5 Keys to Balance for the Work-at-home Mom

 By: Kim Christopherson
Phew. I just got breakfast on the table for my preschooler and I can sit down at the computer for a minute. I can finally check my morning email. "Mom!" I run over to the kitchen. Cherrios are all over the floor and now I hear the baby waking up. Little does the customer know on the other end of the computer that this email will have to wait for an unforeseen amount of time today. Oh, the life of the work-at-home mom! Can you relate?

Since being in business for myself, I've really had to step back on more than one occasion and re-evaluate where my priorities were. How could I put my family first, yet continue my dreams of building my business? Well, I think I've come up with a few answers that have worked well for me.

1. Sacrifice Means Giving More

Because I know that once my children start their day, my day revs up to speed mode the second they wake up. That leaves me virtually no time to work on business. And I've learned that in my situation, that's OK! Isn't that why I chose to be home in the first place? So sometimes that means I have to sacrifice some of my time early in the mornings before the rest of my family wakes up. I can guarantee that if I wake up 2-3 hours before the rest of the alarms go off in the house, those hours will be filled with real, solid work. It's a great way to start my morning, knowing that I was able to answer important emails, make new contacts, write ads, and do other important work that needs to be done. Sacrificing a little sleep means I'm giving more to myself and my family.

2. Turn Off the Computer

When my children are home, I've learned that I must turn off the computer. They need to know through my actions that I am there to talk about their day, help with homework, or get them to where they need to go. I find that when the computer is completely off, then I am not tempted to work on it and get involved with business when I have a million more things going on right in front of me. This has not always been an easy thing to do, but my concentrated effort in this has been worth it.

3. Set Office Hours for Yourself

If you can set some hours for yourself to spend on work, then you can try to forget about it during other hours of the day. Those office hours may include early mornings, time while children are in school or napping, and later in the evenings. If it is important for hours to be during the day, you may want to consider hiring a sitter for those times, or try trading babysitting with a friend or neighbor. It's amazing how much you can really accomplish with your workload when you are given a "chunk" of time all at once to completely immerse yourself in your work... without the guilt!

4. Find Support

There are so many online services where women who work from home can network with others in their niche, as well as offer support and encouragement. Take the opportunity to find these sites which will help you grow your business, balance your commitments, and love what you do! Joining and participating in forums, reading articles, and learning all that you can in each of these areas, will help you be the best mom and business woman you can be.

5. Let Your Children See You Soar!

I think it is so important for your children to see mom work hard at obtaining her goals and following her passions. You are setting a fine example to them of hard work and dedication. You are also showing them that they are #1 in your life by the way you prioritize and schedule your work-at-home day. You're going to have your good days and your bad days. Everyone's situation is different, so you must do what works best for you and your family. In the end, you will know what you really want out of life and how to get there. Remember, you don't need to give up your dreams; they just continue to get bigger and better as you balance all the wonderful things in your life!
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