Work at home moms can find everything in their life bleeds together. Work, family, and life all blend, and you never really step away from everything. You also don’t get all that much work done, and you know you’re not spending all the time with your children that you’d like to.
It’s time to set your working hours.
When I first starting working from home, I struggled with this. I didn’t have strict working hours. My life and work never seemed to stop. People would ask me to go out, but I’d still have work to do because I just didn’t have a pattern. The best thing I did for my life and my family was create a working schedule.
You don’t need a 9-5
When I say work at home moms need working hours, I don’t mean you should work the traditional 9-5. That’s not going to work for everyone. Personally, I do find that it works for me during the day, but I don’t just work the 9-5 because of the nature of my job. I’m also not chained to the desk during those hours and will step away now and then.
Sometimes, you’ll find working in the evening is better for you. This is when I work the best. Everyone else is in bed and the pups like to just lay on the couch with me to keep me company. I find it easier to think and type.
Whatever your schedule is going to be, you need one. Here’s why all work at home moms benefit from a working schedule.
You know when you’re supposed to be working
As a work at home mom, you need to do what you’re doing from day to day. You need to know when you’re working and when you’re not. This is where your working hours come into play.
Say you do have the traditional 9-5 working hours. You’ll know that at 9 a.m. you should be at your desk and working. That’s you until 5 p.m. Okay, you’ll have breaks in there, but they’re work breaks. You are still “on the clock.”
If you work 7 p.m. to midnight, you know that you need to eat dinner before 7 p.m. It’s important to be ready to work at 7 on the dot. That’s you until midnight.
When you have your working hours, you know where you need to be. It brings structure, offers work-life balance, and makes you more productive.
Whether you telecommute by choice or you’re working at a home office out of necessity, you should also be aware of there are hidden health risks with working from home. Check out the working from home risks that you should consider.
Your kids know when you’ll be working
Work at home moms can struggle to set boundaries with their children, especially when it comes to school holidays. I know people will tell you that you should always have childcare set during your working hours, but it’s not always possible. Right now in Ontario, we have rotating school strikes that aren’t sticking to any schedule. From one week to another, we have no idea when we need childcare, so it’s just easier having my children at home with me.
But with my working hours, my children know when I’m supposed to be working. I’m teaching my 7-year-old how to tell the time, so I’ll let her know the next time I’m taking a break and she can watch the time.
There’s nothing wrong with telling your kids that mommy is working during your working hours. When it comes to being outside your working hours, you then give them your undivided attention. By them knowing your working hours, they know not to pester. Of course, this is easier with older children, but you get the idea.
Work at home moms can step away from work
When you have working hours, you also have your non-working hours. This is going to be the best thing for your sanity.
Work at home moms can have a problem stepping away from work. I get it. The work is there with you, and you just want to get that one extra thing done. One extra thing turns into two, which turns into four, which…well, you get the idea.
Your family and friends lose out on your time. You lose out on your downtime. Set the working hours and stick to them. Like work would wait if you worked out of the home, your work can wait in your office (or wherever you work in your home).
Others accept that you do work from home
There are going to be some people out there who don’t accept that you work at home. Not everyone sees our job as a legitimate one, and part of that comes from jokes about working in PJs or while watching the TV. It can also come from the lack of schedule work at home moms have.
With a schedule, you can make it clear that you are working. During your working hours, you don’t answer personal phone calls and you don’t spend personal time on social media. You treat it like you would in the workplace. I have also started using virtual offices for businesses that I run from home, due to privacy concerns. For a business in Manchester in the UK I searched for the best virtual offices in Manchester and found that one, so signed up and it has been amazingly easy to use, so this is definitely the way forward if you work from home.
The more you make it clear that you’re working, the less people will try to get in touch with you. If you want more tips on the WAHM Lifestyle, don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter.