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Working at home can be a struggle within itself, but when you have children it suddenly becomes an avalanche of struggles. One, if not all, of the kids getting into something, begging for something, yelling, screaming, fighting and hitting just to get your attention.

Continuing to run a business while keeping up with the kids is a task that is hard enough to do without a home based business. Kids need attention. They want to have fun. They want to play, go to the park, have friends over, go swimming and so on. Meanwhile, clients are calling, the email box is filling up, and those day-to-day tasks are stacking up by the minute. What do you do? Stop working? No, I don’t think so. You have to set goals for your business, family and for yourself.

Put some balance in there, it’s important that you do this. You know yourself that it doesn’t do any good to be working from home if your kids will be neglected and vice versa. Set your activities weekly and make sure you put things in first.

Here are some ideas and tips that just might make life at home a little easier for you and your family.

1. If you can afford it, have a teenager come and watch the kids while you work. Since teens are closer in age to the kids, they usually have a great time playing, and you can have some much needed work time.

2. Try to keep a regular “work” schedule, so that the kids know which days are fun days and which days are mom’s days.

3. Look for half-day activities such as swimming lessons, tennis lessons or day camps.

4. Send your kids on short family trips to visit family who would love to spend time with them.

5. Work less during the day and more at night.

6. Keep a couple of bags of simple crafts handy that the kids can do themselves. The bags should have everything inside they need to do the craft.

7. Trade watching kids with a friend or neighbor one or two mornings a week. Then each mom gets one full morning without the kids and it doesn’t cost anything.

8. Set aside kid time and work time so that you are able to focus on the kids when you are together and focus on work when it’s work time.

9. Get your kids involved. Allow them to stuff and lick envelopes, open mail or apply labels. Set up a desk next to yours with their office supplies (crayons, paper, tape, kid scissors and an old phone).

10. Get a used computer for your kids. Learning programs are great fun and they teach them while they play.

The key is balance and planning. Balance your work and your family by planning dedicated time to each. The reason many moms choose to work at home is for the freedom and flexibility it allows so you can be with your kids. Use that flexibility to your advantage. Look at it as a way to enjoy each stage and each day with your children. They grow so fast and they will be gone before we know it and those memories will be worth a million.