Becoming a work-at-home mom is a gift that will provide long-term benefits for both yourself, your spouse, and your children. This is a career that delivers you the ultimate in flexibility, unlimited earnings, and personal satisfaction. Many parents had to transition into this way of working over the past few years.
For most men and women who pursue an online entrepreneurial position, the journey can be a frazzling one. Instead of clocking in at a typical nine to five job, where someone else is deciding everything you do that day, you have the freedom as well as the obligation of setting your schedule and determining what takes priority in your day.
If you want to succeed while enjoying all of the perks this career has to offer, then you need to carefully strategize your work-at-home situation so that it’s more of a blessing than a burden.
Mommy Blogger Exhaustion Doesn’t Have to Hold You Back
We all know that many stay-at-home parents, both moms, and dads, can suffer from exhaustion. Taking care of all of their children’s needs as well as their own can be exhausting at times.
Combine basic caretaking with the fact that there are errands to run, a house to keep clean, and other factors and it can easily become a process that feels more overwhelming than enjoyable.
If you have embarked on a career as a work-at-home mom, trying to maintain a leadership presence on a blog while leading your niche audience, you may have struggled to achieve the work-life balance you hoped would materialize.
While stay-at-home parents can suffer from daily exhaustion, imagine adding the burden of an entire career onto an already chaotic schedule. Some women become so burnt out that they missed the days of working in the corporate world.
There is no reason for you to work yourself to the point that you regret this career choice. You have your own reasons for wanting to be a work-at-home parent. Perhaps you wanted to spend more time with your children and attend to their needs. For me, it was to be able to spend time with my disabled husband and my elderly mother. Eleven years after I made the choice to work from home it has become even more beneficial allowing me the time to spend time and help out with my grandaughters.
Maybe you were tired of being passed over for promotions in the corporate world and wanted to set your own income in the future. Or, you may just feel enthusiastic about tapping into a niche that you enjoy where you can help others. Maybe you are tired of the long commutes.
Whatever the reason, you no longer have to suffer in silence as you wake up each day to care for your family, keep a clean and tidy household, and strive to fit tasks in that will help your income grow.
If you have paid attention to other parents who enjoy a work-at-home career, you will notice that no two families are alike. There is no one right or wrong way to manage a work-at-home lifestyle.
You have to do what works for you. That may mean taking a nap in the middle of the day or working after the children are asleep. It might mean you work fewer days, but longer hours on those days. It might mean you take a few days off during the week and work on the weekends when your partner is home or a grandparent can help out with the children. Homeschooling families have some of the same obstacles to overcome.
Don’t compare yourself to other parents and how they do things. There are some online entrepreneurs who can sit in a noisy room and run a business, while others need peace and quiet away from their loved ones to be productive.
If you are only paying attention to what your fellow entrepreneurs put out to the public eye, you may be unnecessarily beating yourself up or not being able to handle the work-at-home life flawlessly. Some people realize after a trial period working from home is not the best option for them.
Analyzing the Needs of Your Family
The first thing you want to do to protect your own sanity and that of your family is to sit down and figure out what everyone’s needs are. You not only want to think of yourself, but also your spouse or partner, and your children.
For organization purposes, it may be helpful to start by working out a schedule of everyone’s day. If your daughter has ballet class every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00 PM, then you need to know so you can block that time off to take her.
It helps to have everything written down so that you can glance at the time you have available to work versus the time you need to put toward the raising of your family as well as self-care issues.
Initially, block out time for things like appointments, errands, classes, and meetings. Look ahead if possible so you can map out things like meet the teacher night at school or an upcoming dental appointment six weeks away.
If there are any errands or other issues that you handle for other individuals outside your home, such as your elderly parents, make sure those are on your schedule as well. It may be an ongoing task or something that only happens once or twice per year.
Once you have this mapped out, you want to take into consideration the other things you have to worry about as a parent and spouse. For example, there will be a requirement of time to handle necessary tasks, like giving your toddler a bath or fixing dinner for the family.
You want to give yourself ample time to handle these issues without rushing through them. If you cut corners and force yourself to hurry through them, your loved ones will feel neglected and you will be unfulfilled in terms of personal satisfaction.
