Moms/Dads with kids at home all day - how do you manage!?

by snazzy
24 replies

I'm currently expecting my 3rd child and wondering how other internet marketing moms/dads actually get anything done with kids at home! Part of the problem for me is maintaining focus on what I'm doing when I get interrupted regularly, and soon those interruptions will be more frequent!

At the moment I'm finding that I'm not spending much time with my kids....and I'm also not getting very much done. In fact I'm not making enough to regularly pay my aweber & hosting accounts to keep things ticking over.

Also interested in what kind of business model you find fits best for you given there are days when things go haywire and you can't get on the computer at all.

Thanks in advance!
#day #home #kids #manage #moms or dads
  • Profile picture of the author JeffMitchell
    You have to plan your business around your family. If your spouse is supportive, then discuss with him having xxx amount of hours of quiet time through the week to focus on your business building activities.

    Find a marketing strategy that fits in with a short amount of time...say writing articles. Get yourself an hour a day to write 1 article...or spend 1 hour a day doing whatever it is you need to be doing. 7 hours a week in a good amount of time to make some things happen.

    Over time that 1 hour will definately add up.

    Jeff Mitchell

    "Father of 2----6 and 2

    HELP NEEDED! My Mother And Her Brother have been taking care of the mother with the help of Hospice. He just had a Massive Heart Attack while taking a short vacation. My mother had to go to Florida from Indiana to be with her brother and is not financially stable from being off work to be with grandma. Any Help Would Be Appreciated.

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    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      Once you are generating a good income stream, you might consider outsourcing some of your work. That will take some time to implement (interviews, training, etc). But, if you can pull it off, it will definitely lighten the work load. In the beginning, you could start with a virtual assistant to handle email, and other time consuming tasks.
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      • Profile picture of the author traceye
        I've got a 3 year old at home plus another one on the way. It's definately hard to fit in 'work' around my other duties so I make sure I write a list and keep organised about what I need to do.

        I usually only get 1/2 hour here and there, but it all adds up and I do get quite a bit done over the course of a day. Of course housework often suffers but I mostly clean up at night when 3 is in bed.

        Having little time makes you focus on only the really important things, and I try to stay away from the forums as much as I can too.

        Not sure how I'll manage once the second one arrives but I'll see what happens.

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        • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
          This is what you do:

          Set up an office somewhere in your house. Set your hours. Say, 12 PM - 6 PM. Doesn't matter where, as long as it is not a social area, such as the living room or dining room. A spare bathroom, laundry room, the pantry, ...the computer room. Completely make yourself unavailable. "Honey, can you just take out the trash" - the answer is No, you can Not take out the trash. Act just as you would if you were working at an office across town, would you be able to tell your boss "Sorry boss, old lady says I have to take out the trash." and "Oh, I was late last week because my kids were throwing temper tantrums and my wife couldn't handle it."

          Now, this is something that even if you have a supporting spouse, they won't be able to understand when you are not available. At the same time, don't ask for your wife to "just bring you a drink of water" - DON'T.

          At 12, you work. At 6, you shut the computer off and play your role as the parent.

          People often think working at home is some great deal, but its more than a fantasy than anything, even a sales pitch. Very very very few people have the self discipline to even work from home.
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    • Profile picture of the author snazzy
      Thanks everyone so far. I appreciate all the advice. This is what I will be able to take on board at the moment:
      • Get up earlier
      • Stay up late
      • Sleep less
      • Be laser focussed & more efficient
      • Have a detailed to do list & use it
      • Outsource what I can (including house cleaning)
      • Use technology to make use of otherwise wasted "waiting" time
      • Remember why I'm doing this

      As far as "setting my work hours" and "making it clear I'm not available" ... great advice for those with older kids. I might have to wait a few years or so until my 3 year old and my soon-to-be-newborn are capable of looking after themselves for a little while though DH is away from home between 6am and 6.30pm, so between then its just the kids and I. I take my hat off to those of you with special needs kids, extra jobs, and homeschoolers. Thanks again to everyone!
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  • Profile picture of the author Not So New
    I have a 4 month old at home, so I know your pain. My suggestion would be to establish a certain amount of hours per day or certain days per week that you can dedicate to your online business with out interuptions.

