Working at home is a dream situation for many people. The ability to be there for your family, avoid that miserable commute, be your own boss… lots of people would love that situation.

What many fail to think about, however, is what it really takes to work at home. Being at home often gets hectic. The kids are demanding, every little problem in the house needs attention, there’s the temptation to do housework instead of paying work or worse yet, to just watch television.

I’ve dealt with plenty of challenges as I’ve worked at home. The biggest was when my son had surgery for craniosynostosis, and then had at least two helmet checks per week, plus surgical followups and regular checkups. Hectic didn’t begin to describe it. But can you imagine how hard it would have been to cope if I had been working outside the home?

Having my daughter in preschool actually makes things pretty hectic too. I have to help in the class at least 3 times a month, plus it means that Gage has no one to play with, so even though my daughter is having a grand time at preschool, I get less time to work, not more.

You have to plan for chaos. You need to know what your best regular working times are and what you can do when it’s just not possible to work at your preferred times.

Also think about where your priorities are. Where do you need to focus your energies? Marketing, writing, networking, etc?

When events keep you from keeping to any schedule at all, cope as best you can. It may mean working when everyone else is in bed or even hiring someone to help with the kids for a time. That’s the reality of working at home, that you may not always want the kids underfoot if you’re to earn enough to continue working at home. Find that balance.

[tags]work at home balance,family,schedule[/tags]