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Life as a single or married adult without children is busy enough, but when you add children to the mix, life can go from hectic to absolute chaos in about 2.7 seconds.
Working from home so that you can take care of your children seems like the ideal solution for many moms. There are definitely some benefits, but it also requires some time management, an ability to adapt + a constant assessment of your priorities to create a sense of balance.
I was freelance writing from home for 8 years before I had my first daughter. The biggest lesson I learned is that all of the work still got done BUT in a much different way than it did before I had kids.
Working from home + raising children is doable. You just have go at it with a very strategic approach.
#1 Set Up a Home Office
Ahhhhh…the luxury of an office — with a door — right? Sometimes this is hard to come by when you have a small house or multiple kids. I had an office until that office became a nursery 🙂
Seriously, though, working from the kitchen table just isn’t feasible when you’re trying to run a business from home. If you have a room you can dedicate to your office then do it.
At the very least, find a space that’s all your own — even if it’s just a little nook in your dining room or a closet. It’s an essential step to staying productive. Otherwise, it’s very easy to get distracted (oh look, shiny object) or for your business paperwork, notes, or items to get mixed up with everything else that is in your house.
When you’re in your office, hang a sign to let your partner know that it’s their turn to answer your child’s cries. Having a separate space can also help you stay organized because it will be more difficult for children to find your papers to crumple + create their next work of art.
#2 Schedule Time to Work
I know this can be tough. I have three ages 5 + under so I get it. Schedule time on your paper calendar or in your phone calendar (however you keep track of appointments) + make an appointment with yourself to get your work done.
It is highly possible that you have to become a “naptime warrior.” It means working in the morning before your kiddos get up, working during naptime, when your older kids are at school + after they go to bed at night.
Even though you “schedule” time to work you also have to be flexible. The one day you have the biggest project to tackle is the one day that your baby is not going to nap or that one of your kids stays home from school sick. You’re going to have to roll with the punches, Mama!
#3 Automate + Put Systems in Place
When you have a limited amount of time to work, you need to ensure that each moment that you have counts to the fullest. Put systems in place + automate as much as you possibly can.
Set up automation or autoresponder series for those that join your email list. Use apps like Tailwind to automate your Pinterest pinning. Get Recurpost set up to automatically post + automatically recycle your content on social media (including Instagram).
While you do have to dedicate some time to getting these systems in place, it’s going to save you time, money + so much hassle in the long run to have these systems + automations up + running.
#4 Schedule Time with Family + to Have Fun
You’re trying to build a business, but don’t forget about one of the reasons that you wanted to be a work-from-home mother in the first place. More than likely, you wanted the ability to raise your children rather than letting someone else do it for you.
So just like you schedule time to work, schedule time to have fun too! I believe downtime from your business actually makes you a better blogger, writer, baby blanket maker or whatever it is that you do.
Schedule time for some Mama self-care, too. I try to schedule a mani/pedi for at least once a quarter (It’s so sad that I used to do this every two weeks when I was single). I joined a mom book club (because I love to read). I joined a women’s bunco group. I attend events for the very active mom group in my neighborhood (We recently had a DIY sign party).
The point is that I notice that I come home refreshed + ready to deal with my family, my life + my business when I have some downtime that is all my own! I think you’re going to find that you need something similar for yourself.
#5 Talk to Your Partner
When the lines between work + home life get blurry, if you have a partner, communicate with them so they know how to support you. If you don’t have a partner, get a business buddy! Find a like-minded Mama that has her own business so you can be accountable + use each other as sounding boards.
Just like you schedule everything else, set up a schedule or make a plan to divvy up responsibilities with your partner. It helps to alleviate some of the stress on your relationship + allows you to focus better when you are working.
If you’re a work-from-home mom, you’re likely looking for ways to make your business more successful while enjoying as much time with your family as possible. Take some extra time every week to schedule out blocks of time to work on your business + to spend time with your family.
If you’re looking to start your own blog, check out How to Start a Blog. It walks you step-by-step through starting + setting up a blog.