asks me how I cope all I can tell them is how I cope with my toddler and that every child is different, just like the nature of each job from home is different. In fact, because I have been a freelance translator working from home since 1999, I knew well what my work was like and I realised early on that I needed to work around my baby, nature is wise. However, it won't be as easy for someone starting a new business or just working from home when they already have children.

There are a lot of brave people out there considering starting their own business, freelancing, etc. but they can't afford crippling childcare costs and are overwhelmed by the guilt of having their child in nursery when they could perfectly be looking after them (I fall under both these categories myself). Even those of us who already do it need tips as our children grow and learn new things such as walking or climbing on things (yes, I'm speaking from experience!).

I would be extremely grateful if parents who work from home would come and link their posts with advice in the matter: how do you cope? do you structure your days in a certain way? does your job allow you to schedule your days at all? do you have a little desk space within your home, a garden office or do you, like I do at the moment, work from the kitchen table?

It doesn't have to be a new post, perhaps you wrote about this a while ago, do please come and link it here, any advice will be appreciated, even people who already work from home may learn something that they can adapt to their style of working.

Perhaps your children are older and at school now but you started when they were very little, I would love to know how your work at home life and work-life balance changed as they grew older.

Or perhaps you started working from home in between school runs or you work from home certain days a week and the rest at an office, how do you find it?

You may even have started a small business from home but found it grew so much that you ended up having to move to bigger premises, how did that work?

Perhaps you have a full-time job away from home but try to juggle your blog when the kids are around. Or you don't have a job but have a blog or something you like doing at home, how do you find time for it?

Perhaps you don't blog at all and would love to give your advice but find you don't have where to publish it, in that case just leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter, Facebook or by email on the address you will find under my logo here and we'll sort it out, I will add your name to the post or you can of course be anonymous, it doesn't have to be very long.

The more advice we have, the more people will be able to draw from this. Thank you in advance to everyone who participates, I look forward to reading your entries and learning from them.

While I'm on the topic, you may want to take a look at Cara Sayer's petition: Help Small Businesses Grow- Allow childcare as a business expense. Cara is the brain behind Snoozeshade.

Now I'm off to write my own post on the matter to link it up, I know I should have it ready but time is limited when working from home, I had a brainwave and so I followed it before something else came and took its place!

*You can add as many relevant links as you want*

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