Today’s guest post is written by my friend Allie over at Ramblings of a WAHM. I found her online quite some time ago and was glued to her blog due to her wit and great advice for WAHMs of all kinds. You meet some pretty cool people when you network!
You are a virtual assistant and love it. You make your own hours. There are days you work in your pajamas and you create your own income. Life is great and business is booming.
Your personal life is doing well also, you and your husband decide it is the right time to expand your family and have a baby. How exciting!
As a virtual assistant working from home the transition isn’t that difficult. The baby sleeps most of the day and work resumes like it always did.
But your baby gets older. He crawls and grabs and cries and laughs and makes messes and is curious and, well, you get the picture. Surely a plan needs to be implemented to continue working from home. Sure you can still work while he is asleep, like during naps, at night or early mornings. And dad is around in between hours at work, he can watch the baby also so you can get your work done.
You soon find the workload is too demanding for your new lifestyle and you need to maintain the income you had before the baby was born. It really is time for new time management tactics with a baby in the house.
Work On Goals in Short Spurts
One of the best ways to continue working is to keep goals. Keep them simple and short. You may need to break down your work day into more shorter shifts to get the same amount of work done. A child is demanding of your time and usually refuses to share mom, especially with a computer. Give your child the time he deserves; show him that he is your primary focus everyday. Spend a good quality time with him playing and interacting. Then he will surely see that he is first priority, be comfortable and then be able to play on his own for short spurts with you work.
This tactic not only works best for any work at home parent but a child can really benefit from having a daily routine. The benefits of having a routine are numerous and include the fact you always know what to expect and when, takes the guessing out of “what am I doing today?” and it saves time.
Communicate with Your Child
As your baby turns into a young child he will be accustom to the daily routine you two have created. This can be a great opportunity to let your child into your world and let him know mommy is working. You cannot be interrupted and will need a little more time to work. Set down some simple rules you know he can follow. There may even be times you can pretend he is working with you and you give him an “assignment”. Kids love to be part of our world and feel they are helping us.
If working with a baby, toddler or young child at home is too stressful and you still need to maintain a strong income for your family you may want to seek outside help.
Parents in your neighborhood or town may need to have time to work also. You can negotiate times every day or weekly where you swap child care duties for time to work.
Check out MeetUp, your local church or local moms clubs and groups to find parents that would be willing to help you out, and thus helping themselves also.
Hire a Mother’s Helper
Know any tweens that may want a few extra dollars to spend? Girls at 11-13 years of age are great for helping you out at home, while you are there, to keep your little one occupied and happy for a few hours. And, bonus, you do not need to pay them premium wages because you stay in the house and are always present. They are not left with full responsibility.
Hire a Babysitter, Nanny or Daycare Facility
If you really need to have someone take on full responsibility of your child for a few hours or all day you may want to seek out more of professional help or at least an experienced baby sitter.
Yes, this will cost you more than the previous solutions but your business as a VA may depend on this time alone to work with distraction.
Or the truth is you may need to cut back hours or simply take a hiatus until your child is in school.
The beauty of being a virtual assistant is you can always start again. Or you can take on less work than before.
Allie owns and writes Ramblings of a WAHM blog. She has blogged and been online working her way up since 2010. She helps small, at home business moms with business and lifestyle tips. Check out WAHM Posts or New Blogger Posts. And her WAHM newsletter.