You love your kids and you love your job but being successful on both fronts is no easy thing. Being a work at home mom might be the envy of your neighbors, but it can easily put a strain both on your home and family life, if you let it. Here are seven tips to make it work.
1. Get clear on your priorities.
As a mother, obviously, your family is the most important thing in your life, don’t forget that. When you are working, you cannot spend as much time with your family as other mothers who do not work. But there are ways to put your family before your work and still have a successful career. Weekends need to be family time. If you have to work on the weekend, then make sure it’s only half the day. Maybe you are busy with your career during weekdays, but by making a quick phone call to your children, they will know you are thinking about them.
2. Communicate to your children.
Speak to your kids explain to them why your business is important and what it contributes to your family. What you can tell them and how you explain this depends on their age. If they are teenagers you can explain the financial contribution your work is making to the family, including how it can pay for their college education. If your children are toddlers, then you can say that you need to work to pay for that new Playstation they have been craving!
3. Communicate to your spouse.
Get your spouse on your side, explain to them what you are trying to achieve and what your needs are. This is fundamental. To be successful as a work at home mum, you need to work as a team with your spouse. If they are also working, then the household chores need to be shared to ensure that you have time to spend with the kids and can get your work done.
4. Plan out your work and family time.
Set regular working hours for your business; having a set schedule will show your family when to expect you working. Make sure your family and kids know about your work hours, they may be an hour here and an hour there, whatever, but they need to be clearly communicated. If you do work outside of the scheduled hours, let the family know and explain to them the reasons. You are your own boss, so you can be flexible to meet deadlines, but don’t make too much of a habit of it. By taking time to enjoy your family and give them your full attention they are more likely to respect your work time.
5. Set up a proper home office.
Designate a room in your home to use for your home office. Ideally this will be a room in which you only do you work in, so that you can set clear boundaries between your home life and your business. If you can afford it, get yourself some proper office desk furniture, a comfortable office chair, maybe a filing cabinet and bookcase. It will enable you to be more productive by having all your files, equipment and supplies in one place.
6. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
Taking on a nanny or babysitter can free up valuable time for you to work on your business whilst ensuring that a responsible adult is caring for your children. The kids can be with the babysitter in the playroom while you are working in your home office. Don’t feel guilty about using this time to do things for yourself like go to the gym or spending time with friends. You need more than just work and kids to maintain your mental and emotional health. You need to get out of the house do different things, interact and see the people.
7. Know when to say, “Stop.”
Home-based entrepreneurs have a big weakness; they often never know when to stop. If you find yourself rushing off to your computer and after dinner when you should be spending that time with your children then it is not fair on them. This kind of behavior in the long-term can create resentment from your family members. Don’t forget if you are going to be successful in your work you need your family support.
Create The Virtuous Circle
Use these seven tips to get smart about working from home. Working from home, you are very much master of your own destiny. Apply these tips effectively and you will see on the one hand you will have the quality time to spend with your family and on the other, by having set times to accomplish your work, your productivity will increase. The faster you do your work, the more time you will have to spend with your family and transform that vicious circle into a virtuous one!