Today on episode 24 I’ll be talking all about balancing work and home, and tips and tricks to make that a little easier.
As of this past spring, I’ve been working from home 100% of the time. That wasn’t always the case. I’ve worked a 9-5, ran a small business, plus blogging. Every once in awhile I’d take on VA work as well!
Realize It’s Going To Be Hard
I have a daughter who will be 4 soon. Kids are hard, and caring for your family is hard. You have to decide if it’s worth it for you. For me, it was. I knew early on that I didn’t want to work a 9 to 5 my whole life. It’s give and take, and you can make it work. It may not work just how you expected it to, but it can work!
Talk To Your Family
If you have a husband and kids it’s good to talk to them first. It’s harder to talk to small children because they may not comprehend, but they also don’t know any better. They have never had another mom, so they don’t know what else it could be. You’re doing the way that they know.
My daughter who is almost 4 just thinks this is normal. Mommy works. She knows if I’m at the computer, or have the laptop while we’re watching shows, that I’m working. She doesn’t know any different. When she was a baby and I was doing the small business, I’d be working during her naptime. I couldn’t do the whole “nap when your kid naps” thing.
Sometimes I felt like a horrible mother. Sometimes I felt like I was neglecting my child. I talked to my daughter about it, and even did a few mini interviews with her on Sandbox to Success asking her what she things I does. She doesn’t know any better.
My husband, on the other hand, does. I don’t want him to feel neglected, or that I’m taking our relationship for granted. That open communication is important, even if it may not be what you want to hear. He works nights so we might not get a whole lot of time together. He sleeps during the day while I’m working, and I parent at night while he’s at work. I try to be more flexible, and put aside at least two or three hours to spend time with him of non-working time.
I found it easiest to get out of the space, and plan something for us to do outside the home. If you get out of the area that you mostly do your work in, it’s harder to do work. This lends to better quality time with your family. We do things like going for a walk, to a restaurant, to the library, etc. It’s about quality, not quantity.
Try Different Times To See What Works
For me, it seemed like I was working all the time. I’d still moments to work throughout the day, but found that by about 11 at night I’d be completely useless. It may be waking up early for you. I work for about half and hour in the morning, while my husband gets my daughter ready for school. I’ve found that time allows me to just knock it out. I then take my daughter to the bus stop to get that time, and when I get back home I have time to eat breakfast and finish any contract work I still have. I then do things that I like to do, and tie up any lose ends.
For you, it may be late at night that works best for you. Maybe you can completely rock it out after the kids go to bed at night.
Write Things Down
I always have a “to-do” list written down. This allows you to be more productive when you sit down to work. I spend a lot of time working, but not in the right areas. I felt like I was working all the time, but I wasn’t working at the right things. Set your goals, and script your to-do list around that. Maybe your goal is to reach 10,000 visitors a month. Your to-do list may be to submit to linkys, work on SEO, look on Facebook Groups, listen to podcast…etc. Listening is great, by the way, but you need to implement as well.
When I worked outside the home, I’d keep a list of things I wanted to do. When I had the 2-3 hours of time to work on the things that I needed to do. You also need to organize your to-do list in order of importance Things you’re getting paid to do should be at the top of the list. You don’t want to start flaking off because you’re too busy. You need to hit deadlines for sponsored work and paid work as well. Make a hierarchy. On Sunday, I can’t do anything with my family unless my whole to-do list is done. That’s how I know I’ve hit what I needed to do.
Seize The Moment
We can’t be all things for all people at all times. Sometimes that means your business goes by the wayside, because things come up with your family. Maybe it’s because of a baseball game, or event you need to attend. Maybe you just want to spend extra time with your family and make some memories. That’s okay. We can’t be business people and sacrifice our children in order to do that. The balance won’t be perfectly equal at all times. When you think about that lady who holds the scale, you always see her and she’s always tilted. Home is the bigger priority, particularly with smaller children, but you can add your kids into the work and tip the scales at times when you need to.
I hope these tips will be helpful to you in balancing your home/work life a little better! Until next time, thanks for listening to the Sandbox to Success podcast, with your host: Katrina M. Thom. If you like what you just heard, leave us a message at ITunes or Stitcher. We would also love to hear what you have to say. Use the hashtag #totspodcast to connect with us on twitter. Don’t forget to check out the show notes, which can be found at www.totsbusiness.com. Join us next time for another edition of the Sandbox to Success podcast. Have an AWESOME day!