    This way you should be able to get more done in that amount of time. Also, when you start making a bit more money, you should definitely consider outsourcing. There's just not enough hours in the day.

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  • Profile picture of the author DougHughes
    I don't know how you guys do it either. Sounds like hell to me.

    I write copy. Learn More.>>

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  • Profile picture of the author lowjo
    Yep, got to try to set some boundaries.

    Having a clear goal and trying to keep laser focused on your tasks is the trick. I used to force myself to drop everything every 15 minutes while I was working and ask myself "is this activity getting me closer to my goal?"

    Often the answer was '"no" I was being busy being busy but not being productive. Reading emails, 'researching' products. I should have been building niche blogs or whatever, slapping up a half decent article and then creating links to it....nothing else because that's what was going to pay the bills.

    I've got wee kids and another due in early April so I know that it is never simple and stuff happens.

    I just try to stick to a schedule and everyone knows what it is and does their best.

    Don't try to over do things either, watch how productive you are. Sometimes 45 minutes of solid work is better than 4 hours of broken and tiring hard slog.

    The biggest boost for me was learning to outsource everything I could as soon as I could. If I make $20 then that $20 went to someone else to write articles, and when those articles brought in money I used that money to get someone else to submit my articles.....

    Make use of tools and services....for me that was the real secret for balancing life and marketing.

    Not so easy in the beginning but the last thing you really want to be doing is spending hours doing work that someone else will do for $2.

    That way I go to the park with the kids for an hour and play on the swings while someone else does all the grunt work.

    I go home and plan the next campaign, the next niche to attack, the next product to create.

    Keep your eye on the prize and remember why you are doing this in the first place...for me family come first.


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  • Profile picture of the author tomcam
    FaJeeb and lowjo have excellent feedback. If you can implement those ideas, you're money ahead.

    We have 3 kids, 2 with special needs. My solutions are less savory. One is that I have to stay up late to get certain work done. This is not fun when you have to wake up early to get 3 kids off to school and a couple loads of laundry done before starting work.

    Another extremely difficult solution has been to rebalance workloads. My wife isn't big on housework, but running two businesses and waking up early to get the kids has taken a heavy toll on me. I've had to ask her to wake up a couple days a week and help out. This cuts into her web surfing, but there's not a lot else I could so. It helped that my new venture is starting to do quite well--after a year of study and experimentation.

    We hired a housekeeping service. Not everyone can afford it, but it's been helpful both tactically and mentally. This one sends in 4 people, so the job is done in 2 hours (we have a big house). That lets me get back to work faster, though I have learned to use that time productively.

    I have also been able to use technology to help squeeze more work out of the day. A $300 netbook and cell modem allow me to get articles written while waiting to pick up kids after school, or to spend a couple hours at the local McDonalds while the housekeepers are at home, or get some work done while waiting at the hospital. I use the free Kindle app on my iPhone to get reading done while standing in line or waiting at traffic signals.

    The iPhone Kindle thing has been far more helpful than I thought. To use my very limited time better, I have to abandon my compulsive note-taking habits. Instead, I'll read a page or two at a stoplight or while standing in line at Target or whatever, then spend the next few moments reviewing what I read. It has forced me to be a more disciplined learner.

    My last frontier has been media consumption. When our children were born we got rid of the TVs in our house. Huge productivity boost for most people; for me, it was pretty much a formality because I always had a second job.

    My remaining media vice is talk radio, which makes car trips bearable for me. On days when I'm particularly behind I will even lose the talk radio, and instead use the time to come up with better USPs, taglines, article titles, or structuring info products.

