My husband was trying to fix something and the baby kept climbing on his lap. â€œSee, this is why I couldnâ€™t work at home. I would need a space somewhere away from it all.â€
What a wonderful luxury that would be â€“ to be able to work away from it all instead of in the midst of the chaos. The flaw in the idea is that I work at home so my children have a parent with them. If I worked somewhere else, I might as well get a job.
There are ways to balance home and work. Sometimes it requires creativity, sometimes it requires cooperation, but always it requires a sense of peace and flexibility.
1. Get up early. Getting up an hour or two early than the rest of the house lets me have creative time alone. Not only am I free from the kids, but I am free from the neighbors and relatives that donâ€™t get that Iâ€™m actually working.
2. Stay up late. Grab another hour or two after the children go to bed. This may mean turning off the television, but it is worth it. Save the television for special times instead of all the time.
3. Save the mundane for when the children are up. Wait to check on your web stats or emails until the action has started. You will be able to multi-task easier if you donâ€™t have to focus as hard.
4. Encourage the whole family to help out. Set aside thirty minutes or an hour (or what ever you think you need) to do chores around the house. Let the kids (and the hubby) help out. Assign tasks â€“ if you want â€“ or make a list and let everyone choose. If you work as a team, it will be done in a flash.
5. Donâ€™t stress if things donâ€™t go as planned. There are going to be days that the kids get up early or there are unexpected errands. Instead of having a panic attack, let some of your list go. Donâ€™t update your blog that day. Donâ€™t mail in the query. Give your self a break, and your family will thank you for it. The important thing is to work for a consistency but to plan time for the unplanned. (There's nothing to it, right?)
6. Do make a plan of attack. You WILL forget what you wanted to do if you donâ€™t make a list. I have a schedule that I want to try to follow and I have a list of things that I want to get done for the day. I can look at the schedule to see if Iâ€™m on time or what area I need to do next. I can look at my list to see what goals I want to accomplish.
b. Phone calls and emails
d. Writing (personal â€“ creative)
e. Writing jobs
7. Do make connections with like people. Other work-at-home types will be more sympathetic to your situation. Find a support group online, or start a club that can meet once or twice a month. They will be able to help you in your times of crisis and will be the encouragement that will keep you going when you want to give up.
Being a work-at-home-parent is no small task. It is a balancing act on the good days and a tornado on the bad days. Following these few, easy tips will help the good days out weigh the bad days and get you on the way to a successful business.
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