Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Kids Don't Get Message; but They'll Sure 'Help' Make Calls

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Kids Don't Get Message; but They'll Sure 'Help' Make Calls

Article excerpt

MUMMABARE

PETA JOHANSEN

IT'S up there with having teeth pulled ... making important, work-related calls when you're home with your children is a pain like no other.

Children are like moths to a flame when it comes to their mothers and phone calls.

I believe it's impossible to recall quotes, statistics and vital details to very important clients while shushing your well-behaved spawn with a gentle stroke of your perfectly manicured hand.

Carol Brady, I am not.

I'm more Estelle Costanza (George's mum ) when I'm on the phone: "Yes, that's right, I'll be conducting a book tour around south-east Queensland and I - kids stop playing in the toilet! Oh, for fu... Um, where was I?"

I pencil Important Phone Calls in my diary like they are significant obstacles to overcome because, in my house, they are.

My work often requires me to not only discuss the publishing landscape and run a social commentary on women's fiction, I sometimes have to do it on live radio. Eek, indeed.

So how do you do it? Rather, how do you do it without sounding deranged, emotionally unhinged and, worst of all, unprofessional?

Here are eight tips for conducting a business call when the kids are home:

1 Choose the time of day your children are best behaved or are otherwise occupied. During nap time, their favourite cartoon, or that lovely part of the day when they're playing contentedly with your make-up case. Try to factor in the recipient's schedule too - no point calling them when your kids are having lunch. Chances are, so is the person you're calling.

2 Punishment - you can explain what needs to happen for the next 10-15 minutes (i.e. quiet) and the consequences of their actions (ie. no Smarties for any kid who annoys mummy while she's on the phone).

3 Bribery - my kids can be tasked to get ready for the playground, which makes them obedient and keeps them busy trying to wrestle socks on for a good 10 minutes. …

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