Running a business from home delivers all the advantages of not having to spend time or money traveling, enabling you to commit every hour you have to the noble pursuit of earning a crust. The down side is that if you have a young family, you are in effect taking them to work with you each and every morning.
The nature of the demands made upon you by this less than ideal situation will depend upon the ages of the children. What will remain constant, probably until they are at least fifty, is the fact that demands of you will be made. Small babies require constant supervision, small toddlers constant attention, and teenagers just about everything that they could probably do for themselves if only they could be bothered.
Try to Use a Little Help
If your children are very small, you really do have little option but to put them first whenever they need you. One possible way around this is to have somebody about who can take at least some of this responsibility out of your hands while you manage your business. If that person is the other parent then so much the better, but if not then it might be a good idea to bring in some paid help if you can afford to do so. The popular community forum Mumsnet has a lot on this (it’s a British site but the dilemma is pretty much a universal one).
When they get a little older they will of course go to school. Inevitably you will find that you are arranging your working hours around the school timetable, and taking complete or partial breaks during vacations. This may not be such a bad thing as it will at least provide some consistency and enforced discipline. If a move is involved, make it a happy one for your child and you will spare yourself any unwanted additional stress, as is well illustrated here.
Give Older Children a Sense of Responsibility and Ownership
All joking aside, older children can be a burden or an asset to your home working efforts depending upon how you choose to play things. Teenagers can be unaware and often selfish, but they can also be helpful to you if you try to bring them on board. If your budget stretches to it you can even pay them pocket money to perform small tasks which are of assistance to you in your work.
Make your teen aware that he or she will benefit from your success and that as such they have a stake in your business. Never fail to point out that that family vacation that they so enjoyed was paid for through your efforts in working from home. Let them know that by their actions they can help you or they can be a hindrance. Make your business the family business and get them to do something useful to help it along, in which they can take pride and claim some ownership.