Work/Life Balance for Work-At-Home Moms
Guest Post By Leslie Truex
Being a work-at-home mom sounds like the perfect solution to achieving work/life
balance. You can be home with the kids while still contributing to the household
income. But like many theories, the reality is very different. Work-at-home moms still
only have 24-hours in a day to get everything done. Their day often involves jumping
back and forth between work and family activities, which can leave them feeling
haggard and overwhelmed. Achieving work/life balance as a work-at-home mom can
be possible with a little extra planning and support.
Don’t Try to Do It All
Many moms fantasize about life as a work-at-home mom. It usually includes serving
the family a hot breakfast, getting the kids involved in a quiet activity, throwing in a
load of laundry in (after doing the breakfast dishes), working for a couple of hours,
taking the kids to the park, working during nap time, tidying the house, switching
laundry into the dryer, making a gourmet dinner, folding the laundry and heading to
bed to do it all over again the next day. Unfortunately, children and household chores
are not usually so accommodating. Just like moms who work outside the home, work-
at-home moms need to realize that they can’t do it all.
Create a Schedule
A schedule creates a boundaries around activities to organize your day and lets you
and your children know what to expect each day. As you create your schedule,
consider your and your children’s daily rhythms so you can work during your peak
hours and be available for your children when they most need you. Create a daily to-do
list for each activity block in your schedule, so as you move from being a mom to an
employee, you know what you need to do and can avoid wasting time.
Keep the Kids Busy
Working at home with an infant or toddler is difcult because they need supervision,
and apart for nap times, won’t give you an extended period of time in which to work.
For that reason, hiring a student or retired person to entertain your infant or toddler
for a couple of hours a few days a week can give you focused time to work.
Older children can entertain themselves for longer periods of time. Before transitioning
to work, get them involved in an activity. Keep a list of ideas that you can rattle of
when your child gets bored, such as draw a picture of your favorite animal or stack the
blocks as high as possible.
Just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you can earn a living, raise the kids and keep
the house clean by yourself. Enlist the children and your spouse’s help in household
chores. Even small children can sort socks and pick up toys. Your spouse can watch the
children in the evening while you take care of work-related tasks.
The household isn’t the only place you can get help. Invest in tools and systems that
can make your work easier, such as a program to schedule social media posts and a
smart phone. Consider hiring a virtual assistant to care of the more menial tasks, so
you can focus on the tasks of higher value and have more time for your family.
Take Care of Yourself
Balance is less about time management than energy management. A booked schedule
may be balanced, but if it’s overwhelming, you won’t feel balanced. If you don’t
occasionally stop and refuel your energy tanks, you’ll burnout regardless of the quality
of your schedule. Take care of yourself by doing something at least once a week that
reenergizes and inspires you. It could be a long soak in the tub, an afternoon with a
friend at the java joint or a quiet, uninterrupted nap.
About Leslie Truex
Leslie Truex is a contributor for SmartMom, an easy way to receive fast answers to all of your parenting questions from the convenience of your mobile device. Leslie is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, adoption social worker, fitness instructor and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. She is the author of several books, including The Work-At-Home Success Bible. You can find her on Google+ or on her Website.