From the time my husband and I starting talking about having children, I was always going to be a stay at home mom. I worked until the day I went into labor with our first child (16 years ago) and have not worked outside the home since.
Notice, I said, “outside the home.” I have not worked outside of our home, but I certainly work within it. Raising a family is a time consuming job in and of itself. Then add homeschooling and it can seem overwhelming at times! Well what about taking those 2 things and adding an actual paying job that you do from home to the list? While it seems like a lot, and it is, I can also say that it is possible.
Working from Home and Homeschooling
Here are some things I have learned throughout my time of working from home and homeschooling:
- You can’t do everything. No matter how much you tell yourself you can, you can’t. Something will have to give, either the kids, the homeschooling, the house, or the work. There will always be something that doesn’t get the attention you think it needs, and yes that has been my kids at times, and that is when I reevaluate.
- You need to set realistic expectations. You can’t ask too much of yourself, or your family. Given all that you do at home you need to think about how much time you can really give to working from home and stick to it.
- The kids come first. Trust me. As a general rule the kids need to come first. You will suffer some serious Mommy Guilt if you spend all of your time working and all the while shoving the kids aside. I have done it, we have all been there. Yes sometimes you have to meet a deadline, but that can’t be the norm.
- Set boundaries. You need to set both time and behavior expectations. We do our schoolwork in the morning, and I try to keep my working hours to that as well. We all work in the same space so that I can help and answer questions as needed. We have expectations about the noise level and disruptions during the morning hours. Our afternoons are for free time, group activities or extra help.
- Get uninterrupted time. If at all possible try to get some uninterrupted work time. I have recently had the chance to get out to work for a couple of hours and have been able to accomplish about quadruple what I normally would because I don’t have the disruptions. Just two hours each week has free my mind and body from the computer for MANY hours!
- Give yourself and your kids a break. Sometimes it is best to walk away. Walk away and spend focus time just on them. I promise you it will make both their day and yours! Take just one hour and read together, play their favorite game, go to the park, or whatever it is they have been at you to do with them. It will mean the world to all of you.
- Just say no. There are times when you have to know that enough is enough. You are only one person and can only do so much. Learn to know what you can manage and what you cannot, and walk away from work opportunities, no matter how great or exciting they might be, if you know they will spread you too thin.