In today’s digital age, this is more possible and more prevalent than ever. Work at home moms are everywhere we look making great strides and major contributions to many industries.
Here are a few tips for creating a work/life balance when your work and home life collide.
1) Create Three Daily To-Do Lists
Start with a to-do list for your work life. Taking the time each night to create a list of must-do items for the following day gives you a jumpstart on the next day’s work and helps you stay organized. Once you’ve created the list, prioritize it. Try prioritizing your list by placing dollar signs next to each line item and ranking them accordingly. Next, create a to-do list of activities, appointments, play time, meal times and so on for your children. Prioritize this list with happy faces and rank those tasks accordingly. Finally, look at the lists and create a third list (this is your final list) with each item from each list in its proper order.
2) Commit To Each Portion of Your Day
This can be hard to do when work and family are always in the same place. It becomes even more challenging during your children’s pre-school years and school vacations because they are underfoot all day. Make a commitment that during work times, you focus on work, and during family time you focus fully on family. It can be difficult to separate the two at times, but your work will be more focused and productive if you do so. Your children will also be more amenable to letting you work when your work does not infringe on their time with you.
3) Get Your Family Involved In Your Work
This may seem like a contradiction of Tip Number 2, but it isn’t. It’s very helpful to your family when your children can perform little tasks that benefit your work. They can stuff envelopes, shred papers or tidy up your office. It frees up more time you can spend with them, and it teaches them about your work and about responsibility. You might also involve them in household tasks like washing dishes, entertaining younger siblings, or helping with homework. They’ll emerge with a sense of family responsibility and accomplishment. That’s a win-win for everyone.
4) Network Outside of The Business World
Join (or create) an informal support network of other work at home moms. No one will be able to offer better suggestions, commiserate, or otherwise understand your daily grind like other moms who are in the same boat. They’ll be able to offer support and helpful suggestions when you need it most. You’ll also be able to help and support them and create a valuable network of caregivers, family resources, and work or freelance tips and advice.
Working at home is a great option for moms. Clearly identifying what balance looks like for your family is key to creating it. Because it’s different for each family, for some moms it can mean learning to work during nap times, while for others, it might mean working during school hours and reserving evenings for family time. Make a realistic assessment of the situation in your home and start creating the balance you need to get the life you want.