Managing a family and household can be very demanding. So, imagine how stressful it would be if you through a home-based business into the mix?! Well, even though the thought of working from home with a family might scare you half to death, you might be surprised to hear that there are a lot of women who already work like this. You might be even more shocked to find that this could be the best career option for you right now.
It makes sense when you think about it. It gives you the chance to keep on earning even when you are looking after your children. You can be there in their early years to witness all of their major milestones and you can even be there for them when they need a shoulder to cry on. All of this while you are successfully developing a freelance career or a small home-based company.
Sure, working from home when the family are also at home could be stressful at times, but there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you can create a balanced life. If you read on, you’ll find some great tips to make sure that working from home with a family works out for you!
Lower Your Expectations
First of all, it’s necessary to point out that you should probably lower your expectations. Sure, in your head you might see yourself looking sophisticated working at your desk while your children play quietly in the background. However, that might rarely happen. In fact, there’s a good chance that working from home can sometimes get chaotic, especially when the kids aren’t behaving themselves! Many women find that they have to lower their expectations when they start to work from home. They might not be able to work full-time as they will still have to spend some time with the kids. So, don’t think that this career change will position you as the ultimate #girlboss. You might have to sacrifice some things at work so that you can still dedicate plenty of time and attention to your children. That’s not a bad thing, though. As long as you are still bringing home the bacon and looking after your kids well, then there’s nothing more you can ask for!
Let Your Clients Know The Deal
It’s always a good idea to inform your clients of your situation. They will probably have an idea that you are working from home as you will be working for them remotely. But it’s also wise to let them know that you are only working part-time hours as you are also juggling family life. I’m sure that most clients will understand your situation as many will have their own families. Letting them know can help take some of the heat off you at work. They won’t give you too tight deadlines and will hopefully be a bit more flexible if you can’t meet a specific deadline for family reasons.
Find A Reliable Babysitter
You might find that you go through periods during which you get extremely busy with work. If this is the case, you might need a helping hand with looking after the kids. If your partner is away at work, then it could be wise to hire a reliable babysitter. It’s best to find a babysitter who can be flexible with their schedule so that they will be able to work whenever you need them. Going with a babysitter is, more often than not, the cheaper option compared to putting your kids into an all-day nursery or hiring a childminder to take care of them for the whole day. The babysitter will be able to come around and play with your kids as well as make them their lunch while you are busy at your desk. Don’t worry if you can’t quite afford a babysitter’s help. You could always see if a relative or friend who lives nearby is able to take care of your kids for a few hours each day.
Move Your Desk Close To The Kids
You’ll still be able to continue working from home even when the babysitter isn’t looking after your kids. You might just need to be creative with your work setup. For instance, it could be really beneficial to move your desk so that you can work closer to the kids. It may be a good idea to move your desk so that it is in their playroom, for instance. If you don’t have a playroom, then you can simply work from the living room and get the kids to play there while you work. That way, you can keep one eye on them while you are busy. One useful tip is to ban the TV or any electronics while you are working. The noise from these devices could be very distractful and could keep you from your work.
Take Advantage Of Nap Time
If your kids are still quite young, then they will probably be taking a few naps throughout the day. This is good news for all work-at-home moms as they provide you with the perfect chance to get some work done while your kids are asleep. In fact, you might even want to schedule some meetings for during nap time if your kids fall asleep at regular times each day.
Cut Down On Procrastination
It’s essential that you focus your mind while you are working as you might not have a whole load of time to get everything done. That’s especially important if you are juggling your work around childcare, as you may not be able to let your work spill over into the time when you should be with your kids. One thing that can help you to focus is to try to keep procrastination down to an absolute minimum. In order to do that, you might need to remove all forms of distractions from your workspace. So, it could be best to hide your phone so that you aren’t disturbed by its push notifications and messages. Keep the view from your desk as clear as possible so that nothing encourages your mind to wander.
Take Regular Breaks From Work
Another way to keep procrastination down to a minimum is to take regular breaks from your work. Ideally, you should take just five minutes for every hour of work. Even if the break is just long enough to walk to the kitchen to grab a drink, it will still be enough to refresh you and by the time you return back to your desk, you will find it much easier to focus and concentrate on your work. It’s also crucial that you take a full hour for lunch. Failing to do so, could end up in wasted time spent procrastinating when you should really be getting things done.
Work With Your Partner As A Team
If you and your partner work together as a team, then you should find that working from home with a family is a lot easier on you. For instance, you should split the household chores evenly between the two of you. That way, you aren’t trying to juggle them all alongside your career and looking after the kids. Many freelancers and home-based business owners find that they might have to work the odd weekend or evening on rare occasions. If this happens to you, then it’s only fair that your partner takes over looking after the kids. That way you can get on with your work and try to get finished in a timely manner!
Most full-time employers get really frustrated by being called into pointless meetings, and I’m sure that you do too. I’m afraid that you won’t be able to escape meetings completely by not working in an office – you might find that some clients are eager to hold Skype meetings with you. These can take you away from your work, though, so it’s a good idea to keep meeting times down to a minimum. Write up an agenda and stick to it so that you don’t end up going off topic. As mentioned previously, it’s also a good idea to try to schedule any meeting so that they fall during nap time. That way, you won’t have your kids disturbing you!
Plan All Your Weeks In Advance
Many work-at-home moms find that being highly organized can greatly help them get through their workload while also trying to look after the kids. The best way to stay on top of your organization is to keep a diary and to plan all of your weeks out in advance on Monday morning. This can also give you the chance to allocate hours in the day for working and childcare. Many women find that sticking up a wall planner on the wall just above their desk can help them give a great overview of the coming months.
Working from home even with a family can be a huge success. Make it work for you!