Working from home provides entrepreneurial moms with the freedom to make their own schedules and spend more time with their children. In fact, that's often the prime reason many women decide to start up a home based business.
It's often necessary to create new and interesting ways to keep children occupied while attempting to get work accomplished. Since the main reason most moms work from home is to be there for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, finding a happy medium becomes the key to success.
Children's ages will certainly dictate the activity requirements and solutions. Whether work at home moms have babies, toddlers or preschoolers at home, there are several tricks, tips and activities to keep them entertained.
This can sometimes be a tricky age group because babies don't always stay on a regular schedule. As any mom of an infant knows, the answer is to work when baby is napping. Unfortunately, babies don't always nap at the most convenient times, so getting creative becomes necessary.
Invest in a baby swing, bounce chair or jump up. Babies love movement and these baby accessories have the ability to keep baby happy and entertained for quite awhile. Bounce chairs and jump ups have the added benefit of giving baby some exercise and working those little leg muscles.
Spread a soft blanket or quilt on the floor of your workspace. Arrange soft toys, stuffed animals and other baby-safe toys for baby to enjoy and explore. Play soft background music. There are many music CDs geared towards babies available for purchase online and in retail stores.
Even when a business is Website-based, there will still be times when it's necessary to speak with clients. Schedule conference, sales and Skype calls when baby will be most likely napping or in bed for the night. It's almost impossible to conduct a professional business call with active babies nearby.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
As any mom knows, this is an extremely active group. A toddler's natural curiosity seems to get them in to just about everything. Moms can use this natural curiosity to their advantage with small motor skill activities.
Large snap-together blocks (like Legos) are excellent for toddlers and preschoolers. They help small children build hand dexterity, while learning problem-solving skills. Look for sets at resale shops, dollar stores and garage sales to save money. Just be sure to sanitize any used toys first.
Small children love mimicking Mommy. Give toddlers and preschoolers their own paper and crayons so they can work too. Old phones make great office-style props for children.
Play dough is a favorite among both moms and small children. It's also very easy to make and customize at home. To save money and add special scents, use the recipe below for homemade play dough. Adding a couple of drops of peppermint oil or other scents to the finished product is an option:
No Cook Play Dough Recipe:
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- Simply mix all the ingredients together!
- Be careful, as it can be quite hot.
With a little bit of ingenuity, patience and mommy skill, it's possible to operate a successful home business while bringing up baby. There are hundreds of online message boards site and other resources for moms working from home. Brainstorming and networking with other work at home moms can be an invaluable resource.