Balancing Your Life-Part 4: WAHMs
Work life. Mom life. Wife life….all while working inside the home.
Or trying to! I’ve been a working mom, stayed at home with the children, and I’ve worked from home with the kids there, and I can tell you that each role has it’s own unique set of hurdles. Is it possible to achieve some sort of balance here?
It’s interesting because when I worked outside of the home, I seemed to manage my time better than I do now that I am working from home with the toddlers here. I knew how much time I had to get things done, and I was usually able to accomplish a lot of my goals. Now, I have to break my day into segments and find interesting ways to keep the little ones busy while I try to get work done. Some days are better than others, and some days I accomplish a lot. Most days, I accomplish a little at a time, in very broken segments.
Working at home requires organization, patience, and family support. Imagine having to juggle a full time workload at home while still acting as a hands-on parent—doing laundry, preparing lunches, and being there for the kids when they get home from school, or even doing it all with little toddlers clinging to you all day.
Here are some things that can help you achieve this balance:
- Create your own workspace. A home office (preferably with a door) is a good way to establish some boundaries between your work and your home responsibilities. If you work at home with little children and you can’t close the door, set them up with an activity while you get some work done. My 3 year-old likes to do her “homework” while I work and my 22 month-old will just play or sit on my lap if I am at the computer.
- Keep your workspace organized. A cluttered work environment is a big distraction and can hinder your progress.
- Make lists. Prioritize what needs to happen and in which order. Maybe you need to take the little ones to swim lessons before contacting clients. Determine which is most important that day and which needs to be accomplished first.
- Get out of the house. I recently hired a sitter for 2 hours and went to a coffee shop to work and I was more productive in those two hours than I would have been during the same two hours at home. I came home in a great mood and more refreshed and ready to spend time with my kids again.
- Take breaks. I find it helpful to try to take multiple breaks throughout the day, both from work and play. We may go for a walk, have a snack, then have some quiet time for me to work. Then I find a stopping point and we have playtime again outside or do an activity together. Getting a little done at a time, especially with little ones around, is a great way to get your own work done and spend quality time throughout the day.
- Self-care. You may feel stressed and exhausted with work deadlines and goals and personal goals. Everyone knows that a mom’s work is never done. There’s always another sink full of dishes, basket full of laundry, lunches to be made and errands to run. It’s important that through that chaos, you take some time for yourself, even if it’s a 10 minute meditation twice a day. Exercise, read something for 15 minutes before bedtime, and treat yourself to a nap if possible. You deserve it!
Thanks for reading! I hope you can find some value in this, and if you did, please share!