It is the week before the start of the new school year and I received an email from my eldest daughter’s school administration advising that we are entering the new school year virtual, AGAIN. I would be lying if I said that I did not expect it but somewhere in me thought there was hope and that the kids would be back to physical school.
Let me just begin by saying, being a mom with the flexibility to work from home has been the most amazing feeling. Being able to be involved in the day to day life of my kids, participate in the dropping off and pick up of the kids and enjoying fun time with the kids without the stress of working outside of the home has been a true blessing; but it also comes with its challenges. The biggest challenge of them all is setting boundaries; for work, for my kids, for my husband. For this, I have routines in place that helps me to balance most areas of my life and make things a little bit more comfortable and exciting. Think Happy Wife, Happy Life!
- I get up an hour earlier than my kids to create my to do lists for the day. Set my intentions. Drink my coffee uninterrupted and exercise (sometimes). This hour makes all the difference in getting my day started.
- We have a morning and evening routine. Whether you want to accept it or not, kids strive better when they follow a routine. For us that means waking up at 7am with a bedtime of 8pm- no exceptions. Both our morning and evening routines includes a shower, family devotions and a time to connect with the kids, this works for us and may not work for everyone but having some structure makes all the difference.
- Independence. I am the mom that fosters independence. I don’t believe in kids being up under me all the time. For this, I create a schedule of activities for my kids to do which includes time for independent play and time outside every day. That gives me the time to spend getting work done, reaching clients and sending out emails.
- Logging out of work. A part of maintaining the daily balance as a work at home mom is implementing boundaries and knowing when to log out. Sometimes because of my schedule and the balancing act of kids, I can find myself up late working even after the kids have gone to bed, knowing when to log out and set boundaries on work is also imperative. Just like the kids and work, hubby requires uninterrupted time and creating boundaries allows just that. Setting my alarm at 6pm as an indication to put work down keeps me present.
- Finally and most importantly, leave room for error. Having a plan is always good but any mom would tell you that most often than not, plans do not go as planned. Be flexible in every situation, maybe the kids are sick or you need to attend a meeting in the market after “work”, know that there will be the occasional moments when routines and schedules requires flexibility and to accommodate whatever you are dealing with; and that is okay!
Prioritizing based on importance in each moment is one of the many joys working from home provides; take advantage of the privileges’ you have been blessed with!