When you tell people that you are a work at home mom, they think that your life is easy. But in reality you are working two jobs at once - taking care of your little ones and running your business or doing your job. It takes organization, determination and good time management to get it all done. And sometimes they're just not enough hours in the day. I have learned that finding the right balance is key to making this work.
Tips for being a work at home mom
As a small business owner, these tips are geared towards running a small business while taking care of your kids, but they can easily be adapted to any work at home situation. Almost a year ago, I found myself with a new baby, and figuring out how to take care of him while managing my business was a big adjustment. Here are a few things that I feel help me make it happen on a daily basis:
- Keep it simple: Don't try to be Superwoman. You can only do so much in one day and you don't want to wear yourself out so much that you can't get through the day. Take it one day at a time and make your to-do list managable.
- Stick to a schedule: This was by far the best thing I could have done for me and my little guy. We started him on a schedule early on and it has been amazing. For the most part, I can easily predict how the day is going to go and I can plan when to get work done based on his schedule.
- Be flexible: Even with a schedule, some days will just go wrong in every way. You may have a sick little one, or you may be sick yourself. Sometimes naps get skipped or unexpected things come up. Some days you just have to know you won't get any work done and be ok with it.
- Get help from others: If you have the option of sending your kids to a grandparents or some type of playdate/daycare/mom's day out for a couple of hours a week, take advantage of it. We havent' started that yet, but I hope to in the future so that I have a dedicated time each week for the big tasks that need to get done. It will allow you to focus on your work while they are away so you can be more present with them when they are at home.
- Set office hours: I did this last year shortly after Logan was born and it has been such a blessing for me and my business. My customers know when I am available and when to expect to hear from me, I am able to focus on work during a dedicated time, and step away from the computer when my office hours are over. I was inspired by this post by Lara Casey on setting office hours, and I highly recommend reading it for more about setting boundaries between work and home.
- Enjoy it: Remember why you are a WAHM in the first place - to be with your kids. For us, the main reason we decided for me to stay home with Logan is so that he has a parent with him to raise him and take care of him, and I want to focus on that first.
How to find balance
Friends, some days are busier than others. Some days are more productive than others. Some days are just better than others. It's ok to have both. It's about finding the balance between the two. Finding the balance between work and play. And making those moments worth it whether they are good or bad. It can be hard to separate your work and home life when they are so closely intertwined. I know I find it hard to step away from the computer sometimes when it is right there and so easy to get to. But the key is to set boundaries for yourself and know when it is time to work and time to play. It is important to make time for yourself and your family just as much as for your business or work.