Struggling to stay sane working from home? These work at home mom tips might be your saving grace!
You have an important business call to make. You have done the research. You are ready and even though you are still in your Lulu Lemon yoga pants, your hair is in a top knot, and you haven’t shaved your legs in several weeks, the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t know that. Your one prayer is this, ‘please God, let my child be distracted for fifteen minutes.’
A 2013 article in Forbes, stated that 52% of small businesses are home-based. That number is on the rise as people demand greater work-life balance. Working from home is not easy, and often people romanticize it. I could wax poetic about the benefits of having my two youngest girls while building a sales organization of over 240,000 customers, and how great it was to have that time freedom however you do not deserve to be told anything less than the truth – some days, I longed for an office outside of the house.
There were times when I had calls to make where there was an emergency diaper explosion (gross but true), or other times when I was breastfeeding while making calls (literally), and times when the kids didn’t sleep through the night where I felt like I was part of the zombie apocalypse. Yes, the rewards are that I was, and continue to be, there for my kids, can create my own schedule, and do have that mystical unicorn called time freedom however I had to earn it – it wasn’t handed to me.
If you have kids at home, and are running a business, I salute you. I have been there and notably my youngest is only seven so I am not that far removed from having one at home. Juggling it all can be overwhelming and with this in mind, here are some work at home Mom tips (or Dad tips!) to keep your sanity and continue to grow your business:
Remember Why You Are Doing This
Why did you start a business in the first place? Wasn’t the objective to create revenue to better the life of your family? Know this – it is going to be messy at times; life is. The important thing, during the challenging times, is to remember why you started down this road and focus on where you want to be, not where you are.
Re-Claim Your Mobile
Your child should never use your mobile as a toy. Smart phones are the new pacifiers. Seriously, I see a multitude of stressed out parents simply give their kid their phone to placate them. Guess what? You are teaching them that it is perfectly okay to see your phone as a fun distraction as opposed to a tool for business. Stop giving your kid your phone. If you continue to do it, they will continue to demand it. You do not want your five-year-old coming to you asking for an IPhone 7. It happens. Don’t let it happen to you.
Negotiate and Live Into It
Let your child know that if they give you space to do a task, you will do something with them and then live into it. For example, you might say something like this, ‘Mommy is going to put on Sesame Street for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, we are going to go jump on the trampoline.’ Make sure you honor your commitment.
If You Interrupt, You Owe Me a Dollar
This works nicely on the four-year-old plus set. Kids understand money. Let’s say you are making a call at night, or are in a meeting, simply let your children know that every interruption, unless life threatening, is going to cost them a dollar. They stop pretty quickly.
Okay, so your child is in the background playing their toy piano. So what! Tell your customers, and clients, that they will hear your child in the background. Don’t apologize – own it!
Become More Time Efficient
If you have kids at home and are trying to build a business, you do not have time to look at every video of Brad Pitt on Buzz Feed! Do that after the kids go to bed. Hey, we all need to decompress! In the time you have, you are going to have to be Super Woman, or Super Man. Answer texts with one line. Answer emails with three lines maximum. Keep your conversations short.
Get Up Earlier
I generally wake-up at four-thirty or five in the morning. I like to get my creative work done – writing, recording the podcasts that do not have guests, etc., done while the kids are still asleep. By waking up early you can get a great deal of administrative things accomplished. Go to bed earlier too. After all – these little angels are tiring and don’t you want to fall into bed anyway?
Lastly, I get ‘it.’ I have five kids. I run two businesses. I do my own grocery shopping. I workout six times per week and travel a great deal. It isn’t always pretty and sometimes it is downright messy but at the end of the day, it is my life and frankly – I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Susan Sly is a keynote speaker, best-selling author, entrepreneur, and mother of five. She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. Susan is available for corporate consulting, and speaking, on the topics of work-life balance, time management, productivity, and transcending challenges.
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