Useful Tips for Work at Home Parents

3 min. read
All information of this content was reviewed by our team to ensure it was accurate and up-to-date at the time it was last updated. Learn more about our verification

I have a couple of friends who work from home either freelancing and selling products online. Before they became parents, working from home meant they could sleep in, have long lunches with friends as they pleased, and work at their own pace.

As a parent, any mom or parent reading this will know that none of the above is possible when children are part of the equation. I know a lot of SaleHoo readers are parents so using some advice offered by friends, and my own research, I’ve put together a quick list of tips to help you get through your day working at home and attempting to run a business!

1. Have a separate work space.

This will be a no brainer to WAHPs (work at home parents). If you are going to get some work done, you will need a space outside of the area where children play. It also gives you the head space you need to feel as though you are at work, rather than at home.

2. Once you have your office setup, child proof it.

If you plan on having your child in your home office, make sure your child proof it so that you are not constantly checking on them. You should also setup a space for them to play or do an activity while you work. If you are short on ideas, this website might help.

3. Don’t treat your home office like it’s a home office.

When you work at home, you need to get used to walking past the dirty dishes, the laundry and the other households chores that can potentially distract you. Just like your significant other can leave the house, go to work and not think about those things, so can you! When you are ‘at work’ at home, you’re not responsible for those things: You’re responsible for getting work done on your business. (Keep reading for more tips on balancing household chores with running a business).

4. Work when your child or children are sleeping.

While your children re-charge, take the opportunity to get stuck into some serious work. If you have more than one child, you will benefit by synchronising their nap times so that you can get full use out of the time when they are asleep. A friend of mine offers the advice of putting your newborn into a front pack or sling while you work away at your computer.

5. Get help with household chores.

If you are anything like me, you will find it hard to sit down and focus on some work if there is laundry that needs doing, or clutter that needs seeing to. However, sometimes cleanliness standards can just be counter-productive for your business! In some cases, it can work out cost-effective to pay a cleaner to come in for even just 2 hours a week and deal with the cleaning of the bathroom and the vacuuming which will free up at least 2 hours of your time to get some solid work done. Whether or not this is going to benefit your business depends on how much money your business is making.

For me personally, 2 hours of my productivity equals more than what I need to pay a cleaner and therefore, it’s worth getting some help. If you’re not making a lot of money yet, talk with your spouse about helping out more. Failing that, sometimes you just have to let the mess get messier, and get some work done! Ask yourself what is more important: Growing a business or having a less-than spick and span house?

For a cheaper time-saving option, become a member of and get instant access to our wholesale directory full of over 8,000 trusted wholesale suppliers and eliminate the time it normally takes to determine whether a supplier is safe to deal with. 

WAHPs, how do you balance working from home and looking after your children? Share any tips you have below with other SaleHoo readers.


About the author
Simon Slade
CEO of SaleHoo Group Limited

Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, a platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs that offers 8,000+ dropship and wholesale suppliers, 1.6 million high-quality, branded products at low prices, an industry-leading market research tool and 24-hour support.

View profile
Already a member? Login to comment
  • Joe Arena 26th of October
    I am a single dad raising a 12 year old daughter full time and have invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears into my online business, and every fibre of my being is dedicated to making it work... I have emotionally invested too much, not to mention my public identity and sense of pride that does not want to be seen to fail at a business that too often remains too close to my heart to remain objective... My reality is that a lot of the time I resort to desperate prayer in the hope that I my online business will cover my cost of living for the very basics... it is non-stop stress, and was made worse when I had a bad dropship supplier who in less than 2 weeks destroyed my eBay seller results and not only lost my Top Seller Status, but had restrictions placed on my eBay account that limited my ability to sell to my most lucrative eBay market in the UK. I was blessed to have come across a work from home business ( which was an internet marketing platform to sell Herbalife products where customers come to me rather than the traditional family and friends networking strategy. The beauty is that these weight loss products are consumable and reordered every month as you coach your clients to achieve and maintain weight goals. I have found that the combination of incorporating the Monday market niche products from SaleHoo and my Herbalife sales has allowed me to not only keep my head above water financially, but to be able to take my daughter on wonderful overseas holidays and not have to turn to my family in desperation for emergency bailouts. The growing Herbalife business has also allowed me to fund the ongoing expansion of my original online business beyond eBay, and now live with a wonderful sense that not only am I a business success, but more importantly A GREAT DAD!!!
  • Alice Delore 28th of October
    Hi GlobalPhoenix

    Thanks for sharing :) It's great to hear about your struggles and successes and I was pleased to hear that the Monday Market niches have helped your business.

    Keep up the good work!
  • Joyce Knake 30th of October
    That was a great post. I might add that I try to set a specific time for my internet business. I like to have my morning chores and my walk in by 10:00A.M. I do have to add some time for me. But I try to stay flexible so I can be with my family also. I also have to have it quiet. I usually have to go over things several times before it sinks in and noise distracts me. And if I get stuck, I just get up and get away from the computer for a little while, this all works for me. Not making money yet but each day brings me closer.
  • Alice Delore 30th of October
    Hi Joyce,

    Thanks for your comment :) I think having set times for things is a great idea and it's something I'm attempting to do more of. Scheduling set times for tasks seems to work better than just having a big to-do list of everything!
  • Rhoda Ying 10th of November
    I think this words is useful "Don’t treat your home office like it’s a home office " The best idea it's have a separate offices, even it's small or shabby.