    I am also a little ashamed to say that I let me learning disabled son watch more DVDs than I should. He loves it, and it gives me spare time to work. It is a wrenching decision and not one I'm proud of. Since he has no chance of ever being able to support himself, I justify this less-than-ideal strategy by reasoning that when the day comes that I cannot take care of him properly I want something better for him than institutional care.

    My best for you in this difficult time.
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyaphx
    I work at night mostly I have a 6yr old and 3 yr old. I find it much easier to get things done. I usually work about 4 hours, but then I only get about 6hrs sleep just depends on what I feel like doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michelle Strait
    Working from home has been terrible for me. I'm in the process of turning a backyard storage shed into an office / gym.
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  • Profile picture of the author money2k
    I'm working right now while the kids are sleeping. It is Midnight where I am and you have to pick your spots. Lucky I have a very supportive wife. Need to get my website launched already.

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  • Profile picture of the author skorpion
    My gf and her 2 yr old have been living with me at my house for 6 months.

    It was a problem at first but you need to LAY THE SMACK DOWN and get serious. This is your business right?

    Explain to everyone that you need to be left alone when you are working. Shut your office door and lock it if you have one. Be stern. Make it clear that this is your working time.

    It worked for me. Good luck man.
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  • Profile picture of the author SP11
    Hi Snazzy

    You've had some great replies here and i shall try to use some of those tips. I understand your problem as I too have 3 and 5 year old daughters. Plus I have to work at my employed job evenings from 8pm -2am to keep the wolves from the door as if I had a day job I'd have to pay too much of my earnings to a child minder.

    It means I only get about 4 hours sleep a night and I'm exhausted by the end of the week.

    It sounds to me that you don't have that added problem so your best bet may be to allocate say 2 hours uninterrupted time a night after kiddies in bed then spend the rest of the evening giving the other half quality time so he/she doesn't feel too ignored!

    I try to fit mine in around the school which is now full time for my older daughter and the time my little one gets at "pre-school" but I do also have to fit in some sleep time during those times to keep my sanity!

    I also get my Mum and Dad to have the girls one day a week so I at least have that.

    Some people I know whose partners are working all week(so don't see much of their kids) get the partner to have the children for say a whole half day at the weekend taking them out somewhere so they get some "me time" to do their own thing while they're all out.

    My overall thoughts that keep me going is that as they get older are both at school then it will get easier especially when I get to the point of being able to give up the night job!!

    Oh and when I get one of those problems that come up and I'm spending hours trying to solve it i sometimes just walk away, and say to myself, "I trust that my mind will find a way around this problem if I let it get on with it" I then go away and do something else completely eg play with the girls and more often than not the answer or a suggestion as to something else to try will pop into my head either overnight or while I'm doing something else!

    Another thing you may want to try is a free online course called simpleology 101. it's about getting organised and more productive. And I've benn told it's really good but I've not got around to doing it yet!! If you search online you will find it.

    Good Luck with everything!! And it's nice to know I'm not the only one struggling with that problem!!

    Sandra x
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  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    I homeschool my two children, aged 7 and 10, but they're of an age that they can sit and do their work and I can sit between them with my laptop and write. It's working well. There are distractions, but I can sit and work, and still be there for them. I find though, that my most productive time is when they go to bed, and I schedule most of my work for then.

    If you've got a partner who supports you in your business, it's so much easier. I wouldn't manage nearly as well without my husband. He's awesome. He'll make dinner and do the ironing if I've got a deadline to meet.

    Expert content written by an experienced veterinarian and published magazine and newspaper writer.
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    • Profile picture of the author JBird85
      I usually get up a couple of hours earlier (when I am not working my at home call center job) than my toddler daughter, and when she gets her afternoon nap more work! I try to squeeze in work in the evening too, but that is usually when hubby is home and in need of quality time

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    • Profile picture of the author SP11
      Originally Posted by Audrey Harvey View Post

      I homeschool my two children, aged 7 and 10, but they're of an age that they can sit and do their work and I can sit between them with my laptop and write. It's working well. There are distractions, but I can sit and work, and still be there for them. I find though, that my most productive time is when they go to bed, and I schedule most of my work for then.

