I have been a work at home since my first child was born, and let me be honest with you, it is no easy task. I don’t even pull part time hours, I pull about twelve to be exact, but if I am not intentional with my time at home then those twelve hours aren’t happening. The more kids I add into the mix, the harder it gets. The one question I find people asking is how in the world do I manage it all? To be completely honest, I haven’t mastered it. It’s a constant juggling act of prioritizing what needs to be done and dividing my attention in a hundred different directions.
But if I was going to tell you the secret to it all, here is what I would tell you:
Take control of your time. The best way to take control of your time is to look at what you do during the day, break it up into time frames, and see what you are spending your time on. This can be really eye opening on where your time is going and what you need to do better at prioritizing. Doing this helped me to see how much time I have during the day and where my time could best be spent.
I am not the type of girl to carry around a planner and have every time slot filled, that does not come naturally to me, but this is something I have to make myself do to succeed working from home. The more I grow this blog into a business, the more I need to get in there and organize my time even more. At this point, I am working two jobs from home, in addition to being a mom. It’s no easy task, especially if I let my time control me.
Be okay with letting the kids play alone. This was the hardest concept for me to grasp. I felt like it was my children one hundred percent of the time, but that’s not true. It is so good for kids, in fact it’s very important, for them to learn to play on their own as well! Self play is a great way for their imagination to grow.
Now, depending on the personality of your child they may need a little attention here and there. My son doesn’t like to stay in a room alone. So I don’t really have an office, I work on the couch or table in the same room as him. He plays well that way and it works. My daughter is very much a cuddle bug and sometimes she needs to crawl up on my lap and sit with me for a moment, and she will return to playing. They will learn to play alone and it’s okay to say no. If you balance your time well, it leaves more time to spend with your children where you can truly focus on time with just them.
Give yourself an unending amount of grace. There will be many days that you will totally mess up the whole take control of your time thing. You will realize you spent way too much time on one task, and not enough time on another. The kids may not stick to the schedule that you had in mind or they may demand a lot more attention from you. The most important thing to remember is that grace abounds in those moments as much as you are willing to accept it.
Honestly, you won’t get it all done. You can’t do it all. Some things you will learn to let go of. Some things you will learn to ask for help on. Some things you will learn don’t matter as much as you thought they did. You will find the groove and you’ll learn what works for you.
Being a work at home mom can be manageable and it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Do you work from home? What do you feel has helped you in your work at home journey?