As a work at home mom, you need a work life balance. There’s no ifs or buts about it.
Trust me when I say that I’ve tried not having the balance. I’ve worked all hours and neglected some of my family life and me time. You know what I got for it? I hated everything. I started to hate my work and I resented not getting to see my family grow and adapt.
Well, in 2016 I decided that enough was enough. I was getting that work life balance back so that I could be around my two beautiful daughters and actually get time for myself. Granted, this was made easier in the summer when I became the sole earner with a strict schedule and my husband became a stay at home dad. I didn’t have to balance as much – or be the primary parent.
But I still had to take steps to keep the work life balance in order.
It is definitely not easy to do. I had to work hard to finish my work on time and not neglect anyone in my life. So these are the steps that I took to get a work life balance as a work at home mom. These are my 5 top tips for work at home moms everywhere.
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#1. I Tracked Every Little Bit of My Working Day
I needed to know where my time was going first. During September 2016, I realized that I was working far too much. I wasn’t finishing until 8pm and that was only because I’d just had enough. There were things left over for the next day.
When I started tracking my time it was hard. I had to write down all the places that I started procrastinating and the things I did that weren’t part of my business. I had to re-evaluate everything that I was doing.
It was an honest wakeup call to see just where I was wasting the hours in my day. Tracking time meant that I got my hours back. Now I finish no later than 6pm for the regular day – I have TV show recaps at the end of the day to do but I have no choice over that schedule!
I strongly encourage tracking your time and not just as a work at home mom. All business owners should track their time.
#2. I Made My Working Times Known
Because the apartment is open plan, two-bedroom, I had little choice over where the office went. I couldn’t have a room to myself and I have nothing to partition my desk off.
It makes working from home hard. My children see me and they want to spend time with me. My husband had to get out of the habit of asking me questions just because I was in earshot.
After a few weeks of it all going to pot, I decided to set some strict working hours. Between the times of 9am and 6pm I am off limits, except for in emergencies or at lunch. If there are appointments or things at school, I will schedule them into the diary but I need to know about them in advance.
Making my working times known has been beneficial. My elder daughter (the younger one is too young to understand yet) knows that if I’m at my desk then I’m working. That means not to disturb me. Anywhere else and she knows I’m free to talk to – and she loves it when I do get away from the desk and is always waiting for something!
My day goes a lot quicker because I’m not constantly trying to field questions, have quick conversations, and divert my attention from my work.
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#3. I Have Set Days Off Work
From Saturday midday to Sunday night I am officially off duty. That means no work for me. I try to have the whole of Saturday off but TV show recaps can sometimes get in the way – if I haven’t been able to do them on the Friday night.
Having set days off work means that I have time that is just with my family. I don’t even check my emails on these days, except for first thing in a morning and once the girls are in bed for 5 minutes maximum. Most things can wait until Mondays.
As a work at home mom, it’s hard to leave work behind. You don’t come home from an office and leave work at work. It’s looking at you and encouraging you to come back over. You likely do a lot from your phone, which is always in your hand, right?
This is one of the hardest parts for work at home moms to get a work life balance. You need to find a way to deal with not working. I let the laptop battery die over the weekend, because it’s always annoying sitting with the charger plugged in. When I have a coffee on a Monday morning, I plug the laptop in and start it charging again.
#4. I Outsource Some of My Tasks
There’s no way that I could do it all. Outsourcing is key for getting a work life balance.
Work at home moms can’t always afford it. The good news is that there are virtual assistants, social media marketers, and more within your price range. You just need to know where to look or limit the amount of time that you spend with them.
My social media is something that I currently outsource, although I’m starting to take some of that back as I’ve found tools to streamline it all for me. I’m looking into a VA for some of my admin work because that actually takes up more time than social media!
If you need to outsource your blogging, I am certainly your girl for that.
#5. I Learned to Say No
Work at home moms will struggle with this part of a work life balance. We want to please everyone.
The kids have a basketball game, so we have to go to support them – even though Dad could go this time. There’s a doctor’s appointment that Daddy is taking the baby to, but we have to be there anyway. A client wants us to do extra work, even though it means cutting into our Sunday off. Friends want to meet for lunch just to chat, even though they’re in the area and could wait until the weekend.
Trying to say no to things is hard. I know how you feel!
Well, it’s time to learn it. This really has been a lifesaver for me and my business. I now have time for myself, because I make it clear that I’m not doing anything else other than my gym session on a morning. I turned down dinner at a family member’s house because I wanted to chill out with the family and catch the Super Bowl! It was the family plan that we’d had for weeks – that one wasn’t an outright now and more like “that day doesn’t work, what about this day instead?”
It’s okay to say no now and then. And if you can’t say no, then offer an alternative. Family members, friends, clients, and your team members will understand. The kids will be disappointed but they get it – and saying no to one thing when you say yes to nine others won’t stand out for them!
It’s time to get your work life balance back in order with these tips for work at home moms. This is hard but I know you can do it.
Are you struggling to get your work life balance in order because of your blogging needs? Why not outsource them? I can offer competitive rates to suit your work at home mom budget.