Virtual assistants are on the rise. This is an excellent profession for the work-at-home mother. Here are some tips for managing your workload while the kids are home. What is a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant is someone who provides businesses with services that aid them in the daily running of the business. They perform tasks like word processing, web design, corresponding with business clients, and database management. Managing this business from home has advantages and disadvantages. For one, a mom can keep her kids under her watchful eye instead of in a daycare center. The family saves money on the cost of a sitter. She can also work in her pajamas until noon if she chooses. Moms with home-based businesses can experience scheduling issues though. Children, especially small ones, don’t understand that mom can’t play because she has to work on the computer. Infants are even less forgiving. When they need something, there will be no relief for mom until she satisfies them. With virtual assisting clients, the needs are varied and sometimes urgent. How can a mom work her business and take care of the kids? Planning is of the utmost importance. Patience is a must as well. If you have an infant, schedule phone calls and net meetings during nap times. Babies sleep several hours a day. Use that time wisely to get client deliverables finished and sent out. If you have a toddler who can walk and get into things, he or she will need to be in the office area with you. Toddlers do not sleep for long periods of time, so phone calls can be handled then, but other work will have to be managed with them awake. Setting up a play area in the corner of the office will keep your toddler occupied. Place a few of their favorite toys, a blanket, and a pillow in the play area. A small television with a VCR for tapes of favorite shows gains their attention while you work on the computer. When they get tired, they can lie down and take a nap. If you have more than one child, you may consider hiring a nanny once or twice a week. On these days, schedule conference calls, onsite meetings for local businesses, and other activities for which you need undisturbed quiet. Make the most of those days to lighten your load on the days when you are the caregiver for the kids. Managing a virtual assisting business can be done with the kids at home. Setting a schedule and sticking to it will help you remain sane when the kids want and need your attention.