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Separating Business and Pleasure for Work-At-Home Moms

If you are going to be a successful work-at-home mom, you must find a way to set aside a portion of the day to have uninterrupted time to relax and attend to your own personal needs. Does this sound like an impossible proposition? When your children are infants and toddlers, their nap time provides you with some opportunity to focus on taking care of yourself and hopefully finding a few moments to relax. Some moms of infants and toddlers have a habit of napping when their child or children are sleeping, as this gives them an opportunity to catch up on some much-needed rest.

Becoming a new parent is an exciting yet sometimes overwhelming adventure. Try to establish healthy and suitable routines with your child, with the support and patience of your husband. Until you are able to develop a predictable routine with your child, however, the constant demands of being a new mother or mother of young children can become exhausting and discouraging.

Here are some tips to help you divide your business and personal time for work-at-home mothers.

1) Hire a mature and responsible high school or university student after school.
The ideal here is to find someone who would supervise outdoor play or would take your child to the park or playground so that you would have some time at home on your own. The next best thing is to have the sitter in the home when you’re there but with the careful instruction not to ‘bother’ you unless it was an emergency. Being a mother is a delicate balancing act. Use a day planner to determine in advance if you are going to devote the time that your baby-sitter is watching your children to your business or personal time. For instance, perhaps make a standing appointment with a trusted baby-sitter once a month for you to take time to get your hair cut and receive a relaxing manicure and pedicure. Other times, enlist the help of your sitter when you want to focus on working on your at-home business.

2) Collaborate your efforts with other work-at-home mothers.
If you could develop a team of several women, each could take the children for a morning on a particular day of the week. Predictable ‘kids swaps’ or ‘play dates’ would provide some time for you to invest in your business or in rejuvenating yourself. Your child would have a good opportunity to learn to socialize with other children.

3) Consider Parent Co-ops.
A formal version of a parent co-op is where full-time or part-time child care is provided by professional childcare workers but parents help defray the cost by assisting the early child care workers by helping several hours a week. This is often cheaper than regular day care services and part-time arrangements are more possible.

4) Arrange for the child’s grandparents to provide childcare.
If you and your family happen to live in the same city or town as your parents or parents-in-law, perhaps an arrangement where they take the children for a predictable time period every week can be worked out. The ideal is for them to take the children to their house and leave you with quiet time to work or tend to your personal needs.

5) Self-directed play activities are good.

When children are older, they can be provided with activities that absorb their interest and attention. Hands-on activities that are creative are best. Be really careful that you donÆt over-rely the memorizing power of the television or computer as baby sitter.

6) Be a laptop multi-tasker.
During wait time while your child is taking lessons, use your laptop computer to get some valuable work time in. Most community centres and gyms have wireless internet. If not, many other organizational tasks can be done during this time. Bring your day planner and plan out your following week, carving out time for you to work on your business, as well as time for you to enjoy yourself and do something pleasurable and relaxing.


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Organizational Tips for Work-At-Home Moms

Being a mom provides me with blessing and joy every day. I am so thankful for my loving and helpful husband, who takes his role as a father seriously and provides me with lots of emotional support and help in raising our son and daughter. I never realized how much responsibility and effort motherhood entailed until I became a mother myself.

After eight years establishing my career in the business world, my husband and I decided when I was pregnant with our baby boy that I would make the shift to being a work-at-home mom. I love being at home with my husband, son and daughter, so it works out with my personality type to be a stay-at-home home. I am able to be home with my children and earn a good, steady income at the same time. That perfect melding of home and work – it sounds so ideal and is when it works. The key ingredient to becoming a successful work at home mom, however, is to develop effective organizational skills.

Tip One: Organize your Time

If you’re going to essentially do two jobs at a time, you have to be twice as efficient with your time and energy. A good idea is to have a daily planner where you proportion out your time so you get a sense of what time frame you have to work with. The most urgent tasks take priority but it is crucial to schedule in ‘important’ activities as well such as reading to your children, cooking dinner or exercising.

Be careful about those time wasters that ‘eat up’ your day. Set time limits on household jobs such as tidying the kitchen or putting away laundry. Even use a timer and make a game of it. Moms are great multi-taskers. When you are watching TV or talking on the phone, do something else as well such as folding laundry or putting away the children’s toys. Put an actual limit on your internet, phone, and television time.

Setting a fixed time for your ‘at home work’ is essential. Your family must learn to respect that time and try not to put demands on your attention during that time. Before you fall asleep at night, go over in your mind all the things that you’ve accomplished that day and reflect on how you’ve maximized your time.

Tip Two: Organize Your Belongings

One of the biggest time wasters is spending time trying to find something. Setting up a effective organizational system of what goes where so you can access items and information quickly is the best way to avoid getting flustered and frustrated. Use containers and baskets to put similar items. File information regularly in color-coded or label file folders. Maintain a well-organized filing cabinet. Recycle, donate, or throw away what you don’t need. Pack away items that you or your family members have not used in the last year. Consider donating these items to charity or hosting a garage sale.

Attend to mail immediately. Recycle any advertisements, junk mail and envelopes. Better still – go paperless wherever possible. Any billing information can be accessed easily via the internet so why keep unnecessary statements and receipts. De-clutter and organize your things.


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