Working at home can be stressful, especially with small children in the house. Where is the balance between work and home when home IS work? Here are some suggestions to help both you and your kids make the most of each day at the home office.
- Try to get up at least an hour before the children. This gives you some quiet time to assess your daily priorities, stretch your body and mentally and physically prepare for the day ahead. This is YOUR time. It is of the utmost importance. Meditate at least 10 minutes in the morning. Visualize your day going smoothly.
- Make sure that your children have your full attention when they first wake up. Give them hugs and kisses. Make them breakfast. Enjoy some snuggling and laughter. These are precious times that will not always be here. Give your children the gift of being present in the mornings.
- Develop a routine with your kids. Keep your schedule essentially the same every day, but don’t be a slave to the clock. Each morning, set up a selection of fun things for them to do that will keep them happily entertained such as crayons and markers, table toys, play dough, watercolors or a small indoor sandbox with digging toys.
- If you can afford it, hire a nanny or a school aged mother’s helper to come into your home for just a few hours a day to play with and attend to your children. This gives you total solitude at least for an hour or two, even if only a few times a week.
- Don’t devote a set block of time to your work each day. Instead, have certain objectives, such as “I will work for 4 hours today.” Work during nap time. Sneak a few minutes during lunch or whenever the children are happily playing.
- Allow for some flexibility, but don’t just abandon your work if the kids are not cooperating. You can be creative. Take them outside for a while. Let them be active with you and they will most likely give you the downtime you need to get some work done later on.
- Let the kids help with small tasks. Let them staple, paper clip and help you “sort” or cut. They may not actually be assisting you with your work, but they will enjoy it and it makes them feel important, as if they are helping Mom with her work. Be sure to thank them for their help
- Try to save things that can be done after hours, such as internet work, filing, paperwork, checking emails etc. for when they have gone to bed. You will find that an hour of quiet working time will enable you to catch up on your day.
- Stay in the present moment. If a kid needs a hug or some juice, don’t put them off or push them away. Remember the reason we wanted to work at home in the first place? So we can spend more time with our families. Give the hug…get the juice. Do it lovingly and be grateful for the opportunity
- Enjoy the journey! Life is too important to waste being stressed out about your business.
Our children, their happiness and comfort are far more important than our business. The little things will take care of themselves when we are in the frame of mind to enjoy what we are creating for ourselves.
Another great tip is to plan your meals out. You can find out more here.