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I need some compassion here. I just had an important phone call from a store that I was hoping to do business with, and my children decided to yell at me, try to make funny faces at me, and followed me from room to room as I tried to escape the noise. I even asked her to hold on for a moment and told them to hush because I had an important phone call. Didn't work. No, the store isn'tt going to carry my product. I think I may still take over a sample. The store owner was talking with me about my working some hours at the store - I could only hear 1/2 of what she was saying, but she'll said she'll call me soon because she thinks she will have an opening for some help.

I sat the children down and talked to them. I put it in their terms - Mommy making money = being able to buy groceries and anything extra that we do beyond paying basic bills.

I am really angry and frustrated. I know many of the suggestions for creating a "quiet activity", etc, but I really need some support here. Luckily not much of my business is done via phone. This is one reason I really want to focus on my online store.

UUUUGGGGHHHH.
 

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That bites!! I'm sorry, it must have been so hard - especially since you didn't previously have a business relationship with the caller and were trying to establish one. Just when you want to project well...neither ignoring it or hollering at them is a great solution when you're actually in the middle of the call, eh?

Hopefully she also has kids and can relate!
 

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mama - that must have been hard.... but maybe it wasn't as bad as you think. A few weeks ago, I was on a conference call that included one of our executives (who works from home, as he lives on the opposite coast from our HQ). Half-way through the call, his daughter comes charging into the room and starts yelling something about her crayon box (imagine a 3 yo girl, British accent from her father, Cuban *spice* from her mama
). I don't know if he was embarrassed, but I just thought it was the cutest thing!

As long as you didn't lose your temper on the phone, it may not have sounded that bad on the other end.
 

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I don't know how old your children are, but sometimes I go into the bathroom and hide when I have to take an important work related call. This does not work for the toddler but it can get me away from the older kids' loudness or bikering!
 

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You poor thing! I soooo understand, as I work from home most of the time, and often have conf calls. Luckily, my DH is usually around watching DD, but now she can open doors, sometimes only mom will do!

So, if you have anyone (a neighbor, friend, etc.) who can be around with them if you know you have an important call, that can really help. I often ask DH to take DD outside, if I don't want to risk her interrupting.

If you are trying to hide, I have also gone to the garage or even outside in the car, if necessary!

But, I do agree, depending on the person on the other line, I've had other high-level colleagues note their kids just came home, etc.--very cute, and makes us all more human!
 

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One of the SAHM's had this tip:

Make a bag of "phone toys" that ONLY come out when you are on the telephone and get put away as soon as you are done. Keeps the novelty up. But it sounds like yours might be a little old for that.
 

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I do feel for you. I don't normally work from home, but I've had 2 situations when I had to deal with important, high maintenence clients by phone from home. Once I had the client call me directly at home when I was at home with a sick DD. WTF? I guess she just looked me up on 411. I certainly don't give clients my home number - I just don't make that kind of money
Luckily DD was young, and sick, and I just stuck her on my boob.

This past fall, I was babysitting for a coworker/friend who had a 4 week old baby. He was very fussy. Our event that night was not going well, the client was very cranky. Staff on site requested I call the client to smooth things over. (Ironically, coworker was at the client's event, a concert.) I called him, and tried to soothe the baby with my fingers. The client, who is known around the office as a big baby himself, had the nerve to say "I can see that I have your undivided attention". Grrrrr.

I have to admit that if I have to make an important phone call while DD is around, the TV often goes on.
: Luckily I don't have to do it often.
 

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This is why we ended up putting DS in daycare at 11 months old
. He had been home with DH but DH was trying to get a consulting business going because we were NOT making it on my salary alone. He had a very important conference call for a 10K contract that he had scheduled during DS' naptime. Well DS didn't nap that day. Instead, he screamed throughout the entire call. And poor DH was so flustered he couldn't think of what to do. Anyway DH didn't get the contract. I started calling daycares the next day.

I'll assume daycare isn't a good option for you, but can you find some kind of part-time arrangement with another mom, perhaps? Maybe a trade? My other idea is that, when I know I need to be on the phone uninterrupted, I drive around in the car (I know, I know) because DS is almost always quiet in the car, or else I take him to a playground and push him on the swing. Both of these suggestions assume you have a cellphone.

