Can moms REALLY work at home? One blogger shares her REAL WORK SCHEDULE as well as three tips for working at home with young kids that have been CRUCIAL to her success.
I have been working at home for 10 years. That is CRAZY to me!! But, it is true. And considering that my kids are 11, 8 and 4 it is safe to say I have always had kids under foot while working at home.
One question I get a lot when other moms find out I work from home is “How do you do it?” We homeschool, and my kids are ALWAYS with me. Moms are busy enough, so most can’t imagine adding another thing (like working at home) to their list.
If you have considered working at home, or if you are just getting started working at home I have good news. Working at home with young kids CAN be done! I am sharing my REAL WORK SCHEDULE as well as three tips for working at home with young kids that have been CRUCIAL to my success.
Set Work Hours
When I first began my in home daycare business I did not have work hours. This meant that I often times had kids here from 6 am until bed time. Needless to say I burnt out quickly. When I began freelancing I found myself making the same mistake. Again, I burnt out very quickly.
The key to both of these jobs was setting work hours. Once limits are in place, you know when you SHOULD be working. If you have set work hours clients know when they can get a hold of you and when you are available to work.
When you have young kids at home, setting work hours is a HUGE help. You know when your kids nap, when they are at school or need to be doing school, you know when their appointments are, and when they play sports. So, you know when you are available to work. Having a set schedule also means that my kids know when I am working. We have established a routine, and even my youngest knows when it’s time for mommy to work.
For me, I work every morning from 6 am until 8 am, and then I have additional hours available throughout the week. This works with our homeschool schedule, my sons nap, and our day to day routine. Two evenings a week my hubby does bedtime routine, and one night he has a fun movie night/ice cream with the kids. This has been a HUGE benefit to our family and if you can set your work hours at some point to be distraction free I HIGHLY recommend it!
Create a Schedule
Once you have set work hours, what do you want to be doing during them? For awhile you may not have clients, this does NOT Mean you do something else during those work hours. Look for clients, take a class, find a way to build your business during this time. Set a work schedule and stick to it.
If you already have clients you can break down your work hours into the tasks you need to accomplish each week. For example, here is my Weekly Work Schedule.
You can see clearly what my work hours are. You can see what I need to do each day. At a quick glance I know what my work week entails. Use this Weekly Work Schedule Template to make one for yourself.
Creating a work schedule keeps me on task, I know what I need to do, and when I need to do it. This is crucial when you are a mom with young kids because we are SO busy! We don’t have time to get on the web and browse for “just” 5 minutes. Having a schedule allows us to see in front of us, what we need to be doing, and mindless browsing is NOT on that list!
When you work from home others may not realize you really are busy. Yes, this is sad, but true. SO, the biggest tip for working at home with young kids is to say NO!
Can you head up this field trip?
Do you want to teach at co-op?
Will you babysit my child?
Can we come over today and hang out?
If any of these questions will cause you to MISS work (see schedule and work hours) then the answer needs to be NO!
Why? Because you are running a business. You have a job. Yes, working at home is more flexible but that does not mean you need to say yes all the time. Saying no to outside distractions means you are saying yes to yourself, your job, and your business. It means you are saying no to being overwhelmed.
Saying no also comes into play when dealing with some clients, and when considering taking on more work. Say no if you know that more work will probably lead to burn out. Say no if you are in a season of babies, or have a child that needs more of you right now than usual. Say no to clients who constantly email you outside of your work hours. Say no to jobs that may interfere with your work schedule, or family life.
Why? Because you are a mom first! And you do not want your child’s memories to be of you being grumpy because you are always overwhelmed. By saying no you are saying yes to a more pleasant and joyful mommy and household.
Working at home with young kids can be a challenge, but it is also such a blessing. There have been many benefits to our family because I work at home. These benefits make the challenges worth it, and thanks to these tips my job is a little bit easier!