      If you've got a partner who supports you in your business, it's so much easier. I wouldn't manage nearly as well without my husband. He's awesome. He'll make dinner and do the ironing if I've got a deadline to meet.
      Oh Wow!!! You're a really brave lady - home schooling as well!!! I don't think I would have the patience to do that even if I wasn't juggling a job and internet marketing as well!!

      Mind you it's not really something that happens much here in the UK

      You are lucky to have a supportive husband too - I have one too but in the week I see very little of him as we work opposite ends of the day so we don't have to pay for childcare!!

      This is one of my reasons for getting into IM as I want to quit the night job and earn money helping people but still be able to fit it in around my family!

      I have to say until I had children I had no ambition at all and no idea what I wanted to do but now i do know and I really enjoy it. For me life began at 40 - my lovely family and my home business ambitions beginning!

      And I love to help people - it gives such a glow!

      Keep at it and you're an inspiration to us all!

      Sandra x
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      • Profile picture of the author imon32red
        Me and my wife have four children. I work off and on throughout the day (sometimes) and then usually for about 4 hrs late at night. I am also a full time student which takes up a lot of my time. My wife is a stay at home mother, we have a disabled daughter that requires a lot of our time. This also has us changing our schedules quite often.

        I think that the above answers really outline some good plans. I have never implemented one, although I have tried some. I do have a couple of tips though.

        Work towards passive income.
        When you have time to yourself, use it productively.
        Use time around your kids for research.

        I feel that working towards passive income is my biggest motivation. That way I know that when I am working, I am setting up more time to spend with my family in the future. I am taking my family on a month long road trip after school gets out. This is only possible because of passive income.

        When I have time to myself I don't use it for im research or facebook etc. I make sure that every minute that I use is working towards making me money.

        When I am not doing things with my kids I can often do my research on my laptop. I also use this time to do facebook, read emails from family and friends, etc.

        My main income is outsourced as much as possible. I have my VA do everything that I can, without showing her how to use the work that she does. If you teach your VA too much they will quit and do what you do. Just have them do everything that you can without giving them too much info.
        I'm not selling anything.
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        • Profile picture of the author MurphSmurf
          My two-year-old sleeps in late (around 9:30), so I just wake up at 5 or 6 AM every day to get a solid 3 to 4 hours in. Then I'll usually work in 30 minute intervals throughout the day while he plays, and get another 2 hours in during his afternoon nap. I would work after he goes to bed at night but I usually have no ambition whatsoever in the evenings (all I want to do is veg out).

          It works pretty well for me, but it can be very difficult when I have to take him to swimming lessons, go grocery shopping, deal with my mother-in-law who drops by constantly and thinks that I don't "REALLY" work and therefore have all the time in the world to hang out with her, clean the house, and have some kind of edible meal ready for my boyfriend when he gets home from work at 5PM...

          ...on top of having to write 10+ articles and half an ebook. In a day.

          Single and/or childless internet marketers: Use protection please, or this will be your life soon.
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          • Profile picture of the author deertrail
            It's not easy.

            Here are some of the strategies I use:

            - become an early riser. Up at 5:00.
            - keep regular work hours (and stick to your guns)
            - hire a house cleaner
            - work at becoming more efficient - more done in less hours. I work 6 hours a day.
            - when your spouse and kids are away on an overnight trip... pull out all the stops and work like crazy!

            Seriously though, it's very difficult.

            I don't have the perfect setup... I love being able to eat every meal with my wife and kids, but I'm so tired of jumping out of my chair in shock whenever my 3 year old drops something on the floor upstairs above my office...

            I'd eventually like to have a small detached studio / office on the property, about 50 yards from the house.

