If you are a mom and have small children and you also have a full time or part time work from home job, you will quickly learn just how difficult this can be. Although it's a wonderful blessing to be able to stay at home with your young ones while still earning an income, it can also be far harder to do this than to work away from home. It may seem like it's at impossible task to do, but if you follow these few pointers you should be able to figure out how to balance your work at home while taking care of your family at the same time.
Schedule, schedule, schedule, there is nothing more important for a successful work at home job than a good schedule. However; if you don't stick to it then it's worthless, so it's should be your number one priority to stick to any schedule you have set down for yourself. Remember, you still are working for someone who is paying you and if you don't follow your schedule and decide one time or another it's OK to sleep in and get a late start, don't fool yourself. If you don't meet your deadlines then you still aren't going to be paid, just like any job.
So you need to sit down and make a weekly schedule for yourself and make sure that you post it to where the whole family has easy access to it. This means to schedule in all chores and things that have to do with your family. For instance if your children are home and take naps, schedule in the nap times, this way you can get in a little extra work that might cover for a time that comes up that you have to stop your work for one reason or another.
If your children are young and are not in school yet, it's a good idea that you have them somewhere you will not have to worry about them, so it's a good idea to set up an area for them in your office work area. If they are toddlers why not set up a little kiddy office for them complete with supplies so they can imitate what you are doing. All kids like to pretend they are doing what their parents are doing. Make sure there is a TV and even a DVD player to keep them entertained as well.
If you work with people or for people that you need to be in contact with on occasion, you probably are not going to want to be on the phone much when you have kids playing around in the background. So it might be a good idea if you arrange with your clients or employer to be able to communicate through email or even through an instant message client instead of using the phone. This will give you a far more professional look than having noise from kids in the background when you are trying to conduct business.
If you are working full time at home, taking care of your kids and trying to run the house all by yourself, and you are trying to be perfect at all of it, you are not setting realistic goals for yourself and you are headed for a meltdown and burn out. It is important that you try to get help from others.
As for more help from your spouse, maybe a grandparent can give you a break on occasion and take the kids off your hands, if you have to, hire someone to come in and either take care of the kids for short periods of time or someone that can help around the house. But whatever you do, don't make yourself feel guilty if you can't get it all done in one day.
Try to cut corners and save time wherever you can. For instance, make a meal in a crock pot or slow cooker. Take take during the weekends to make up extra meals for the week and freeze them so all you have to do is take them out during the week and either pop them in the oven or the microwave. Teach your kids how to pick up their own messes, even toddlers and those in preschool are not too young to start learning how to pick up their toys and put them away.
As much as you might love your work at home job, just because you are working at home does not mean that you need to put in long and grueling hours in order to make money. You need to realize that you must set your own limits, just as a boss would set their limits on you if you were working away from home. Teach yourself to say and no and learn that you not only must have a reasonable start time for the job but you should also make yourself have a reasonable stop time as well.