You want to map out all of the tasks that need to be handled on a daily basis that require time. These include things such as fixing and packing lunches, carpools, cleaning the house, etc.
After all of this time is marked off your schedule, you also want to include downtime. This is time not only built-in for yourself, but for your loved ones. As a work-at-home mom, one of the perks is that you get to dote on your children on a regular basis.
So you may want to schedule a certain amount of time that can be broken up during the day to do things like reading a book to your child, taking them to the park unexpectedly, or simply snuggling up with your spouse to watch a movie at the end of a long day.
Now that your personal needs have been allotted, you need to figure out what will be required from your business in order to run it effectively. There are many business models online that entrepreneurs can pursue where you can work as little or as much as you want to.
For example, if you are an affiliate marketer with a niche blog, you can create a product review every single day or just twice a week. Other business models may require a bit more dedication.
For example, if you decide to become a vendor of info products, you will have to set a schedule of some kind and maintain it. Your affiliates will expect the launch to happen at a certain date.
If your product is one that requires your attention for the customer, such as coaching, then you’ll need to set aside enough time to meet their needs as well. You don’t want to spread yourself so thin that either your family or your online audience ends up frustrated.
Not only will they be disappointed with your performance and dedication, but you will also feel like a failure if you cannot live up to your obligations. This can cause undue stress that can easily be avoided.
Devising a Schedule that Delivers on Personal Satisfaction and Self-Care
You need to set a schedule that not only delivers on personal satisfaction with your career and care of others but also for yourself. Engaging in self-care is an important part of being a work-at-home entrepreneur.
One of the most wonderful perks of working in this situation is that you can participate in a self-care task at any time of the day, for any reason. Whether it’s for routine care or because you feel stressed about a particular situation or task, you can break from your work and take care of yourself immediately.
The first thing you want to do in terms of self-care is to start your day off on the right foot. Think about what it is that helps you start your day feeling energetic, positive, and productive.
Perhaps you enjoy a routine where you wake up slowly, hop in the shower, enjoy a cup of coffee and spend time with your kids over breakfast. It’s important that you allow yourself these simple pleasures so that you don’t feel rushed and frazzled before work.
Much of your schedule for all of your tasks, including self-care, will depend on the age of your children. If you have very young children who require your help and supervision, then you may not be able to work as many hours in one block as you want.
For example, you might be able to start work on a new info product, only to be interrupted repeatedly by a toddler who is trying to cause destruction in the room. You may have to start and stop your projects on a regular basis until the child is old enough to follow directions and self-supervise. One solution is to plan special activities you bring out for your child to do while you are working but still available to supervise them and assist as needed. Coloring, playing with playdough, painting, working puzzles are just a few ideas to keep them busy. As any parent of a toddler knows, their attention span is short so your work time will be short and full of interruptions. Your free work time might be centered around nap time, evenings after they are in bed, or during the time a nanny, partner, or grandparent helps out.
Keep in mind that these are issues that will get better with time. You may even encounter a situation where your spouse or other friends or loved ones neglect the fact that you are working on a career and constantly interrupt your workflow.
They may pop in unexpectedly, assume you will run errands for them, and basically ignore the fact that you’re a work-at-home mom. This is where it becomes vital that you protect your self-interests.
Be sure to set boundaries with everyone in your life so that they know when you are working and when you are available to cater to their needs. This is easier to achieve when you are dealing with older children, a spouse, and other adults.
In terms of self-care and feeling good throughout the day, there are certain things you want to do that will boost your ability to be a good niche leader. First, you want to start with getting plenty of rest.
Not only does a good sleep schedule help you physically, but it can contribute to better overall mental functionality. You will be sharp and capable of focusing on the task at hand when you have achieved a good sleep the night before.
If you have a child who keeps you up at night, make it a priority to sneak in extra rest whenever possible. If that means taking a nap in the middle of the day, then so be it. You will be a better entrepreneur, a better mom, and a better individual if you prioritize sleep.
If you find that your schedule is taken up by meals, you may want to work on devising a meal prepping schedule that helps you and your family with time management. For example, you can make and freeze a weeks’ worth of meals once on the weekend and simply put them in the oven each day. I enjoy making a big pot of chicken and dumplings, stew, or various soups and freezing them in smaller portions. You can also can meals and meat in quart or pint jars for family size or individual meals. Planning ahead helps a lot. Don’t forget about meal planning companies that deliver everything you need to put your weekly meals together. There are companies like Daily Harvest that deliver frozen smoothies to your door.