Good luck!
 

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I would start by teaching your children not to do that when you're not on an important phone call. I can't believe how many of my friends, when we're talking on the phone to each other, allow their children to constantly interrupt them, etc. Children need to learn phone etiquette regardless of the "importance" of the call.

My WAHM business involves making calls - I try to schedule most of my calls when I'm not watching the kids, but there always seems to be a few that slip in when I am the one in charge of the children. Even when I'm on non-business calls, I do not allow interruptions or noise in the background. It takes a bit of effort, but I appreciate not having to worry as much when the call is really important.

The past is the past - start preparing now for next time. Phone etiquette is basic manners, in my opinion. Children need to learn not to interrupt other people when they're talking to someone else, whether on the phone or in person. It's a real life people skill that will embarrass them and make them miss out on important opportunities later on in life if they do not learn it. Parents deserve just as much respect as a boss or co-worker, and interrupting a boss or co-worker like that can cost you your job. Spare them that bitter experience and teach them now to respect others when they are having a conversation.
 

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I'm so sorry, Raleigh-mom! I think you can see a lot of us have been there too!

I have 22 mos twins and a 11 month son, so it really makes making work calls harrowing at best. In case it helps, if you have a dryer and you can get close to it and still keep an eye on the kids, flip it on - it actually will muffle out a lot of their shrieks and...helpfulness, plus it's the closest thing I have to a desk! Or maybe try getting each of the kids a small toy phone? This works for shorter calls for me. If all else fails, I stand in my front yard to take calls. It's a little quieter, plus it entertains the neighbors! =)
 

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I have the same issue. Every time I get a call from a potential client, etc, my youngest starts yelling, the oldest wantd dinner, now. If it's a woman on the phone 9 time out 10 she can comiserate, but if it's a contractor or an older gentleman, I know as soon as I hear one child I have lost the bid. The bathroom isn't good for me since they don't really care, and will come in anyway. I sometimes let them jump on my bed downstairs and let them in my closet, keeping them busy for a few min.
 

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I am not sure if this is possible for you, but are there times you can have another parent around where you could have them watch your kids while you make calls and then you watch there kids in exchange. my business partner and i often take turns watching the kids when we need to make calls. (but since we share a business and work from each others homes, this works for us - not sure if possible for you)

as woobysma said, it may not be as bad as you think. When my business partner and I are on the phone with a potential vendor, we completely understand kid noise in the background (we have 7 kids between us) and it only makes us appreciate the artisan more .

I also try to make calls during nap time. (When the kids cooperate and take naps at the same time that is!!!)
 

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I totally know where you are coming from. DH and I both have our own businesses and small children and it is *HARD*. We have made a habit to say "BUSINESS CALL" right before we dial or answer any incoming phone call.

There have been times when we have had to escape behind multiple doors and a baby gate leaving someone upset. Fortunately 2/3 of our children are pretty darn good when that phone rings, our 2.5 year old is a wreck when the phone rings, no matter what.

What has worked for us? Vonage with the simulring feature. Regardless of who has the call, both lines ring into the same vonage # and then also ring each of our cell phones and whomever can grab the phone, grabs it.. for either business.

Sometimes there is no avoiding the kids 'screaming in the background' and we apologize. Only once has DH had to call someone back and she was very understanding.

I feel for ya, Momma. I really do.
 

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I can totally relate. My eldest suddenly went from terror when mom's on the phone to decent in the last month. We've talked about what to do when mom's on the phone and I have a little sign I made (think popsicle stick and paper taped to it). When i'm holding that sign it means "this is SUPER important and mommy sees you and will get to you in a minute."

If dd1 wants to ask me to get something for her she draws a picture and slides it to me.

Like I said -- this is recent. But it helps.
 

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Welcome to my world!!!

I only have one kid who's only 13 mos, but she's pretty loud alot of the time.

I'm a journalist and so interviews from home. Sometimes it makes my job easier because whoever I'm talking to feels like I'm a real person instead of some automaton at a desk. They feel more comfortable opening up to me.

But at some point, the whining for me to get off the phone becomes intolerable.

I figured out that I could take my calls to the playground. DD would be busy enough with the other kids and toys that she didn't seem to mind my talking on the phone, and I could monitor her from a short distance and still get work done.
 
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