A good work/life balance may be the most challenging thing for work-at-home moms to achieve. It can seem like an elusive fantasy: getting all your responsibilities accomplished with your job or business and still having time for yourself, your partner, your family, and your home. But doesn't that sound just magical?
Well, you don't have to keep dreaming. Work/life balance is attainable, even for moms that work at home! It takes more effort to set yourself up initially, but the rewards are worth it. Discover how you can learn to manage a healthy balance of work and life with the following tips.
Develop a daily routine
Flying by the seat of your pants won't do you any favors if you want to balance your work and home life. Establishing a daily routine that allows you to be productive at work and still have time for the household and family is essential. Include time within your schedule for meals and breaks. Set a time to be finished with work each day, and don't return to your desk.
This productive routine doesn't have to be a rigid schedule. You don't have to schedule out by the exact minute, but rather a loose routine of what needs to be done each day. Determine how long you should take if you're using your time to its fullest extent.
Allow for some flexibility, as things do happen; life happens! For example, you may have to care for a sick child one day, pushing back your ability to work until the following day. However, following the routine on most days, you will notice that you are getting more and more tasks knocked off that never-ending to-do list.
Keep a designated workspace.
Having your work area away from the rest of the house is ideal. This area lets you “leave work” even as a work-at-home mom. The space doesn't have to be huge or extravagant. A small desk in the corner of your bedroom works just as well as a legitimate den or separate office space. Leave this area during your lunch time and breaks. Only use this space for work. This way, you don't feel like you are always at the office during family or “me” time, but you'll also train yourself to recognize that area solely as a place to be in work mode.
Minimize distractions during work time
To properly balance work and home life, you want to be as productive with your time as possible. However, productivity doesn't always mean that you're working on something important 24/7. Instead, balance means that you're the most productive and focused during work time, and you delegate time to relax and do leisurely things.
The time in your schedule for work should be only for that. Turn off the TV. Close social media. Don't make other plans during dedicated work time. Avoid letting yourself get sucked into Netflix, spending an afternoon shopping with friends, and missing 1-2 hours of scheduled work time. You'll end up working extra during your “home” time and throwing off the day if you don't take your schedule seriously.
Put your phone away
The cell phone may be the biggest distraction for everyone, especially work-at-home moms. We need to connect at all times, which can result in poor time management and productivity. A quick check of emails can lead you down a rabbit hole of Facebook, Pinterest, or a game or two. Before you know it, you've been on your phone for an hour and got nothing else done.
Let your close family and friends know your work schedule, and don't hesitate to put your phone in another room or shut it off during work hours.
Ask for help with chores.
Most of the time, moms generally feel the need to do it all. Sometimes it feels like it's your responsibility to work, tend to your family, ensure that chores are taken care of, and run the errands. You want to contribute with an income, but you also want to be a dedicated mom and wife. However, one person can't do it all.
Delegate chores to your partner or your children. Even young kids can help put away laundry, clear the dinner table, or pick up their toys. And sometimes, the kids or your partner may even want to help with the business. Don't be afraid to ask for help and take advantage of the help.
Try time-saving hacks at home.
Freeing up time where you can be the best way for work-at-home moms to achieve a good work/life balance. For example, schedule a grocery delivery or even a pickup so you don't spend an hour (or more!) in the supermarket each week.
Shop on Amazon when you can to avoid extra shopping trips. Pay your bills online, so you aren't running to the post office to mail letters or buy stamps. Instead, have your partner pitch in and pick up dry cleaning or do other errands to give you more time for work or home life.
One or two nights a week, have someone else cook dinner. Meal prep for the week to save time. Take advantage of anything that lightens your load and fits your household.
Don't forget self-care
With all the hustle and bustle of taking care of things, moms tend to overlook the most important person they care for: themselves! If you are letting yourself run on empty day after day, there's no way you can maintain a good work/life balance.
Always include a little “me” time into your weekly schedule. A bubble bath every other night, a weekly pedicure, or 30 minutes of reading every day. Remember that you can take days off of business and take that for yourself or extra family time. It'll all be there when you come back. Don't forget to take care of yourself and your job, family, and household.
A solid work/life balance is possible with the right plan and support system. It's all about making the most of your time daily. Of course, emergencies will happen; it won't always be perfect; that's part of life. However, learning to be more productive when it counts is the game's name if you want time for work and still have a happy, involved, and fulfilling life.