This is one of those questions that work-at-home moms (WAHMs) often ask themselves – in fact, it’s often something potential WAHMs ask before they even begin working from home: how are you going to balance work, home, and family? No one is perfect at this, and no one has the perfect formula. But, there are some good tips out there on how to balance these important elements of your life. Here are some of those tips.
1. Organize your time
As a mom, it can sometimes seem like everyone wants a piece of your time and attention every minute. It helps to look at time as a big pie – if you take out a piece now, that’s one less piece you’ll have later. So divide up the pie.
You can even make a pie chart of your day if you want to, but a day planner or online calendar will work just fine. This might work best if you do it weekly rather than daily. And it does not have to be done in this order – just because the business tasks are listed first here does not mean they are the most important. If family time is a bigger priority for you, then list it first.
First, list everything you need to do for your business that week, dividing it up into urgent priorities and not-so-urgent ones. Then estimate the hours that the urgent ones will take, and plug those hours into your work week. Those are the non-optional work hours. Then, plug in the less-urgent business activities – maybe using a different color – so that you know those are not absolutely vital.
After that, make a list of household chores for that week – laundry, meals, errands, etc. Divide those up among the non-work hours. Take into consideration things like weekly events (religious activities, soccer games, etc.) that will require more laundry. If possible, set this weekly household task list up to repeat each week so these things will be on „auto pilot“ and won’t require re-scheduling each week. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every weekend!
Make another list of family time. Do your kids go to school? Do you homeschool? What about family dinners and game nights together? What about a date with your spouse, or, if you’re single, a date with a friend? Schedule in these social things into your calendar too, and rearrange accordingly. Maybe a non-vital business task can be set aside to spend some extra time with your kids this week.
2. Give yourself time off
People who work in an office get weekends off. While you may not be able to spare two whole days every week, set aside free time one day a week where you can rest and spend time with family. Organizing your time is fine, but a little down time can be therapeutic…even if you have to schedule it in!
3. Consider a mother’s helper
Mother’s helpers can be such a help for busy WAHMs. Mother’s helpers come to your house rather than you having to drop your kids off with them. They are cheaper than a babysitter, and your kids still stay at home with you present. The mother’s helper can help out around the house, entertain the kids, or even run a short errand.