Work at home moms seem to have the best of both worlds since they can still earn money and still take care of their sweet bundle of joys. Then reality hits and working at home is not always the best of both worlds. So how do you balance making money at home with kids underfoot? Try these three tips out.
- Realize You Can’t Do It All: Being a full time mom and homemaker packs a lot of tasks on to your to-do list to begin with. Moms should make sure they are equipped with the proper mom products and gear. Add on work tasks and some days you can feel like you are drowning in tasks that need to get done. Look for inexpensive house cleaners who can deep clean the major problem areas once a month. Enroll your children in an activity or class that will allow you a 1-2 hour gap of time to work. Look for easy ways to streamline dinner, such as prepping frozen meals once a month or using an online meal and grocery plan. You are only one person, and you just can’t do it all. It can be hard for some of us to admit that we need help, but you have to think of yourself as the CEO. Does the CEO run out to get bagels or micromanage every single employee? A good CEO doesn’t because they know that they have to focus on the most important tasks and delegate the menial tasks to others. Just always remember that your family is more important than your work!
- Don’t Multitask: Multitasking is how all moms survive, so why am I suggesting against it? What I mean is that you should have designated hours for work and for your family, and you shouldn’t mix the two. Of course, there are always certain circumstances, like when you have to cuddle a sick toddler while answering emails late at night. If you strive to be there 100% for your family during family time, then you will not miss out on memories or have mommy guilt. Put away the cell phone, tablet, computer, etc. when it is family time; you won’t regret it. The same principles go for when it is work time. It is so easy to put the kids to bed and then spend hours surfing meaningless sites or watching shows. All moms need a break, but if you commit to working after the kids go to bed, then focus on work. This will help work from building up and overflowing into your family time.
- Create A More Effective To-Do List and Schedule: The number one thing that has helped me to be more productive as a mother and freelancer is to have a better to-do list and schedule. Before, I would write a to-do list of everything I could think of that I had to do. It was overwhelming, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that nothing on that list actually got done. Instead, I write out a list for each month, each week, and each day. This sounds more time-consuming than it really is. Breaking it down this way helps me to see that the list is more manageable than I thought. Also, I try to tackle the most important things (and the things I hate the most) first. This is Brian Tracy’s main idea in his book, Eat That Frog! As far as schedules go, I try to keep all errands or personal appointments (i.e. dentist, doctor check-up) on one day each week. I also cook all of my dinners at the beginning of each month and freeze them, which means I only have to run to the grocery store twice during the month. Keeping a schedule for errands and dinner making may seem silly, but it does save a lot of time and unneeded gas throughout the month.
As a work at home mom, I have had to learn to do things more productively and efficiently. It can be hard to balance both, but I am so grateful for the opportunity. If you are a work at home mom, how do you balance it all?