By Crystal Ortiz
Okay, you've started your home-based business, but you're not getting a whole lot accomplished. Then you have a brainstorm... "I'll hire a Babysitter!" Hold on a minute, and think this one through a bit. I know, the same thing crossed my mind several times.
First of all, why did you decide to work from home? To spend more time with your children? Then the answer to the babysitter question should be NO. You've lost track of your priorities here. Those smiling, dirty-faced little "angels" are the entire reason you wanted your home-based business, yet they are the first thing you are willing to give up. If you want to give something up, let's look at the other options.
Are the kiddies making a lot of noise, making it impossible for you to return phone calls? Reschedule those calls. If they are young and still take naps, that's the time to do it. Early bedtimes? Return your calls in the evening. In school during the day? Is there an older sibling willing to give you an hour of babysitting time each day in exchange for an extra privilege (remember, they gave up some of their own free time to help you)? Are you hiding your work-at-home status from your clients? Mine are THRILLED to meet my children, and know that it's okay to bring their own little ones along. If your business has become very successful, maybe you need an Assistant in the office, doing menial tasks, while YOU spend some time with your children. Then YOU can take care of your children, as only you can do, while someone else handles the phone, takes messages, schedules your appointments, etc. Or you can just save those menial tasks until bedtime, use your voicemail to answer calls, and return them when it's convenient.
Working with children is not always easy. In order to get my business going, I had to do some CHEAP advertising, including putting flyers on cars and pull-off tabs in Laundromat and on Cola machines. I hated putting my kids in their car seats for hours on end sometimes, but we did it. I've built my business up enough now that I only do those things when I go someplace (yes, I even flyer the cars on my way into Wal-Mart, and again on my way out!). We sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and played "The Lion King Soundtrack" until I couldn't stand it any more, but they were happy to be with Mommy.
Now, if you decided to work from home because of your entrepreneurial spirit, not because of your children, and you want to put them in day care to keep your professional image, then go ahead. That was probably part of your original game plan, wasn't it? Everyone has a different ideal of his or her work environment. Not everyone starts a business in order to stay home with his or her children, but it's easy to cross over from "The Entrepreneur" to "The Work-At-Home Mom".
The important thing here is to remember those little ones. They don't care how much money provides this new toy or that, they want to spend time with you. (I know...we spent $200 on one of those recalled Jeeps in September, but my 3-year-old is content to play with some mermaids my Mom found for $1 and won't touch the Jeep! Go figure!) The point here is to get you to think twice before you make any big decisions. Count your blessings, be grateful for what you've got, and be willing to make a few sacrifices in order to give your children what they need.
Crystal Ortiz is a full-time mother of two toddlers and NetworkMarketer, as well as the webmistress of The MLM Training Center. She also publishesa weekly ezine, "The MLM Trainer", and can be contacted at(540) 574-3917 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.