A WAHM’s Guide to Balancing Work and Family

Sometimes, being a work at home mom can feel like walking on a suspension bridge with missing planks! Your laundry is staring you in the face while you’re working, and oftentimes your kids are, too.  When you’re doing the laundry or playing with the kids, oftentimes your mind is on your business.

Balancing your work-time and your family-time can be overwhelming sometimes, but by following a few simple tips, it can be done.  AND you get to keep a shred of your sanity as part of the bargain.  🙂

You have the ability to set your own hours, so take advantage of that right now. If you can handle some tasks at “odd hours” of the day, you will have more family time during the day. Are you a morning person? If so, try to get up an hour before your family to take advantage of some “quiet time” to focus on your business; night owls can take care of emails and other administrative tasks after they have put their children to bed.   (Just don’t  stay up TOO late, especially if you need to be up and “on” for the kids first thing in the morning!)

If you pick your children up from school, use the time you spend waiting for them to return customer phone calls.  A wireless headset for your cell phone will allow you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road if you make calls while driving.

I once did a Service-based home business, and we received our training via emails and training websites.  If you are in a similar type of business, print out your training info and stash it in your purse.  You can take it out while you’re sitting in the car waiting for the kids (with the car in “Park”, please!), in line at the Supermarket, or even while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office.

During the week, when schedules are busiest, plan quick and easy dinners. Let your kids help out in the kitchen while you cook – you’ll be spending time together and teaching them skills they will need. There are plenty of cookbooks out there dedicated to “kid friendly recipes” if you need some inspiration on what to make.  Also remember that the Crock Pot is your friend!  You can put a whole chicken or even a lasagna in some of the bigger crock pots, and you don’t have to worry about trying to cook and simultaneously distract cranky, hungry kids (or husbands!).  Try planning your meals at the beginning of the week (this saves you time and money!).  If you need some additional meal-planning tips, try an online service like Dine Without Whine – A Weekly Menu Plan & Grocery List Delivered To Your E-mail Box or Menu Planning Central.

Get the kids involved in your business as much as possible. Smaller children can put stamps or mailing labels on envelopes;  older children can help hang flyers; and teenagers can take on some administrative tasks like data entry.  This method allows you to have a little extra “face-time” with the kids while they’re doing these tasks for you, and will hopefully free up some of your time that you can invest back into the kiddos.  Which brings us to the next tip:

Set aside some time each day to spend with your children with no distractions (that means no phone and no computer!). You don’t have to go anywhere special; the time can be spent reading a book, playing a game, or spending time outside together. The point is just to let your children know that they come first, and the business comes second.

Remember – you became a work at home mom so you could spend time with your family. Don’t forget to take some time out to enjoy them!