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We are all searching for the “work/life” balance. I get asked a lot if I have the secret sauce to the work/life balance…if I did, I’d be a freakin millionaire (because everyone would want to BUY my secret, ya know?).
I there really is not one specific secret sauce for moms trying to juggle working from home and still being a good parent and somewhat approachable human being. I picked the amazing sharp brains of my fellow WAHM/freelancer Smart Friends so see how they keep all their plates spinning and balls juggling. Here’s what the had to say:
Krista from Blue Cottage Agency:It is a juggling act, to say the least. The hours my girls were in pre-school I designated for ‘work only’ time. I ignored any non-work phone calls and all household work. I don’t touch a dish or a piece of clothing. Now that school out, it becomes more challenging. I try to designate 1/2 day or a full day to just focus on my house and set work aside. If my house is clean, I feel like I can focus more on work. But most days I am sending e-mails and writing press releases in between macaroni and cheese and Band-Aids. And my house can be a bomb in less than 5 min. I realize it is impossible to do it all but the blessings of working from home are worth the juggling act.
Nicole from Hiking is For Hippies: I’m struggling with the same thing right now! UGH. I guess I only allot myself to work early in the morning and can sometimes get work done while the twins are busy watching TV or playing nicely. But that only lasts for like 5 minutes. And then again at night after all the kids are in bed I sit down to work more, usually until really late and I’m crawling to bed trying to remember if I took a shower or if I ate anything other than the left over bag of fruit snacks I found on the floor. I’m a clean freak and a neat freak so I have hard time just leaving the laundry sit or the toys laying all over. Have you seen Finding Nemo ? (I’m sure you have) my best advice “Just Keep Swimming” and piss on the laundry, right?
Franticmommy: All I can say is that my office is upstairs in my house so during my “work hours” I am removed from the Pig-o-Sty that is my house. I do damage control cleaning in the morning while making breakfast, during my “lunch break,” and in the evenings. I think the younger your kids are, the harder it is. Basically, my house is no cleaner (or organized) than it was when I worked OUT the home. And I am OK with that.
Thaleia (mom of four) from Something2Offer: I’ve read and believe that balance is something that just doesn’t happen. Being organized, meal planning, and sticking with a budget and schedule can make working at home just a little bit easier. Also making your crockpot your best friend!
Mary Aalgaard from Primo Art Spa: I go to the coffee shop! I know that’s not always realistic. I can tune things out, sometimes, and I’m really good at ignoring house work. I have four boys. When the twins were small, I quickly learned to do the job that is the most pressing at the moment. I also learned to write despite feeling tired or not in the mood. Sometimes, starting to write would put me in the mood, or at least a better one!
Becky Mansfield from Your Modern Family. The hardest part is knowing when to stop because there is always more that you can do. Pick a time and stick to it (example: 7:30 pm- 9:30 pm). Try to give yourself a break and go easy on yourself if something doesn’t get done (with work or the home).
Remember that sometimes you will have to make work a top priority because it is helping your family. If I have a video interview or something important that NEEDS to be done when the kids are awake, I will set up a play date for them or go to the gym for an hour so they can play in the nursery area for 20 minutes while I work in a little room there. They love it and I can get my work done so it is a win-win. When I am done, I am all theirs!