When you work for someone else, and you’re able to do that work from home, there is someone holding you accountable. There are tasks you’re expected to do and likely a regular paycheck coming in.
You probably have work hours: you know when to start and you know when your work day will end. Though this may not always be the case, working for someone else, from home, tends to have boundaries that come with it.
When you work for yourself however, you may not realize how easy it is to either work too much or not enough. Over the last year I have met so many moms who work from home while their kids are at home.
Working at home. With Kids.
I used to think that working at home with your kids was not realistic (okay, that’s still true) and that it was also unprofessional. If someone else is paying you for your time, they’re not also paying you to watch your kids.
What I failed to realize is that there is a whole world of working moms, many of whom are bloggers and entrepreneurs who are working at home while their kids or there. Or, while their kids or napping. And probably also after their kids go to bed.
I am one of these moms. Working from home can be hard to understand if you haven’t done it. And, if you’re self-employed or run your own business your work days may be far from what you envision.
The Realities of Working from Home as a Mom
Working from home, especially when you’re doing something like launching a business or a blog, can be hard. There is so much you want to do, and yet there is seemingly so little time. You may feel that every spare moment needs to be focused on work in order to accomplish what you want to.
It’s very easy to let your work and personal life become unbalanced.
While I still find balance a struggle, as a mom who works from home, here are 5 strategies that help me create balance in my daily life.
Create some sort of schedule.
Yes, as you moms know, when we create schedules, the kids laugh and have other ideas! But — it’s helpful to have your day mapped out even in a rough way. Consider what time you have available during the day to work on small tasks that may not require a large amount of attention. For example can you check your social media while you chat with the kids over breakfast? For projects that require more focus, plan those for naptime or after bed. I’ve learned that multitasking isn’t always the best way to approach things, but you can become more skilled at it.
Learn more about WAHM Routines from Episode 1 of our series.
Commit to turning off work when it’s not “on the schedule.”
Because you work at home and probably have an un-ending list of tasks, it’s tempting to do just one more thing. I am guilty of this constantly. This desire to do one more task is in an effort to create balance overall because I’m getting things done and making dents in my lists. But, in the short-term daily balance, letting work bleed into family time is not helpful.
Communicate with your family about what your work schedule will be like.
You may need to be flexible based on what everyone else has going on, but if you and your partner can get on the same page about when you need to get work done, then hopefully this gives you peace of mind knowing that you’ll have some time to focus, even if it’s at 8:00 at night. When I know that I have some dedicated work time coming up, I am less likely to try to squeeze something in.
Be present with your kids.
I’m sure this goes without saying that this is something we aim for. I know for myself, I have a harder time being present with my kids now that I work from home and pretty much work the equivalent to full-time hours (though many less than half of those hours fall M-F, 9-5). My mind is often thinking about what I need to do or how much I have on my plate. Being able to turn my mind off to those thoughts is important for my sanity and the happiness of my kids and family.
Cut yourself some slack.
We won’t always get it right. We will be unbalanced. Some days we will work too much and other days we won’t work enough. This is also balance. Try not to beat yourself up too much if you’ve spent too much time or energy in one area rather than another. Take the time to notice what’s going on and correct yourself for the next day.
While working from home is a luxury that I am very thankful for, it’s not without its challenges. Overtime I’ve learned how to create more balance on a daily basis as a work at home mom. I don’t always get it right, and I know that in a few years, when my kids are older I’ll have more time. For now, I try to make the most of what I have and adjust when needed.
How do you create balance in your day as a work at home mom?
This post is included as a part of the Work at Home Mama Blogger Series!
HERE ARE THE BLOGS PARTICIPATING:
Becca Day – Homemakers In Action
Stacy Taylor – Taylor411
Andrea Kelly – Messy Nest Mama
April Walker – Mojitos And Munchkins