5 Practical Tips to Help WAHMs Find Work-Life Balance

5 Practical Tips to Help WAHMs Achieve Work-Life BalanceBy Angela Taylor

Being a work at home mom (WAHM) isn’t for every woman. However, I’ve never regretted taking the plunge for a minute. I used to work in a big corporate office, in a cubicle. However, I craved a work life balance and deeply resented the time that work took away from my time with my family. So I quit my corporate gig and became a WAHM, which believe you me, isn’t as easy as it sounds!

Being a work-at-home mom requires organization, patience, and the support of your family. Imagine having to juggle a full time workload at home while still acting as a hands-on parent—doing laundry, preparing lunches, and being there for the kids when they get home from school.

However, a WAHM without boundaries—either with her family or with her work—will suffer productively in one of those areas. For instance, a WAHM who doesn’t define her office hours might have her kids busting in on her workday for snacks and attention. On the other hand, a WAHM who doesn’t impose boundaries on her employer or work schedule might find herself working all hours of the night so she can meet all work expectations.

Obviously there’s a balance, and it’s personal for each and every WAHM. To help you find your work-life balance, here are some practical tips to help you stay productive as a WAHM.

1. Carve out a workspace to eliminate distractions

The most important part of working from home (in my opinion) is establishing a workspace, preferably with a door that you can shut to signify that you’re working. It’s important to establish boundaries—both for your family and yourself. Otherwise, you will spend your day focusing on both and not being productive in either. A home office space also allows you to focus on the work at hand without being tempted by the distractions of home (i.e. dirty laundry, dishes).

2. Keep your workspace organized

Keeping your home office clutter free and organized will let you focus on work and find everything you need to do your job easily. Many WAHMs work in a spare bedroom that’s littered with storage and kids toys. I used to do this myself and it was really distracting. Instead, clear the clutter and focus on a space devoted to the tools you need to be productive. For instance, my workspace used to be cluttered with piles of paper, which was really distracting. To help, I filed away what I needed to keep and installed two whiteboards made of glass to post inspiring quotes, my daily schedule, and more to keep paper off my desk.

3. Prioritize your tasks

Being a mix of mom and employee can be really confusing so it requires a certain amount of prioritization. Determine the tasks that are most important and need to be accomplished first. For instance, maybe you have to contact a client in the morning and then you can help your daughter with her school project. I use an electronic calendar to schedule my day. I create lists. And when I’m out of the office, I carry a notebook with the day’s priorities listed out clearly.

4. Take frequent breaks

No one is productive after working for long hours at a time without a break. That’s why breaks are important in order to help refocus the mind and body. Relax for a few minutes, breathe, go for a walk, or play with your kids to let your mind and body recharge then get back to the work grind.

5. Accept that you can’t do everything

You can’t do everything! It’s a fact of life, so once you accept that, you’ll suffer less stress and self-deprecating behavior. Instead, establish a schedule, put the support tools in place you need to be effective as a WAHM (i.e., emergency childcare), and focus on tackling tasks, within your ability, one at a time.

Angela is a staff writer for Apron Addicts, a blog about kitchen fashion and home style. Angela also likes to write about mobile technology, business, productivity, and anything else that catches her attention.

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