Balance should really be a four letter word because it usually makes people feel guilty, and because I hate to hear it. People have been searching for balance for centuries similar to the fountain of youth. And, in my humble opinion, I believe that balance does not exist. I started my direct sales business to add income (and sanity) to my life as a SAHM. Did I find "balance"? Well, sort of...I am the owner of my business. I truly choose when to work and when not to work. This, to me, is the biggest benefit in the type of business that I'm in. I stop working when my son needs me and I start working when it's convenient for me. I choose to do a lot of my business paperwork and emails late at night when my child, and husband have gone to sleep. When I do work during the day I try to involve my two year old as best as I can. This can include handing me catalogs to label or just sitting in my lap as I fill an order. I feel like this helps him to see me working and playing. I know that at this age he probably doesn't know the difference. But to me, it's building a foundation for things to come. There are many great tips for working at home with little ones. I have found a lot of tips in the Build it Big series of books.
If you're not familiar with these books, they are created by the Direct Selling Women's Alliance, or DSWA. It's a collection of tips and ideas from successful direct selling women. If you're in direct sales you should certainly check that out. Anyways, some of the tips I've learned from books and people are these:
- Create a space for your business so that your child can really tell when you are working and when you are not.
- Have special phone toys that you keep in your office (or space;my office is more like a nook)and pull these toys out when you need to log some serious phone or even computer time.
*I like the children's laptops by Vtech. I set it up next to my own desk
so he feels like he's doing something too. He's also learning from those
- Give rewards for good behavior during mommy's work time, fruit snacks work for my son...sort of.
- Most of all, and this is one I struggle with, make their time really their time. Try not to constantly check you email or phone for new business messages (or even facebook). Even babies know when your really paying attention to them. AND this is the tip that leads us back to balance...
Can you really balance it all? I believe no. And that's ok. To me, this business is all about priorities and not so much the "balance"...