Working from home may seem like the ideal situation. Just consider the ability to earn money while simultaneously staying at home and spending quality time with your children. Indeed, this may sound like a perfect set-up. You get to be both the independent business woman and the world’s best mother.

However, if you’re old enough to be a mother, you have probably had sufficient life experience to know that nothing in this world is perfect. At some point, this dream may very well turn into a nightmare. This normally happens when you start to lose balance. You may soon find it hard to meet deadlines, submit projects, or simply do your job properly because of the distractions and interruptions a life at home brings. Likewise, you may also find it hard to take proper care of your children because of the demands and stress that comes from work.

working mom with two kids

Flexibility in Time-Management

Initially, you may find it hard to master this balancing act. Fortunately, there are well-tried and tested key-points that can aid you in finding your way out of this mess. The most important factor is time-management. What you will need are schedules and personally-developed strategies on how you can give 100% to your work, while giving no less than what is asked of you as a parent. Here are some general guidelines that will help you turn time spent with your children into what it was meant to be and not simply a nuisance:

1. Organize work time as though you weren’t at home. Treat your work as if you were still going into an office each morning. During these working hours, there shouldn’t be any interruptions or distractions that might detract you from doing your work. During these office hours, you should not do anything related to your personal life—no phone calls from friends; no household duties and not even personal chatting or e-mailing. Discipline will make or break the success of this project as you are your own boss when working at home and you will be the one responsible for ensuring you’re doing your job reliably.

2. Schedule office hours wisely, according to personal preferences. Although the way you apply yourself would be similar to working in an office in-town, the advantage of working at home comes in the form of flexibility. Depending on whether you are an early bird or a night owl, you might want to consider scheduling set hours for work when the family is either away at school or child-care, or when they are sound asleep in bed. This would certainly give you quality time well-spent with your children. Knowing that work has its own slot in the day, time can be spent with family without that horrible, constant nagging in the back of your head.

3. Hire a babysitter during your working hours. Simple enough I’m sure, but this advice is for mothers with newborns or toddlers; mothers whose job as a parent does not have the luxury of only being between the period when the child comes home from school and when the child’s bedtime arrives.

4. When there’s a work crisis, keep your children from being neglected by organizing a day of fun or activities for them. As we all know, not all work is the same from day to day. During different times of the financial year and different seasons in a business’s growth, more time and effort will be required of a working individual. This is when it is important to remember that you first created your schedules based on flexibility and for this reason, you can make changes to this schedule as needed. In other words, when you know work is going to be requiring an extra two hours of your day for a period of two weeks, you can arrange schedules for your children that would suit these hours. If you work at night, you could arrange sleepovers, group study sessions or chaperoned movie nights for your children so that you can get an early start. If you work in the afternoon, you could arrange chaperoned after-school activities so you can add in the extra time. If you work in the morning, well that’s just going to take a little more will power and a change of setting to the alarm clock. As a mother of a newborn or toddler, the baby-sitter solves this problem, too.

5. Never multitask. When it’s time to work, work hard without compromising or giving way to any interruptions. Likewise, when it’s family time, ensure you can be with them while actually being with them, knowing that you have a reliable, sturdy schedule allocating sufficient time for both important areas of your life.

About the author:

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