Ever since I started this website, figuring out how to juggle all my duties has been tough. Working from home presents an interesting dilemma. You can fit work in whenever you want…no rigid hours, no boss to answer to, no real schedule.
The truth is though, as much as those are POSITIVES, they are also big time NEGATIVES.
You fit in work whenever you want….which means you work…alot. Too much.
You have no rigid hours, which means that you don’t really ever shut things down. The computer is always sitting there, telling you that you could (and probably should) be doing more.
You have no boss to answer to, except yourself. Who is YOUR harshest critic? Exactly.
You have no real schedule, which also means that you don’t really have defined work time and play time. It all kind of meshes together, which for some is the best of both worlds. Honestly though, it just leaves me feeling like I’m lacking a bit in every department. I can’t ever sit down and tune out one area of my life while focusing 100% of my attention on another. They consistently mesh and leave me feeling like I’m just skating by, which makes me feel inadequate because mediocrity has always equaled failure in my eyes (see the harshest critic comment above).
So this year, we’ve enrolled our children in 5 day a week preschool (4 hours a day). I’m not going to lie, it’s been tough for me! I mean, I’m home…right? Shouldn’t my kids be with me? It’s contrary to everything I believe in to send my kids off (especially my 2 year old! I mean goodness, she’s just a BABY!), while I stay home…that’s just not how it works.
Except it does work. It’s only been a bit over a week, and life is slowly starting to come back together around here again. I’m giving more to my family because I’m focusing on work and house while they are away at work and school. When they are at school (kids) and work (husband) I clean my house. I work. When they come home, I can focus on THEM. Not for just 15 minutes here and there in between the load of laundry that needs folding and the pot of spaghetti sauce on the stove that is about to bubble over.
I am learning (slowly) how to manage my time so that when my family is home with me, they are my focus. I sat down yesterday and played Barbies (Mental Note: Buy Barbie Clothes, playing with naked Barbies is a bit awkward) with my daughter yesterday for 45 minutes. I didn’t have to worry about dinner. I didn’t have to worry about work. Everything in my household and in my work life was completed and on auto pilot.
My QUALITY time with my daughter was a great reminder that the QUANTITY of your time means nothing if it’s not really QUALITY time.
All this to say, I know I have a lot of work at home moms that read my blog. I know a lot of them are bloggers. I know a lot of them have their children at home with them and struggle with the balance between work and home life. I just want to say, it’s okay to get help. Maybe a preschool situation isn’t right (or feasible) for your family. Maybe it’s a friend you trade off babysitting duties with a few days a week. Maybe it’s hiring someone to do some light cleaning or to mow the lawn. Maybe it’s just getting your kids to pitch in more so the entire burden of running a household is NOT on you!
This isn’t a slam at stay at home moms that don’t work or moms that work outside the home. I’ve done both, and they come with their own struggles and triumphs.
Making the mindset change from being a stay at home mom to being a work from home mom was the best thing I’ve done for my family and for my website. It encouraged me to put up boundaries. It also taught me that it’s okay to get help (including hiring a VA, outsourcing my website design and of course, sending the kids to 5 day a week preschool).
If you are struggling with juggling, sit down and find a way to make your time work for you. Get help, ask for help and accept the help that has been given to you as guilt free as you possibly can (we’re mom’s…some guilt is par for the course 😉 ).
Oh and when you have the choice between Barbies and Conference Calls? Choose Barbies 😉