            -two kids, with one more on the way: 6 and 3 years old.
            The FILTHY LIE that's keeping you from making the big money online in 2011 >> CLICK HERE
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  • Profile picture of the author txconx
    Oh, if I had $1 for every time someone told me "I want to work at home and spend more time with my kids!" - I'd be retired.

    There's a reason employers don't let employees bring kids to the office. You'd get nothing done.

    I've worked at home 20+ years. When I was expecting my third, I hired a full-time mother's helper who helped with the kids and cleaned house. When she left at 5:00, at least the house was clean and the laundry was done. I then cooked dinner and gave my family my undivided attention until they went to bed - and then sometimes I worked some more, depending on how much there was and how tired I was.

    And let me tell you - it doesn't get easier when they get older. They have more activities and more friends and require even more supervision because there's more potential for them to get into trouble.

    It's not impossible but nobody should expect to get a lot done while juggling a family of small children and trying to be "super mom."

    Plan your day so you have a couple of good hours when they're asleep and you're not tired. Early early morning was my time - I usually went to bed shortly after they did at night, but I could get a LOT done from 4 a.m. until they got up at 6:30 or 7:00 a.m.

    When you're generating some more revenue, consider getting someone in to help with the kids, the house or both.

    But most of all, remember they're only little once and then these years are gone forever. Enjoy them while you can!
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    I find that duct tape and zip ties work best =)

    In all seriousness, I'm a single dad... As I'm writing this I have my 5 year old screaming DAD! DAD! DAD!! I think they sense the EXACT time you don't want to be interupted and just focus on those.

    What I try to do is fit MY schedule around his. He's at kindergarten 3 days a week and that's when I try to tackle my biggest hurdles. Then when he comes home, he know's that he can have a snack and can watch tv in the den, while I'm on the phone/replying to emails till about 4-430. Then we make dinner/hang out etc. until bed time. Then I'll briefly check in with my emails & pp account, and then spend hours perusing the WF LOL.

    It's tough... DEFINITELY Tough, but doable. But keep in mind, you are able to work from home and be close to your family. Make the most of it!
    "One of the Most Successful Offline WSO's Ever!
    Get More High $$$ Clients with this Small Business Marketing PLR Magazine
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    • Profile picture of the author Melani
      I'm a stay at home mum to a 2 year old with another due in 4.5 months. I've been at home since I was 4 months pregnant with my first child.

      My days vary from good and getting heaps of work done while she entertains herself with her toys (destroying the house in the process) to bad when I barely get 5 minutes to check emails. I've been doing it solo for a while now too which makes it even harder when you don't get that break from a partner home with you all day.

      I tend to snag the mornings while she's happy to play, give up during the middle of the day when she starts to get narky and afternoons are usually a complete write off. But after she's gone to bed, I pop a couple of bites of chocolate and jump back in. My nights = working hours for me.

      Until recently my main method has always been membership sites and as such, they allow for flexible hours. Especially the type I run. At times I can dissapear for an entire day (or week should the case be required) and nothing falls apart. I've been lucky that way.

      Then of course there's days like today which start with the beach, lunch and park and end with her zonked for the rest of the afternoon lol. I love those days!

      How I will cope with 2? Um... yeah, come back to me in a few months LOL. :rolleyes:

      Originally Posted by txconx View Post

      But most of all, remember they're only little once and then these years are gone forever. Enjoy them while you can!
      I wish I could have rememebred that yesterday when Miss 2 squeezed my entire brand new tubes of moisturizer all over the bed covers before rolling in it. Me? I was busy wrestling with some php code that wouldn't co-operate and apparently she wanted my attention.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vixxen
    FaJeeb has some points but this is the reason many don't have jobs - to me this is just too much like working for someone else.

    lowjo in some ways allows the same only with softer corners - kid friendly. lol There are boundaries, yet it doesn't put up a brick wall to those you are working at home for - your family.

    Big Mike made me chuckle as I saw a lot of my journey reflected

    For me things didn't get overly difficult till after my accident. Before that I was making good money and had someone in my life that was a buffer against all the madness.

