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Toddlers and Productivity -- Top 3 Ways To Make It Work

By Liz Folger

It almost sounds too good to be true, work-at-home while at the same time taking care of your small children? While you've daydreamed about this, you never really thought it was something you could actually do.

I started working at home for this very reason. I didn't want to have to put my baby in daycare. Fortunately, I found a business as a writer where I could do just that. However, not all home businesses are as compatible.

Here are 3 ways to make working at home with the kids around work for you.

1) Find a business you will LOVE running and will be possible with the kids around.

Sure, you might be able to get a job as a telephone order person for LL Bean from home. The only problem is your 5 month old may not agree.

Your first assignment is to figure out what exactly are your priorities. They could be anywhere from not wanting your kids in a daycare for 12 hours a day to wanting to raise your children yourself.

2) Daycare

There are days where I say to myself, "Liz, you could sure get a whole lot done if you didn't have your kids around the house all day long." However, that's why I'm here in the first place. My goal has always been to be here for my kids. So I work around their schedule.

It maybe totally different for you. A good friend of mine is a word processor. There is no way she could get the amount of work done that she does if she was having to watch her children all day long too. So she has someone come into her house to watch over her children.

You have so many options to make your home business work: full time or part-time daycare; a live-in nanny; someone that just comes into your home a few hours a day; bartering childcare with other work-at-home moms; getting your relatives to watch your kids jut a few days a week; hiring a 12 year old (they love playing with younger kids) to watch your kids just an hour or two a day. You have so many options, which one will work best for you?

3) Be creative

There are times when you have an important phone call and those charming children of yours are around -- what do you do? As that cute little show, Blue's Clues says, "It's time for the thinking chair."

A) Just don't answer the phone. Is it best that you talk to them with a screaming kid in the background or to call them back when things quiet down?

B) Get little Johnny his own little play phone/computer/desk. Kids love to pretend they are just like Mom and Dad. So play on that little factor. If you want, pull out the play phone, etc., only when you really need it.

C) Bribe them. I know, I can't believe I'm telling you this either. But I'll admit there have been times when I may have been on a phone call and raided the freezer for an ice cream bar for my girls. I may have even been known to give them a couple bars if it was a really long conversation.

D) One-on-one time. How many times have you said, "Just one more minute". I've said it way too many times. But those times that I've gone and taken a walk with my girls, had a tea party or played Playmobile... those have become wonderful memories; and when I'm done, they're more than happy to go off and play by themselves for awhile.

About The Author

Liz Folger is the founder of is the leading online resource for work-from-home ideas. The site offers home-based business start-up kits, online classes, e-books, chats and enthusiastic support for moms who want to have it all - a family and a career. Visit for more information.


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