Homeworking and family life do not mix easily but, with planning and care, is beneficial for all. If you have small children do not expect to be able to work while they play merrily (but quietly) by your side!
You should expect to make the same sort of child care arrangements as you would if you are going out to work.
You need quality time to do your work and your children need quality time from you. If your children are out at school all day, then the benefit of homeworking is that you are able to take and collect them from school, attend the special school assemblies and to be there for them when the school telephones to say they are sick.
You could schedule your homeworking to fit in around their school times and when they have gone to bed.
When you are working for yourself, you will find that you might work more efficiently and do more in less time.
E-Mum: A website produced by Kathy Hartshorn
In the UK 62.6% of all mums with dependent children work. And 50% of mums whose youngest child is under 5 work in some form. Working mums currently represent 19.5% of the UK's female population (aged 15 and up).
Following the birth of my first child I was contemplating returning to part-time work when my baby was one. Because I would have to pay for childcare, I was surprised to find that the part-time work which was available in my local region was so poorly paid that working would not be financially worth it! I have a degree and extensive experience and would consider myself very employable. However, this counted for nothing when looking for a family-friendly position.
The problems of registering with recruitment agencies, attending interviews and researching information about such diverse topics from parental rights to childcare was not easy with a small baby in tow. With a passing comment to my internet-enabled brother-in-law and my Husband, I suggested a website where busy mums could access much of this information on the internet in a single place. The majority of my research could then be done at the time I chose, from the comfort of my own home and without having to have phone calls with prospective employers with a bawling baby in the background!
And so e-mum.com was launched in January. Before we knew it we had a site that included internet shopping links, reviews, childcare information links, reader-written articles, health links and a discussion forum all to help the busy working Mum. This all stemmed from the initial idea to have a job-search facility for employers to post family-friendly jobs. Although that side of the site is proving to be slow to take off, it is the other parts of the site which are proving to be most popular. It has been noticed, too. We’ve already been featured on Sky TV’s Startup programme on their “.TV” technology channel. Imagine what we could do if we didn’t all have day jobs…!
Home-working is an area where we receive a lot of enquiries and we always refer these people to www.homeworking.com. Our biggest area of concern for Mums looking to work from home is the large number of scams which appear to be about. It’s become an issue which has featured regularly on the BBC’s Watchdog programme. A shopping trip into Leeds, our nearest large city, reveals a myriad of “earn £300 a day from the comfort of your own home” notices tied to lamp posts and road signs. Because of my experience exploring the job market, I am not surprised that so many Mums want to look at the possibility of home-working and end up being stung by these scams.
Many of our readers have really taken the initiative when it comes to home-based, family friendly working. There’s Jo Johnson – an “eSecretary” who has an article in E-Mum.com’s Features section, and the two Mums who have set up Grandma’s Trunk providing dressing up costumes for kids. I find all of these Mums so inspiring.
Those who do find good home-based work earn my instant admiration. And any Mum who manages to work from home with her children there… wow, a true juggling act!
With the number of Mums having internet access at home being on the increase, E-Mum.com should over time become a more and more useful resource. Who knows, maybe our website will become a little gold mine and I, myself, will join the ranks of those home-based Mums with family-friendly work…
Since writing this article, E-mum is no more.
This article has been left in place for information.