The Biggest Challenge for a Work at Home Mom

Image Credit Kristin Smith via SXC.hu

These days, there are different types of work at home moms.

For example, there’s the mom who is in direct sales, bloggers, freelancers, virtual assistants, consultants and the list goes on.  There is literally no shortage of opportunity for moms to work at home and take care of their children while earning money.

But we all seem to have the same common challenge: balance.

Balance with work and home life is hard enough to achieve, but it’s even more difficult when you work at home.  It feels like you never leave the office, it’s challenging to unplug and you really have to focus on your priorities.

When I worked in a regular J-O-B, one of my biggest complaints was quality of life.  I worked 65+ hours and it was expected.  The harder I worked, the more they expected.  We never really had “family time”.  Even when I was on vacation, I answered calls, texts and emails.

Guess who was the dummy….

Now though I realize that balance is difficult to achieve no matter where you work.  However, it is possible if you make it a priority.

For example, I really work hard at not “working” when the kids are home and playing.  I try to focus on them 100% of the time, although most of the time it’s like 80/20 because they are older and can play together so I take that opportunity to do stuff around the house.  Laundry, dishes, making lunch, etc.   Sometimes I even read.  WOW!

Now when they go down for a nap or “quiet time” that’s when I get on the computer and work.  I work fast and furious so that I can accomplish as much as possible while they are down for maybe an hour.  However, I have been VERY lucky the last three months because they have been in school, so I have a whole 3 hours in the morning to work and be as productive as possible.  This has really helped our family time at night.

Before they started going to school, I would only work during nap times and in the evening after dinner.  This meant “family time” was almost non-existent unless I wasn’t working.

Finding balance as a work at home mom has been a challenge, but I’ve narrowed it down to 3 things:

  1. Prioritizing
  2. Scheduling
  3. Organizing

I am a neurotic planner and I still use a paper planner.  ~gasp~  I have a big calendar on my refrigerator for all the family things and I use Google Calendar to keep everything on track.

Some days are harder than others, but at the end of the day I can breathe a deep sigh of relief that I am able to do this for myself, my children and my family.

How do you strive to find balance in your personal and work life?

About IvetteMarketing

Ivette Muller and her husband of 16 years have two beautiful toddler girls. She has been working from home as an Internet Marketing Consultant after the birth of her first daughter more than 4 years ago. You can learn more about different opportunities to work from home on her blog, Work At Home Mom, Busy and Happy Mom.