Eight Tips To Stay Sane As A Self-Employed Mom At Home
As someone who has been self-employed and has worked from home for 8 years I know how easy it is to feel like you are losing your mind (AKA going insane). Did I mention I also homeschool my two boys? Yes, I do that too and seriously I probably would have spontaneously combusted by now if I hadn’t followed these simple tips myself. It is possible to stay sane and truly enjoy your job at home with the following tips.
1. Scheduling/Time Management
If you work from home it is imperative that you set up some kind of basic schedule. Sure, you may not be able stick to that schedule every single day but setting up a schedule gives you something to go by. When you set up a schedule you get more done in a shorter time period. Scheduling also cuts down on distractions! Research suggests that it takes about 25 days to create a habit/routine. Once you are in a routine your work at home life will run much more smoothly.
2. Just Say No!
Too often I’m asked to do more stuff for other people because I’m the mom who stays at home. If you are the stay at home mom in your neighborhood I’m sure you know all to well what I’m talking about. And, in the beginning of my work at home career I did a lot for other people but in the past 2 years I’ve learned to say no. Being self-employed and staying at home with kids is hard enough. I realized that I don’t need other people to make it even harder for me. So, my advice is to just say no and really mean it!
3. Enlist the Help of Others
The reason my husband and I moved back to our rural small hometown was so we could get help from friends and family. So far our decision to come home has paid off. Anytime we need help with our kids someone is there for us and it truly means a lot when you work from home. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it even if it’s only for a few hours.
4. Go Out At Least 1X A Week
I can’t stress this enough. Humans are social creatures. We crave interaction with others. Yes, even us introverts need social connection even if we think we don’t. Sure, we interact with our kids everyday all day but adult interaction is often overlooked when life gets busy. The importance of getting out of the house with your significant other and interacting with other like-minded adults is paramount for keeping a sane mind. If you find yourself unable to go out as much as you’d like don’t discount the power of social media. Twitter, facebook, and google+ are great places to meet & chat with other adults with the same interests as you!
5. Make Time For Your Kids
Do you remember WHY you wanted to work at home in the first place? Yep, it was for the kids. Make sure you remind yourself every single day that you wanted to work from home so that you could be at home for your kids. Listen to your kids when they are talking to you. Take time during breakfast, lunch, and dinner to have a conversation with them. Take breaks and play toys or read a book with them. A little goes a long way! Don’t forget to take at least 2 days per week to devote to your kids. Taking time for vacation is important too! Here’s a photo and post about our Outer Banks vacation from this year.
6. Take Breaks
Taking short breaks throughout the day and work week can do wonders for your productivity. Take breaks to eat (this one is quite obvious), exercise, spend time with your kids, and even take time for entertainment.
7. Separate “Work” From “Home”
If there is one tip that carries more weight than all the others it is this one. When you work from home it is very hard to separate your work life from your home life because your work is right in front of you at all times. It’s like the computer is calling you to respond to one more email or one more tweet when really you should shut down for the night. You have to put real conscious effort into letting go of work when your schedule says so or burn out will inevitably result.
8. Find Inspiration
If you have just started working from home or even if you’ve been working from home for a while you know what I mean when I say there are just some days when you feel like giving up. Working from home is hard work and we all need to feel that all that hard work we do will pay off in the end. You have to tell yourself that you can do it. It’s also helpful to look to others in your industry for inspiration. A great place to start with finding ways to be inspired is this list of the most inspiring twitter users written by Mashable. I’ve also created an inspiration board on Pinterest for myself. You may find it inspirational too!
I hope you have enjoyed and found the tips I’ve put together useful. Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear them.