Balancing Family and Work When You Work at Home

(Part One: Working at home with children under school age)

Being a work at home mom is a reality for many mothers today. The benefits of being a work at home mom are many. You have the opportunity to remain at home with your children. The children will not have to go to daycare or have a babysitter during the workday. More time can be spent with your kids. As a mom who has a home based business, you are able to stay home with the children while still earning an income.

Is being a work at home mom as simple as it may sound? It certainly is not. This is especially true when your children are still younger than school age. Running a home based business while raising your family can be highly rewarding, but it also can be quite challenging. Operating a small business from home is a challenge in and of itself. You need to be able to put in the time necessary to make your business successful. Although many people want to run their own business to get out of the pattern of working a “nine to five” job, small business owners often find that flexibility in the hours your work are still needed. Some days you may finish work early, but other days you may need to put in a very long day.

Making the time needed for your business while caring for your children is not always easy. Your children come first and yet in order to succeed, you cannot neglect your business. A work from home parent must be able to utilize his or her time effectively in order to have the necessary balance between work and family. A key factor is being able to use your time efficiently. Make the most of the time you have in which you can concentrate entirely on your work. Some of your best work time might be in the morning before you children get up and after they go to bed at night. Another time to work is when the children are napping or playing. Being willing to work during these times and being flexible with your work hours will help you to have enough time for work while caring for your family.

What do you do when you have a deadline and just are not finding enough time to work? Consider having a back up plan for those times when you really need to get a lot of work done without interruptions. There are a few possible solutions for this particular challenge. Many work from home moms are now joining together to help one another become successful. Find other work at home mothers in your area and form a group with them. You can then help one another by exchanging the occasional babysitting assistance. This is, of course, after you get to know each of the mothers well and have developed a great deal of trust in them. From time to time you can all help one another by babysitting each other’s children. This week you may need a few hours to yourself to get some major work accomplished. Next week one of the other moms may need your help. By helping one another, all the work at home moms in your group can be successful.

There are other possible solutions if you need some time here and there to work without the children. Perhaps your spouse can take the kids out for a few hours one evening or for a few hours during the weekend. This will provide you with time to work while assuring that your children are happy and safe. Your spouse also is given an opportunity to spend some quality time with the children on his own. Everyone can benefit from this solution.

As a work from home mom, you must be organized. When raising children your day is relatively unpredictable. However, your children are likely to be on some type of a schedule. This can help you to plan your day to a point. You can create a rough schedule for when you will work and when you will do your household work and run any necessary errands. Having a rough estimate of your schedule will help you to plan your day and utilize your time wisely. This schedule also can help you to stay on task and to work towards accomplishing everything you need to accomplish for both work and home.

When working from home, have a game plan for what you will do when you need to complete some work without interruption. There may be times when you need to work on a project when the children are not at home. Take the time to plan a generic schedule for your day. You probably will not be able to stick to the schedule entirely. However, having a basic plan will help you to accomplish what you need to achieve each day.