19 January 2007

Managing kids and a home office: how?

Great conversation starter at Web Worker Daily on managing the inevitable joys/distractions/frustrations of kids + home office. I write this from my own "home office" (the kitchen table) while my kids are at school, and the first thought that comes to mind is: get a desk that's yours. All yours, so there's a place in your home devoted to your work or creative pursuits. I'm in the process of working that out myself. Much more to say on the topic, but I'll turn it over to you and will chime in in the comments. [Via lifehack.org]

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I've just launched a home-based, full-time, freelance writing and editing business, so this is quite the timely post. As of now we've got the kids in daycare three days a week, which is when I get the bulk of my work done. The other two days, I have the younger one home with me, and I've simply accepted that any work I get done on those days is gravy.

I have a 2-year old and working from home only really became an issue when he got mobile. We used to have a childminder at home and Luc would just come toddling over to my office and not be too happy about leaving. This year I've changed it around so that half my office is his area and the other half mine. I set up "quiet" toys in his half like puzzles, blocks and crafts and he's generally happy enough to play there while I'm working. Also, the desk is set-up so that he can't get to wires etc. He has a drawer dedicated to papers for him and generally this has kept him out of my drawers. Not sure how long this is going to last, but for now it's working.

If I could wish one thing for my home office, it would be a door with a lock. Maybe then I wouldn't have had to replace my printer last year...

This has been the hot topic in my household for months.

My home office is my dining room table.

However, I discovered something that recently starting working for me as an entrepeneur WAHM. I have a laptop on top of my kitchen island -which is situated in the center of my house. I can only access this standing up (not sitting down).

This allows me to achieve short bursts of productivity while still being able to quickly react to the typical "joys" of motherhood like potty accidents, meltdowns, and cat-fights (the kids' AND my own).

teri

It's a nice thought that you can get work done with kids around, but I've always had a much easier time working when my daughter is in preschool or day care for a few days a week. I've also managed to work 100% via email rather than phone (as an Aussie web/graphic designer with mainly US clients), which is great considering the noise that goes on at our house.

What fun! I'm searching around the web because I'm starting a blog for parents who work from home, and your comments are so refreshing. I'm a Pre-school Life Coach and admittedly a bit nuts. My daughter turns 2 next month, and together we've written a two time award winning book and redesigned our website and survived some growing moments in the process. She attends most meetings with me and I even nurse her in public. The comments we get keeps me going. Most of which relate to full time employees who start thinking about their young while watching us. We're following her lead on when to branch out. So for now she attends playgroups, music and sign language classes, working small animal farm studies, equestrian... I wouldn't trade this season in our lives for all the money in the world, but I did say I was a bit nuts didn't I?

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