Make a list of different self-care activities that help you feel more relaxed and happy. For example, maybe you love applying hydrating face masks to keep your skin looking and feeling young or having your nails done.
If you find yourself stressed for time, you can combine certain activities so that you still get the self-care that you wanted, without sacrificing it for something else. For example, working from home, you can wear a face mask anytime you like – even while recording a presentation slide video – because no one will know.
If there are times when you feel like your brain needs a break, then you might bounce back and forth between work and relaxing tasks. For example, you might write one page of a report that you’re working on, and then take a 15-minute break to watch a show that you enjoy or read a book.
Delegating and Outsourcing to Free Up More Time
As much as it will help for you to devise a schedule, learn to multitask, and prioritize self-care, there will be some things that require more time than you have during the day. It can cause stress in a marriage and as a parent, so you need to find a way to handle it before it gets out of control.
You may or may not have an attentive spouse or older children who can step up to the plate and help out. For example, if you have a teenager, they are capable of doing some chores around the house.
You may run into a problem where your spouse balks at the request to help because he works outside of the home. He assumes that because you are physically present in the house all day, there is no reason you can’t have everything done while you’re there.
This is a common frustration for many work-at-home moms. You need to lovingly explain how a work-at-home career works, and have your schedule and obligations mapped out so that you can give them a visual tool to understand the situation.
While your household would ideally be made up of individuals who all contributed to running it smoothly, that’s not always the case. You may be a single mom. Or, you may have a spouse who is unwilling or unable to assist you.
In this case, you may need to outsource some things so that you can free up time to work on your business. There is no shame in needing this type of help. There are many individuals who would love to lend a hand, either for free or for a fee.
A good example of this would be to find a fellow parent who could give your kids a ride to school and back home at the end of the day. A carpool can often take quite a while, sitting in lines that never seem to move.
If they live near you, most people probably wouldn’t charge anything, although you can offer a small amount to pitch in for gas as a thank you. You may even be able to ask your spouse to drop the kids off on their way to work so that you could free up a bit of time in the morning to achieve more. Some families trade off days shuttling the kids around.
Every family will have different areas of their lives that seem to cause more stress for them. For you, it may be a messy household. If this is the case, you may want to set aside a little bit of money for a maid service to come in once or twice a week for you.
With some things such as cleaning, you can help teach better behaviors that will lessen your load. A good example of this would be dishes. Instead of everyone in the house piling up their dishes in the sink for you to do later, you could teach them how to rinse off the dishes they used and put them in the dishwasher themselves. Have older kids wash their own laundry. Setting up cleaning schedules and chore charts can help everyone be reminded of their individual responsibilities.
Consider Building Your Business Around What You Love
If you feel as if there’s no way to build a business with the limited amount of time that you have, then you may want to consider switching business models or niche topics. If you are trying to be an info product creator, but you are constantly interrupted, you might want to switch to an affiliate marketing model.
Instead of having to brainstorm innovative ideas and share them, you will simply be reviewing an existing product and talking about the benefits and drawbacks compared to other products on the market.
It requires much less brainpower and focus to do this than it would to try to set yourself apart as a niche leader who guides people through a process carefully and effectively.
One of the sub demographics, work-at-home moms who struggle the most with work-life balance is those who have infants and toddlers. You might have a child who is glued to the hip at all times.
One thing you can do under these circumstances is to tap into the niche that your life revolves around. You can be a mommy blogger who discusses and promotes products that you are using in your household.
From toddler toys to first aid for infants, there’s no end to the number of slants you can take on your blog to help other moms like yourself while earning a profit from your recommendations.
By getting into a niche like this, you will be able to spend ample time with your little ones and launch a lucrative career by showcasing your life and what works best for you.
If you spend time on your strategy for being a work-at-home mom, you will be able to enjoy the gift of time you are given as a parent, while protecting your sanity in the process. Launching a new career is no easy task so be sure to surround yourself with mentors who are succeeding at the goals you wish to achieve.
Supporting your success!