    But then as life likes to do when we're making other plans, things changed in a blink.

    I still teach at home, there's only a couple left now. Mostly, the older ones help out big time so that things run smoothly. After the accident some big changes had to be made due to the fact I was injured.

    Those sacrifices made life manageable, but were very difficult for everyone.

    I only started working at home 5yrs ago - it was a learning curve and I wasn't even aware of internet marketing at the time. I was an author and I made web sites as a hobby in the 90's. Our careers allowed us to be mostly comfortable and still keep some savings. But then later it was my disability and savings that kept us going.

    I knew that nothing lasts forever, so I wanted to get better control of the financial future so I could make sure that we didn't stumble because of an emergency. I tried to get help from vocational rehabilitation services in my area. It took three times before I found someone that would take the time to help me make some kind of plan.

    Since they wouldn't support my being a writer, that left web design. I got help setting things up and began my work at home adventure. The kids often would join me in my "office" that I'd set up - it was just a large spare room. With desks, a computer and the basics I started my web design business.

    But over the years, the stress of dealing with clients started to get to me. I love the creative part of making websites. I'm not so crazy dealing with the demands of clients.
    "Why can't you put me on the 1st page of Yahoo? Why am I not in the top for my business?"
    First off, they had static sites, refused to have any ads or links or anything on their precious sites. Then they didn't want to do any advertising online or even put the website on anything. They complained that they weren't on the top search engine listing for other cities or states. I could explain till I was blue in the face and they still didn't understand a thing about the web.

    Between the control freaks that didn't want anyone taking pictures for their site unless they could be there to supervise. To those that just couldn't follow step by step directions to click a link in an email so I could get into their site and fix it.
    I've lost patience with them 10 times faster than I ever lost it with my kids. Plus my kids would have figured it out by at least the 3rd time.

    But my older ones managing the younger while I work online. I also make a daily plan for what I want to do the next day. I list what I want to look up, what things I need to check out and then who needs a call or email to give them a swift kick in the pants and get me my money or content for their site. But I keep things flexible and I'm there if the kids need to ask me something.

    Since things sorta crashed last year, my business went all but bust. I've had a hard time wading through the IM information and for the most part I think I've learned as much as my brain can handle, dissect and hang on to as it's going to without crashing. A lot of this is analyzing, formulas and some mumbo jumbo I can't make heads or tails of. This is my problem - I've just got a more creative twist to my thought processes. That stuff comes across as some seriously boring work. Do reports, market reviews, data relations and all that stuff. Yes, I can do's brain numbing, but given the data I can correlate the results into something readable.

    But that is not what I want to do. I want to make money, but I also want to love what it is I'm doing while making that money. If I wanted to be miserable while making money I'd get a job. If I could find one that would hire me and I could get to it.

    But that isn't why I work at home - frankly there are more reasons now than there used to be, but that's beside the point.

    Right now I'm trying to find that secret - the one so many seem to have. The one that will allow me to set up something and then send traffic to it so that I earn some steady income. That is if I can figure out how to get traffic to actually "go" to my sites.

    Right now, I get work now and then, still fight to get paid for work I've done and stress out over the fact that my disability is not enough to cover everything any more. Loss of income from a few sources hasn't helped my on life support bank account.

    Even my kids are looking on the net - searching for something that will help us make just a little bit of cash. I'm talking $25-50....maybe a week from one source. Maybe a couple hundred extra a month. A way that it can be duplicated a few times with the same result. So far selling stuff on eBay has kept us from going under. But we're running out of stuff and those fees are murder.

    I don't want to be rich or wealthy....I just want to make enough so I can breath.

    So if you have something that could maybe fit to my situation...let me know.

    No bells, whistles and huge pile of ebooks, video and what not. I've got tons of that on my external hard drive. Just a simple step by step to do - follow along and copy me, it will work - simple.

    Got anything like that, hiding somewhere in this whole forum?
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