All moms are busy moms—but work-from-home moms take busyness to a whole other level. No matter what your business is or what kind of work you do, when you do it from home while simultaneously caring for children, you are essentially performing two full-time jobs. With that in mind, working mothers deserve special recognition among the heroes of the workforce!
So this Mother’s Day, treat yourself to some good advice.
Here are some essential tips that work-from-home moms should know in order to succeed in both their professional and personal life:
Repeat after me: boundaries.
If there’s one concept that’s critical to the success of working moms, it’s establishing clear boundaries between work and family life. Since your location at home while working means that everything is in the same mix—requests from kids for lunch and crayons, requests from clients for conference calls—you need to set up some clear delineators so that everyone involved knows when they’ll have your full attention.
For example, you might let colleagues and clients know that you’re available online or to schedule calls from 9-12 and 1-4. During those hours, hire a sitter or enlist a family member to watch the kids. Then before 9:00 a.m., on the lunch hour, and in the late afternoon, designate some time when your children will know that they can rely on your undivided focus. Stick to it! Don’t check email, texts, or social media during kid time. Let people know to call during those hours only if it’s an emergency. You can always steal a few extra hours to work after the kids go to bed.
Know what to let go of.
When you’re a work-from-home mom, let’s face it—your plate is already full between your children and your business commitments. There may be a million other things you’d love to do, and someday, it will be a lot easier to juggle in more layers of multitasking. But for now, the key to your baby-plus-business success will be developing an unshakeable ability to say “no” to activities and people that take you away from your core commitments.
While it’s of course important to give yourself some balance and not make everything about work and family, avoid over-committing to outside requests. It’s refreshing to schedule an occasional lunch with a friend to recharge, but choose your timing wisely so that it feels like a breather and not a burden.
Cut yourself some slack.
Working parents are notoriously hard on themselves. You might hear your inner critic complaining that you can’t get ahead on your client deadlines and also keep your house as clean as you want it while also interacting with high-demand toddlers day-in and day-out. The next time you hear this type of negative monologue in your mind, kick it to the curb. Remind yourself that you’ve likely done more before breakfast than most people get done by noon.
While there’s nothing you can’t do, make at least some of your limited time this month about you. Happy Mother’s Day!
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