Your Home Business
and Your Family

Your home business and your family must have the right mix in order to be successful. In this article we discuss the importance of separating business from personal lives.

Parenting and managing a home business is not just a job but a particular lifestyle with many positive benefits. But one problem that is difficult to correct is finding ways to separate business from your family. It is so easy to get involved in working long

Business and Family

hours and you can always seem find things to do in your spare time on the weekends or evenings when you could be enjoying your family or a social life.

If you devote too much time to your work your family may feel neglected and you'll end up wasting more and more time and energy feeling guilty and trying to control interruptions and distractions as your family will want more and more of your attention.

One way to separate your business from your family is try to setup your workplace or studio in a separate enclosed room where the door can be closed and maybe even locked. That way, you'll be able to keep your home and business life completely separate.

The separation of your work from home is an important psychological thing. It helps you to maintain the discipline needed to control interruptions and the many distractions from home while working and also so that you won't be able to see the work pile up waiting for you every time you pass by on your time off.

One of the many advantages of working from home is that you can work at any time of the day or night, keeping in mind, that your craft business must coexist with your family life.

If your family is not directly involved in your business and your work at home, you will have to establish your work/parent relationship with your family as soon as possible making it clear that when you are at work you are not available for family chores.

There are times when you can play and spend time with your children and times when you have to say, "No, this is my time." In separating business from your family, you should set aside certain hours of the day when you are at work in your studio or workshop; during that time it should be understood that you are not to be disturbed. It's okay to say that just as you are learning to be independent and creative, the child can also learn to be independent and creative. Obviously, this being on his or her own some of the time must also be balanced with large amounts of love at other times. Children of all ages need time and affection.

Make dates with your spouse, children, extended family or friends at different times during the week. That way you will feel the time is committed giving some structure to your erratic schedules and your family will receive quality time with you and will see you as a loving parent who also has responsibilities that are separate from their wants and needs.

Your business and your family are both very important. If you are a parent of very young children trying to put in a few hours of work during nap times and while "Sesame Street" is on TV, you may find that you need more production time to fill orders, especially if you are working with special equipment or techniques that cannot be stopped and put down every few minutes when a child starts to cry or needs attention.

Even though you are probably working at home to save on child care expenses and to spend more time with your children, there is no shame in asking for and getting the help you need to make it all work, remember you are in business and the more orders you fill the more money you will make.

You may find it necessary to get outside child care assistance, even if it's only a teenager who takes the children to the park for a few hours each afternoon. If you prefer to stay close to your children, have a babysitter come into your home to care for your them while you are working in your workshop or studio, you are still there, able to oversee all of their activities and take frequent hug breaks. Or perhaps you can bring your child to a babysitter's house to give yourself a few hours a day, or a few days a week of absolute concentration!

One of the unique features of a craft business is the way in which it can lend itself to family participation. Involve your family and spouse in what you are doing in your jewelry business. You'll find that if you allow them into your business world they have a better understanding of home business activities and will be more cooperative and accepting of the time and attention that a "working parent" must devote to the business.

Sometimes both partners are involved directly in jewelry design and production, but, if only one partner is actually producing, the other can be of assistance either directly with business activities such as selling at craft shows, taking orders, or doing the books, or indirectly with covering more of the family chores, cooking meals, or taking care of young children.

Children can get involved in your craft business by helping out at craft shows and a variety of jobs around the workshop or studio such as packing bags and boxes, stuffing and licking envelopes, dusting and tidying up the workshop or studio, assembling kits, and maybe even production--depending on your medium and your product, there are probably some easy tasks which can be sifted from the more difficult production functions. Teach older children complex production techniques, bookkeeping, filing, and telephone etiquette, soon you may find that they might become your most valuable assistants.

When you have your children participate in your business it's important for them to know that what they do is a real contribution and not just busy work to keep them occupied while you do the really "important stuff". Explain and stress the importance of each task you assign, no matter how simple it may seem, and instill pride in a job well done by heaping on praise, never discourage them with a remark such as "what a mess!". Help your children to recognize how their interests and skills can be transformed into a business idea. They will benefit their whole lives if you can teach them to think creatively and keep their minds open to possibilities.

Most of all while trying to run your business and your family, try to make your times working together pleasant with lots of fun parent-child interaction. When they have helped with a project or just daily business tasks, reward them, share some of your profits. Besides money, ask them what "something special" they would enjoy, or take them out for a celebration at their favorite restaurant. Kids learn the most when they are enjoying an activity and you can give them their first opportunity to mix business with pleasure.

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