Balancing Mommy Duties and Work – When You are Self-Employed
When you are a mother who works from home a balancing act between your family life and your working life must be established. It would be wonderful if it was a gentle balancing act that is very smooth but sometimes it is not so easy and instead ends up being very messy!
You may have thought being self-employed would be easier on your family, especially if you have young children to raise, but sometimes it is just as complicated because the boundary lines are blurred. You are working out of your home office and since you are home more often your children do not necessarily understand that you still have work to do.
Achieving a work life balance that is harmonious and works for both your personal life and your career is not a simple task. Just when you think you have it figured out the two worlds can collide- WHAM! – and then you have to stop and re-evaluate and reassess your priorities and make the necessary changes to make it all work well. Complete harmony? Maybe not but at least you can strive for a workable and manageable relationship between the life you live and the work you do.
It may be some consolation to know that your choice to become self-employed is a choice that more and more people are making all of the time. These same people are also looking for ways to balance out their lives in order that no one gets left out. According to the Kauffman Foundation, an entrepreneurship research organization, more individuals started their own businesses in 2009 than at any time in the preceding 14 years. This includes not only starting a new business, but buying an existing business, partnering up with someone else or investing in a franchise.
There are a few important things you can do when it comes to balancing out your life when you are a self-employed mother. Let us look at those now.
Always keep your priorities in sight
Know what is most important and what is least important and work from there. Set your goals for the month and then break them down into manageable goals by the week or even by the day. Being aware of your priorities and being as organized as possible go together and can make a tremendous difference when it comes to balancing your mommy duties with your workload. Keep your calendar or your planner with you at all times. In this way you will be aware of how you are spending your time and you will also be able to determine what you should commit more time to and what takes up too much of your time and can be allocated a shorter time period.
Learn what works and then do that
If you are more productive at your job when your kids are in school during the mornings then use that time to make business calls, type up reports, meet with clients, do research and so on. Be proactive in how you approach things. If you always pick up your kids and their friends from school and it has started to cause some problems for you when it comes to your work schedule then find out if other mothers could share this responsibility with you. Maybe you could trade off on days. Taking turns can make it easier for you to find and keep your work/life balance.
Set a work schedule for yourself
The great thing about being self-employed is that you can set your own hours and you do not necessarily have to work a 9 to 5 or an 8 to 4 work day. But having work hours that flip flop all over the place can be as confusing for you as it can be for everyone else in your personal life and your working life! You can still have flexibility when you are self-employed but working crazy hours is not advisable. Developing a routine and sticking with it can help you to set boundaries that separate your work from your family life and can make keeping everything in perspective that much simpler.