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Toddlers and Business: Do They mix?

By Colleen Langenfeld

So you've made the leap.

You've decided that working from home is the plan you want to pursue.

Maybe you've worked out telecommuting arrangements with your current job.

Or perhaps you've decided to begin a whole new business and you've found the
one you know will be a perfect fit for you.

But now reality sinks in.

You've got a toddler!

Perhaps this little creature is the very reason you decided to stay home
in the first place. To be there day by day. To see the 'firsts'. To ensure
yours is the main voice in your small sweetie's life.

All valid reasons for working from home.

All reasons that will have you tearing your hair out before very long!

Take heart!

People ARE making home-based businesses work! But you'll have to lay some ground rules for yourself and your toddler if you want it to work for you!

The keys? Organization and Patience!

You're going to be running two different operations at the same time for this
scenario to work. You'll need to run your work/business schedule as well as your parenting/household schedule. This means you need to plan out both completely and then merge them appropriately. For example:

- plan out your toddler's days. Monday through Friday. 8-5 (or whatever your
work hours will be). Make it fun and entertaining for the maximum fectiveness!

- plan out your work days, also for the full week. Focus on results so that you aren't wasting valuable time on busywork.

- merge the two schedules and see where they naturally work together and where
they won't work together at all!

- then adjust, and adjust some more.

Helpful hints:

- build small breaks into your daily schedule and use one whenever a meltdown

- realize some days will go smoother than others. And let it go.

- plan a variety of what I call 'Focused Workdays/Focused Play Days. This
is a day or two a week (or whatever you need) where your child is involved in a super-fun activity for them. Could be a playgroup, preschool, or simply a day with Grandma. Or find another at-home parent with little ones who would like some extra cash and pay her/him to let your toddler spend the day with their kids. Then, while your baby is busy and cared for, YOU get busy! Focus on your business the whole day and you'll be amazed at the results you can accomplish!

- be patient with yourself. Toddlerhood is a fleeting time; choosing to be a part of it is very rewarding, but not in the same manner that a successful business is rewarding. Both endeavors deserve your best commitment and focus; obviously neither will receive 100 per cent of your time! Don't make the mistake of missing your child when you're working your business and wishing you were working while you're showing a young human being the wonders of the backyard.

So...relax! Everyday may not go perfectly but at the end of each day you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you are producing results, both personally and professionally.

And you'll have the paycheck and smiles to prove it!
About The Author:
Name: Colleen Langenfeld
Colleen Langenfeld owns and operates , a resource
site for busy working mothers. Sign up
for her FREE newsletter today at and receive
our Creativity Toolkit for FREE!

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