Working from home has its benefits. It gives you the freedom to work around everyone else’s schedule, so you can earn some money while still taking care of your home and your family. There are times, however, when situations make it challenging to work from home. Times such as when the kids are home from school, during the normally quiet and peaceful hours for you.
Don’t worry; we will offer lots of tips to help you still be productive even if you are dealing with less than ideal situations for working at home. First we will discuss specific times when it might be harder to work from home. Then we will discuss some additional tips for work at home moms.
Times When it is More Difficult to Work at Home
- Summer Break
Fortunately, the summer break from school is one that most work-at-home moms can prepare for. You can plan accordingly since you will know the school calendar’s start date and end date. This may mean changing your schedule to work around when the kids are awake. You can try planning more outings so you can then work when they are back home and napping or having quiet time.
You can also get the kids involved! This can mean handing out chores around the house to your kids or small tasks that will help with your business. This can not only take a bit off your plate, but it also teaches your kids life skills. Getting them involved can also inspire them to develop their own business or be excited to help you even more with yours.
Consider hiring a babysitter to come in and supervise your kids a few hours each week, so you have more time to work distraction-free. This can be a family member, a teenager, or a neighbor. Make sure you have a home office or other quiet place to go to when help is there so that you can make the most of this added time.
2. When Kids are Sick
There are times when motherly duties will be more important than your work. Having a sick child at home is one of those times. Since they will require more attention from you during the day, prepare for your schedule to be a bit shaken up and flexible when this occurs.
You will most likely still be able to fit in some work even with the illness. Kids need lots of rest when they are sick. Make sure they are comfortable, give them lots of love, and let them nap or watch TV from bed. Use their resting time to complete your most important tasks of the day or catch up on some emails.
If you have a laptop, try working while being right beside them. As long as you manage your time well and are flexible, you might still be able to finish your to-do list even while caring for your child.
3. Inclement Weather
Snow days or times when the weather prohibits the kids from being in school can be difficult for work-at-home moms. Your kids will likely be rambunctious since they are stuck in the house all day due to the weather. There are still ways for you to make the time you do have in the day count, though.
The flexibility you get as a work-at-home mom is advantageous on unexpected days, such as school snow days. You may have to move your responsibilities around or reschedule those that can wait. Let the kids play some games, or you can put on some exercise YouTube videos for them in the morning. That way, you will most likely be able to get some quiet time with them napping or reading in the afternoon.
Learn When to Say “No”
Not everyone understands that work-at-home moms still have responsibilities and work that they must get done. Since you are home, some people may think you can watch their children on school vacation days or expect that you will always be free for an impromptu lunch or shopping trip. Giving in to these expectations only reinforces their false beliefs and sets you up to not finish your tasks when you need to.
Having the discipline to say “no” to these requests will benefit you in the end. You will not only be able to get your work done, but you also won’t feel overwhelmed. If you wish to have lunch with a friend or family member, schedule it in advance. Remember, moms, need some downtime too!
If you have to, sit your loved ones down and explain the situation. Tell them the hours that you typically work. Let them know you will be unavailable during these times except for emergencies. Most people will be supportive and understanding and be happy to work around your schedule. For your friends and family to respect your working from home as a “real job,” you need to treat it like one and set some boundaries around protecting your time.
Learn to Be Flexible.
Although flexibility is mentioned a lot, it really is essential for work-at-home moms. Being self-employed gives you the freedom to work when you want, allowing you to handle unexpected situations more easily. Remember, a lot of the time that is also one of your reasons for working at home. Just be sure that you are taking into account that things sometimes happen unexpectedly.
Being understanding with yourself and knowing that unexpected things will happen in life helps a great deal when situations out of your control happen. Be kind to yourself, and remember that you still have tomorrow. Try not to burn yourself out or stress too much by trying to do it all at once. Get more tips for handling interruptions here.
Remember that you need to factor in rest time and self-care time. Be sure to take days off when you need them and take some of those last-minute invites to breakfast with friends when you need them. However, keep your list of priorities in check, and don’t constantly push your things to the side to help others. It’s all about balance. You can get some more work/life balance strategies here.
Work at home moms have some unexpected and challenging situations to deal with when it comes to schedules and making sure everyone is cared for. There will be times that take your focus away from your to-do list. Some of these events can be planned for, like school vacation days, while others will pop up and test your flexibility and juggling skills. What’s your best tip for work-at-home moms? Let us know in the comments below!
Work From Home Planner
Get this work from home planner that can help you stay organized and keep everything in one place when working from home. This planner is especially for work from home moms.
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