Saturday, July 22, 2006

How to Balance Working at Home and Raising Your Kids by Adriana Copaceanu

How to Balance Working at Home and Raising Your Kids By: Adriana Copaceanu

Most work at home moms start home based businesses because they want to be home with their little ones. And I was no different: I left a great corporate job to be around my two children.

But then, you put a lot of work in your business, and it works! Yes, you are getting orders, and making some money, but the flip side is that you don't have as much time for your little ones. How do you then balance your time? Do you still put your children first? Or do you go for the "just a minute honey!" line and hope they can’t tell time?

It happened to me: one day, during my first Christmas season in business, I was busy with an order for 150 gift baskets. It was hard work, and stress was running high. The deadline was approaching, and I had no time to stop to even straighten the room.

There were boxes with product everywhere, there were empty boxes, and there was gourmet food everywhere: a true disaster area! And just then, my 4 year old daughter (now 11) came to me with her big brown eyes in tears: "Mommy, I am bored and I am lonely… Can we play a little?" What could I do? I was alone at home with her, and if I stopped to play, there was no way I could finish my order in time.

So, I thought quickly, on my feet, of how I could play with her and work at the same time. And I came up with the idea of building her an office right next to mine out of used/damages boxes. She was ecstatic! And SHE did all the work! I told her where to go and get the boxes, and made room for her by me desk. She built a desk, improvised a chair, and even had items to sell in her store.

With that in place, I was able to continue my work uninterrupted most of the time. She loved watching and copying me: when I picked up the phone to talk to a customer, she picked up her imaginary phone. When I needed to make a basket, she made one of her own. When I calculated the price for my baskets, she picked up a pencil and calculated her own prices.

In time, her office evolved: the old, damaged boxes were replaced with actual wooden drawers. Inventory I wasn't able to sell became her store's inventory. She even got an adding machine, and a couch. Now, her office is her favorite spot to play. And it's not just an office anymore: it's an entire building with different shops. She has a restaurant, a bath and body store, a book store, and a toy store.

The store has helped her in many ways:

-she learned about maintaining and ordering inventory
-she learned about phone etiquette
-she learned addition and subtraction
-she learned organization skills
-she learned to be creative (little bits and pieces of ribbon, irregular baskets, empty containers have become great assets to her business)

Could YOU be using your business to teach your kids business basics while having fun? I am sure you could. Just take some time and think how your situation can be used to plant some business seeds in your child.

Article by:

Adriana Copaceanu is a busy mom of 2. Visit her Busy Moms Online if you are looking for ways to maximize your precious time. And if you are a new mom, you'll find everything you need to know at her Baby's First Year website.

Dinosaurs: Reel & Robotic Exhibit at San Diego Natural History Museum

See the world's largest collection of original movie posters, models and memorabilia, an interactive animation studio, a dino dig box and gigantic robotic dinosaurs. Till January 1, 2007. Visit San Diego Natural History Museum website.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Four Tips for At-Home Business Call Success by Terilee Harrison

Four Tips for At-Home-Business Call Success By: Terilee Harrison

You know it’s happened to you. Your phone rings and it’s the important business call you’ve been waiting for. As you look at your children wildly circling you, you ask yourself, “Do I take the call?”

It leaves you wondering how other Mom Entrepreneurs handle at-home-business calls. Here are four quick tips:

1. Don’t apologize. On the days my son, Cole (age four) is with me, there ARE times he talks or is noisy when I’m on a business call. I used to say, “I’m sorry, my son is here…” But thankfully, I’ve changed. I’m grateful to Ponn Sabra, author of Empowering Women to Power Network for setting me straight. She told me to be proud my son is with me. And she is right. Now when I proudly state, “My son is with me today,” I find callers are gracious. Most reply with, “Oh, that’s wonderful! Enjoy your time with him.”

2. Be prepared for the unexpected. As a mom, you wear many hats. When on the phone, always smile and project a good attitude. But be prepared to deal with unexpected situations. If children are disruptive during a call, remain calm. This is the time to have a sense of humor and make light of the situation. If the caller hears the background cries and you’re unable to quickly control the situation, offer to call back at a later time. “Would ten minutes or a half hour be better for you?”

3. Give “silent hellos or goodbyes”. Laurie Hurley of Home Tutoring Business developed a “silent hello” (or goodbye) she uses when on the phone and her girls walk in or out. Laurie wears a headset to free her hands for a big hug and a quiet kiss. Her girls are trained to be quiet and they understand she can’t hang up just because they’ve arrived. The girls compete to see who can be the quietest, and Laurie doesn’t have to hang up on a client!

4. Leave your children “reminders”. Melody Spier of Ballyhoo Virtual Services purchased a small stop sign for her office door. It serves as a visual reminder for her kids to stop and listen so they don’t burst in during a business call. Below the sign she posted three questions for them to ask themselves before interrupting.

1. Is someone hurt?
2. Does it concern schoolwork?
3. Would you pay $5 for the answer? ($5 = the 15 minutes it takes to work through the question and get refocused)

This cut the interruptions down to almost zero after about a week.

By being proud of your decision to work from home, being prepared for the unexpected, giving silent hellos or good-byes, and leaving your children reminders, you, too, can experience more success with your at-home-business calls.

Article by:

Terilee Harrison is The Business Mom. Terilee is Mom to Jackie (12) and Cole (4). To receive your free report, “The Business Mom’s Ultimate Get A Life Guide”, please visit

Featured Post

Family Summer Book Club

My daughter-in-law came up with this fun idea to promote summer reading with our granddaughter. But we quickly realized it's fun for the...