Saturday, November 22, 2008

Work at Home Mom Tips: Entertaining Small Children When Working from Home

Working at home with children can be a challenge. But with a little planning and some creative ideas, you can get your work done while still raising happy, healthy kids.

Here are some tips for keeping the kids entertained while you get some work done.

1. Know your limits.
Before you start trying to cram as much work in during your child's waking hours, be realistic about how much work you can get done. While it's reasonable that you'll be able to spend a few hours working each day during naptime or while your child's attention is otherwise engaged, it's not realistic to expect that you can get a solid block of time each day. You can save yourself a lot of trouble and frustration by not booking too much work during any given day. Understand that you may need to do the bulk of your work while your children are sleeping. If you must get work done during the day, you can use these ideas to keep both you and your child happy.

2. Get your child involved in your work.
Preschoolers love imitating mommy. You can use this to your advantage when you need to get some work done. Set up a small desk next to yours with some quiet toys, modeling clay or even a play computer. When you need a half hour or so to work, you can have your child sit next to you and "work" too. This way, your children will feel involved and may allow you to work longer than if you were trying to keep them away.

3. Building projects.
Small children normally aren't very focused, but they can be when it comes to playing with blocks and other kinds of building toys. Even children as young as 18 months old will spend a lot of time building with blocks, and that can give you some time to work. Create a play space in front of your desk with a building surface and a lot of blocks.

4. Educational DVDs.
There are dozens of educational videos out there that can capture your child's attention so you can work. Whether you have a baby who will respond to a visit to the petting zoo set to classical music or a preschooler who enjoys watching Sesame Street, DVDs can be a life saver for a work at home mom. They are invaluable when you have to take a call from a client or need to give your full attention to a project. Make sure to limit their TV time to one hour a day. As long as you don't rely on the DVDs too much, they can be an asset to your working life.

One of the most important keys to working at home with kids is to spend time enjoying their company. If you spend the whole day stressed out about work, all the money that you make at your work at home job won't be worth it. Plan out work time and play time with your children so that everyone's needs are met.

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