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Harried, With Children

Coping with kids; take our going-solo quiz

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This story appears in the December 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

You started a homebased business with the fantasy of your toddler playing quietly by your feet while you make phone calls. Reality has set in, however, and said toddler has eaten the Post-it with your client's phone number and decided oatmeal belongs in your disk drive. "But," you say while pulling out clumps of prematurely gray hair, "What's the point of working at home if I still need child care?"

Think no commute, flexible hours and lunch meetings with your kids. "The beauty of working at home is that your hours are flexible and your choices of child care are, too," says Ellen H. Parlapiano, co-author with Patricia Cobe of Mompreneurs: A Mother's Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Work-at-Home Success (Perigee Books, $13, 800-788-6262). If you're worried about the cost, Parlapiano suggests these alternatives:

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