I assume that if you’re reading this, you are a mom and you already have your hands full 24/7. When you add a business to that, responsibilities get overwhelming. So how to enjoy this very rewarding journey of adding some money to the family budget? How to avoid burnout while working from home?
What does it take to be mom working from home (WAHM)?
Being a mom with a home business takes a lot of patience, self-motivation, and determination. Imagine how many breaks you will need to take during the day if kids are running around. Think about it when you’re planning your own biz or when you’ll be interviewing for the position. Is the job too demanding? too time-consuming? The best option in my experience was part-time with flexible results reporting. I didn’t have to stress out if Monday was terrible at home and I didn’t do a thing, I just caught up by Thursday, and nobody needed to know.
Is working from home for you?
Staying at home is the dream of many moms. It never was mine. I always thought I’ll be working somewhere, earning enough money to support family budget and have some cash for my own silly needs. Life showed a different scenario. By the age of 35, I worked outside of home and was also a SAHM, a WAHM, and if there are any other acronyms I probably did it too.
I must say working from home is my favorite. It’s extremely important to me that I am present with my children every single day. I don’t miss a thing and I am flexible with my schedule (think about school trips, spelling bee contests, etc.)
But let’s be honest: as working from home mom your contacts with other adults are extremely limited (it has its pros and cons), you are ALWAYS busy and chasing deadlines, plus you need to be super organized to not get lost.
It’s quite challenging, especially in the beginning, to separate business from family life. Your kids will not get why you cannot play right now (again: in the beginning)
A couple of tips to start:
- Organize a slow transition, both for you and for children.
- Make sure you have your own place to work. Even when you want to keep eye on kids you need a space to put your computer, some papers and it should be safe no matter what kids are playing with.
- Schedule your time wisely. Your child will need your attention. Think in blocks of time, depending on the age of your child, you could probably get up to 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted work.
- Prepare how will you talk to your children while explaining that now you have to do something without them. Refrain from “Mommy cannot play with you now, mommy needs to do something very important”. Little brains might interpret that as “playing with you is not important” and I guess that’s not what you want.
- Give yourself some grace. Working from home is like having two full-time jobs. It’s ok to have setbacks, be tired, and need time to take care of yourself. No mom-guilt allowed.
Now, since I already mentioned self-care let’s go to the essence:
How to avoid burnout while working from home?
1. Set your priorities (advanced level: have them written down and in front of your eyes) and make sure you are acting accordingly. Do not overwork. Your family still needs sane mommy.
2. Find an organization system that works for you. There’s plenty of apps, calendars, and productivity tools to choose from. Pro tip: keep it simple! Staying on track of both business and family stuff might be tricky and you probably won’t be able to be on top of everything. And that’s ok. Find your way around it!
3. Schedule some time (preferably a day) for errands, cooking and other miscellaneous tasks nobody has time for. Am I pushing it too far to suggest a self-care day too?
4. When you spend time with kids, really spend it with them. Be present. They are why you wanted to work from home in the first place, right? It’s not easy to not check emails and not think about work, but you need those boundaries. It’s good for you and very important for building relationships with children.
5. Don’t forget about your husband. You need regular date nights probably more than you think. Quite naturally love life lands on the end of the to-do list when life gets busy, but you (both of you!) are smart, you know you need to invest in your relationship, right? Communication with your spouse, teamwork, intimacy, it all impact your efficiency!
6. The same goes for other relationships in your life. Call your parents, your friends from time to time. Maybe especially if you have a bad day. Some interactions might work miracles. How about girls night out from time to time? You’ll be refreshed and ready to get back to work the next day.
7. Stress level might get high when you try to do all and be all. Physical activity helps with that! Exercise regularly and you not only be in shape but also be energized and de-stressed.
8. Have short breaks often. Dance around, sing “let it go”, grab some water. Don’t try to do everything in one sitting, this might backfire.
9. Monitor your successes, verify what works well, and look for possibilities to automatize it. I’m repeating myself maybe but systems are your best friends!
10. Be grateful for every day, good and bad one. You’re doing great even if you do not feel like it at the moment. Be realistic – one hard hour doesn’t make it a hard day; one hard day is not a terrible week. We do have a tendency to exaggerating when we’re tired – it’s a sign for you that it’s time to focus more on self-care and intentionally added joy to your life!
Don’t put that pressure on yourself.
I can imagine you’ve read this post and now you feel all this pressure on yourself that you SHOULD avoid burnout when working from home otherwise you are a terrible wife, bad mom, and so on. Please, don’t should on yourself! It’s important as a stress management technic.
Apply whatever works for you and look for your own solutions to stay calm and sort of relaxed. (It’s so hard to be relaxed as a mom in general, right?). Always do what’s best for you and your family.
If you need some brainstorming, never hesitate to reach out to me!