How to Make Work-from-Home Work for Your Family

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Moms have always “worked” at home. They just haven’t always been monetarily compensated for doing so. However, it’s becoming an ever-increasing way for families to make ends meet.

Today, Life as MOM contributor, Prerna Malik shares suggestions on working from home.

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In my last post over here at Life as Mom, I’d talked about how working from home is still work and the discussion that resulted from it in the comments was A-mazing. I loved how all of you shared your own work-at-home journeys and what being a WAHM involved.

So, today, I thought about sharing how when you’re working from home, you need to make it work for your family.

Here are a few things that have worked for me, considering that I also work with my husband as co-worker **smiling**

1. Invite Your Family Into Your Office

Whether you have an actual home office or not, you need to invite your family occasionally into your workspace. Let them see your vision board, your goals, your business plan, the raving reviews from clients. Your workspace as a work-at-home mother is testimony to the hard work that you put in day and night to make money and fulfill dreams.

So, whether you work from your kitchen table or a separate office, let your kids and family see your work. Share your victories, laugh over glitches and celebrate milestones.

2. Have a Take-Your-Kids-to Work-Day

This is a really fun way to help children understand your professional lifestyle. For a few hours once a month, “take” your kids to work with you. Let them bring their preferred activity to keep them busy but let them work in the same space as you. With older kids, you can even get them to actually help you with things, like typing out a draft or making a presentation. Keep it for a few hours and don’t pack in heavy-duty stuff like a client meeting via Skype or intensive research for that period.

3. Explain What You Actually Do

Finally and most importantly, when your family asks you what you do, don’t just say, ‘I work’. That’s not gonna help them understand your ‘work’.

Describe your work. Do you plan events for clients? Share what goes into that. Do you write articles for websites? Talk about how you research a topic, draft an outline, approach and find sources instead of just saying, ‘I write.’

Keep them in the loop about meetings, deadlines, project work. Help your family know what you do.

Working from home can be a fun, interesting, liberating and exciting journey. You get to set your own hours, determine how much money you can make, find your own niche, choose the people you work with and for, and do what you love the most. But at the end of the day, you work with your family around you and so, it is essential you make working from home work for them just as well as it does for you.

How do you make work from home work for your family?

Want to know more about making the work-at-home life rock for you and your family? Check out my latest eBook, How to be a Work-at-Home Mom: The Happily Ever After Guide to Leading the WAHM Life on SALE till 03/11/2012. Get it for just $8.50 instead of the regular price of $17!

— Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in parenting with love, being postively productive, and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her simple tips and easy-to-do ideas at The Mom Writes or follow her on Twitter.

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  1. I tried as often as I could to have my kids help renovate our now rental homes. It lead to a lot of discussion over renting verse having a mortgage on a home. Which lead to discussing how come we don’t have either, yet own three homes (blessing from 2 belated women I dearly loved). Now that I have started blogging, my kids point out things and say “hey mom you could blog about that” .

  2. I’ve worked from home since our oldest was born, so mine don’t know anything different; it’s just part of life that Mom has some portions of the day where she’s designing, or writing, or editing, or packing products. They do help me out, particularly when I’m gearing up for workshops (I have kit compilers!). Everyone has always been involved in keeping up the house (including my lovely husband).

    The biggest struggle I have is in making sure I keep up with all the different priorities. I don’t want my kids to think work comes before them, even though some days, quite frankly, it must. They’re first in my heart, always, but not always first on my “to do” list. I have noticed that those times have helped my children learn patience, and that’s been a huge positive thing. We don’t get much whining/begging, ever. They seem to be secure that though I may need to finish up something particular, I *will* do my very best to meet their needs, as soon as humanly possible.

    I can’t imagine *not* working from home; I call it our “colonial model” of home economics. Going back to the colonial era, both men and women were active working partners in the domestic economy, most often with both sharing the work in the family trade, but sometimes with women having their own trade as well. We’re encouraging our kids to look at marriage/work as a partnership, and hoping to equip them with the skills they could use to add to the home economy *from* home as far as possible, so they have as many options as possible.

    Another positive: because we have “business meetings” as a family, we’ve been able to reinforce our family culture of “avoid debt” and “be wise with money” on a frequent basis. My kids are becoming very out-of-the-box thinkers when it comes to education, business, finances, etc. I’m excited to hear them stand up for themselves when others around them are being very “traditional” in thinking debt spending is the only possible option, or One True Path education is the only valid route.

    Growing up with a work-at-home mom (and now, a work-at-home dad, too!), they see very intimately how hard we work to have the needed balance, and that we’re human, and don’t always do it perfectly, too.

  3. This is good information even for us work at home dads. I like the points about inviting them in and explaining what you do. I have two young children and I don’t think they understand why daddy spends so much time in the home office room

  4. I worked at home for 8 1/2 years while raising my kids. Often times, enlisting them as my helpers, stamping and stuffing envelopes. Unfortunately, my department was eliminated last year, and I have yet to find another position that allows work at home, which I’m so desperately seeking while my kiddies are still in school.

    Anyone know of any opportunities? Please let me know!! 🙂