Your family comes first - or does it?

Since you've been spending so much time with your new home computer, is your family showing signs of jealousy? Do they compete with this inhuman time hog for your time? Or, at least, do they FEEL they have to?

And what can you do about it? After all, you're just trying to make everything better... I mean, look at it this way, if you can just find a way to generate an automatic income from the 'net, SOMEDAY you'll be able to quit your outside job and be home with them all the time, right?

So they should be understanding and go with the flow... these things take time, you know...

You know it, and I know it, but do THEY know it? And what's more, do they really understand that, after all, the computer is just a means of communicating with other people and a tool to make money with-for all of you? And do they really believe that "one day" you will be free to spend more time with them than they really want anyway?

Things were a little tense at our house-and, lucky me, I have only a husband to consider (our ten children are grown)-until I finally worked out a happy and very workable solution to it all.

My husband is semi-retired, so he is around the house quite a lot-even more than I am. So when I am home, he enjoys having my full attention... don't get me wrong here... I enjoy his just as much. It's just that, for now, the computer/internet has to be allotted large chunks of my time, if I'm ever going to achieve my goal of financial independence via same-for both of us.

And we all know that, if you have children at home, they usually demand (and deserve) an even larger chunk of your time than your mate does.

However, whatever the size of your family... matters not. What DOES matter is that YOU are the only person in your family who has the power to work out this dilemma and get things under control... before you emerge from your home office one day and find no one is left to care if you stay in there all day or not!

Here's the plan:

- Get yourself a kitchen timer, and set it for one hour.

- Work at your computer for that hour.

- When the timer goes off, allow yourself one minute to finish up whatever you are doing.

- Then GET UP and GET AWAY from the computer.

- Spend the next fifteen minutes or so DOING SOMETHING with your family-one or all of them.

- WHAT you do isn't as important as the fact that you ARE doing something with THEM!

- If the kids are home, go outside and play catch with them.

- If it's raining, stay inside and play a quick game with them-or read to them-or just sit and talk with them.

- IMPORTANT: during "their" time, resist the urge to criticize them in any way.

- If no one is home, take that 15-minute break anyway to REST YOUR EYES and WRIST and BACK.

- Try NOT to sit down during this 15-minute period-your back will thank you.

- Take a walk-I just read the other day that walking is absolutely the best exercise for everyone over age thirty!

- Put on some music and dance - alone or with your kids - yes, even with your husband!

- Anything else that you can think of that doesn't continue to put a load on your eyes, your wrist, or your backside!

Besides allowing more time for your family, you also will benefit immensely from this plan by resting your own body, and you will return to work refreshed and more alert.

What this small break means to them is immeasurable-for one thing, they know you will be available shortly, and so they will tend not to interrupt you during your "on" hour-especially if you take the time to explain the "program" to them at the beginning.

If they understand WHY you need this time... If they feel you really would rather be with THEM... If they see you making a real effort to take some of your time just for THEM... THEN they will begin to see the big picture.

THEY will feel better and less hostile toward the computer, and YOU will feel less guilty about spending precious time online.

So when you first start to implement your plan, be sure to sit down with the whole family and tell them that:

- The computer is just a way to talk to other people and make money for the family.

- You realize that the computer is taking up some precious time that you would rather be spending with them.

- You know that they feel that they are bothering you every time they need to interrupt you, and that they don't like having to feel that way.

- You have come up with a plan so that you can work without interruption and still spend time with them.

You will have their undivided attention, believe me.

And after you have explained "the plan" to them, get off on the right foot and tell them that you're going to start with THEIR time, and then spend the next 15-20 minutes doing just that.

DON'T set the timer for THEIR time-it's just not good psychology!

BUT do stay aware of the time, and when it's "computer" time, be gentle, but firmly retreat to your work station... set the precedent... and set the timer!

Author's Bio: 

The writer spent her early years in the legal arena and the last 23 years in property management. She has been an avid Bible student since 1987 and became an online publisher in 2001. She still publishes her bi-weekly ezine, 'elf Expressions Ezine, a collection of positive tips, hints, and advice offered with humor, inspiration, and other goodies for anyone who is inclined to read. The emphasis these days is on the finer points of Christianity. Guidance, mentoring, inspiration, English lessons, editing, and proofreading services for entrepreneurs and online marketers are also offered. Subscribe if you like at