If you're a work at home mom, chances are you already know what it's like to have a deadline looming and a sick kid calling to you from the other room for a drink/snack/hug/the remote. One of the perks of working from home is that you do get to be there for your kids, in sickness and in health. However, being "mom" during working hours can be stressful when you have an important project and a kid with an illness who really needs your attention.
Rework Your Schedule
Juggling work and home lives is a delicate issue, but add a sick child into the mix and you may start to feel like you've reached your limit. One of the advantages of most work at home jobs is a flexible schedule. Other than hard deadlines, most work can be moved around to accommodate schedules as needed. Make calls at a different time of day. Request an alternate deadline for a project. Look at your work schedule and determine which projects can be moved around for times when you know kids will need your help.
Enlist Any Help You Can
If you worked a traditional job and your kids were home sick, you may be able to use some of your accrued personal days, or even sick leave, to stay home and care for them. But when you work from home, what should you do? What if your child is sick for more than just a few days? Just as with any other job, there is only so much time you can take off of work before your boss starts to get tired of waiting for your return, which puts your emloyment status in jeopardy.
That's when it's time to call in the help. If you have resources for having help at home like a family member, friend or neighbor, calling in a favor is a good option. Offer to return the favor on a weekend or other time that works for you. If you have a spouse who can take some time off to help, don't hesitate to explore that option. Finally, if you are truly stuck, there are babysitting services available that can send someone over to help you out. Go online and search for someone local who can come for just a few hours and care for your little ones while you're in the home. You'll rest easier knowing they're being cared for under your watchful eye and you'll be able to meet your work deadline.
Make It Up to Your Clients
Depending on the type of illness your child has, you have several options to dealing with both a sick kid and a deadline. Keep in mind that most employers are willing to be flexible and to work with you as long as they can be sure that your work will not suffer for it. If you freelance and have clients who need to be notified of an issue, make a personal call to them and explain the situation. For those clients you know won't budge on a deadline, prioritize their projects first and work on a compromise with the others. Consider offering a discount for their flexibility.