As a work at home mom for eight years, I have come to master the art of finding the balance between work and mom. That’s not to say that it is always easy, but I have come to discover what it takes to do both jobs well. It is possible to find balance as a work at home mom.
There are times that you need to focus on being a mom while there are other times that you need to be able to work, but how do you do both at the same time?
While there are a few times that you must, for the most part, you aren’t doing both things at one time…and this really is the secret.
No worries, just keep reading.
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I’ve got 10 ways that will show you how to find the perfect balance as a work at home mom.
1. Designate a space and system
Designate an area of your home if you can, such as an office area, a desk, or even a hutch in your kitchen as the place where your “office” will be. No space? No worries, right now I am running my business out of two large 31 totes because my office has now been given to one of my kids for school. You really can make anything work, but your space or your system has to be functional for you, and you alone.
2. Decide on how many hours you will be working per week, but use a window of time
How many hours will you be working a week? Now, before you answer that with a number, answer that with a window. For instance, if you were wanting to say 40 hours, change that answer to be between 35 and 45 hours a week. That way you’ve got wiggle room to work a bit extra in any given week or to have life get in the way of work in any given week. A window of time works so much better than a definitive number of hours.
3. Schedule your office hours
Using the number of hours that you will be working, schedule office hours for the week. Mine vary by the day since some days are busier than others, yet certain times are always consistent. Among these consistent times are my office hours before my kids get up and my office hours after my kids go to bed.
4. Take advantage of early mornings and late nights
I’m not suggesting that you completely short change yourself on sleep, however, I have found that I can be so productive early in the morning and late at night when the house is quiet. It’s a matter of maximizing the hours I work since I am getting optimal work done. Learning how to manage your mornings and to manage your evenings well is key.
5. Get boundaries and let others know about them
Once you establish office hours, you need to set some boundaries to protect those hours. I live in a family with 10 people so I know how easy it is to be interrupted – and therefore important to have boundaries around my office hours. It can be difficult at first, but over time others can learn to respect your boundaries, at least most of the time.
6. Get the proper tools
Do you need a better computer? Maybe you need more shelving or a nice planner, office supplies of some kind, or a printer that is more reliable. There is a time for making due, but expecting yourself to do your working at home job well without the proper tools is not all that wise.
7. Establish good time management skills
Working at home demands good time management skills. Learn how to be efficient, effective, and how to manage your time both during your office hours and in your home life hours. In order to fulfill both roles well, you will need to manage your time well on both ends.
8. Avoid temptation
I can say from experience that when you work at home it is easy to be tempted by so many things that end up wasting your time. Don’t keep books, magazines, or other things that may distract you where you can see them during your office hours, and don’t keep an internet window open to Facebook or anything like that. Only you can know what tempts you and threatens to steal your time, but do whatever you can to avoid temptations that keep you from working when you are supposed to be working.
9. Create and follow the same routines
Both in your work life and in your home life, follow the same basic routines. Check email at the same time each day, tend to household duties within the parameters of a routine, and do as many things as you can in the same way and at the same time. Routine gives way to efficiency, which is only going to make you more successful both at home and in your work life.
10. Fill your tank regularly
Being a work at home mom means that you are often going to come close to burning the candle at both ends, which means that you need to watch your candle carefully. You need to do whatever it is that fills your tank to keep from running on empty. You can also check out some posts like 15 Signs That You’re Stretched Too Thin, The Real Problem With Overwhelm, and 10 Ways to Avoid Being One Stressed Out Mama for some additional tips and tricks.
You can find balance in life as a work at home mom. It takes intention, practice, and discipline, but it truly can be done. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself a bit whether it is in getting tools and supplies, an education, or the hands on help you know you can benefit from.
As someone who has been juggling the work at home life for nearly a decade, I’m here to say, “You can do it!”
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