Are you trying to run a business from home while taking care of your kids? Is the chaos of it all starting to get to you? Being a work at home mom is hard work. Creating a schedule that works for you and your family is a big key to keeping your sanity as a mompreneur.
Not All WAHM Schedules Are Created the Same
Now, I know some families work best doing whatever they want, whenever they want. But a schedule can look different for different people.
You can create a rigid schedule where you do things at certain times. Or you can have a schedule that’s more of a routine to your day. Having a routine would give you more flexibility to start your day at different times.
Whether you want a rigid schedule or a loose structure, a WAHM schedule will help you. Setting aside time to work will make running a business from home less stressful. It will also help you set boundaries to protect your family and work time. You won’t need to feel like you always have something else you need to do.
Step 1: Examine What Your Kids Need
Part of creating a schedule that works for your whole family is understanding what your kids need from you. Let’s face it; as moms, our lives revolve around our kids’ activities and needs more than anything else. So the first step to making a WAHM schedule is to take a good hard look at what your kids need you to do each day.
If you have older kids, this might mean that they need you to drive them to different activities or pick them up from school. Or perhaps you homeschool and you need a block of time every day for schoolwork. Or maybe they just need help with homework and to spend some time playing with you when they get home every day.
If your kids are younger, then chances are they need all of you, all the time! (And if you’re one of those moms, know I am right there with you!) If this is your season of life right now, then working around your kids’ sleep schedules will be your best bet. Naptimes and after bedtime will become your office hours.
Step 2: Examine What You & Your Business Need
Take a real hard look at yourself and your business to decide how much time you need to work every week. For some moms, this might be dictated by how much they need to make each month to make ends meet. For other moms, they might need to work a lot because they’re just starting their business.
Then look beyond your business and decide what you need for yourself each week. Before you say that you don’t need any time, understand that not taking care of yourself will lead to burn out. You will end up hurting yourself, your business and your family when you neglect your own self-care. So do everyone a favor and plan on taking time to yourself each week.
Step 3: Find Creative Ways to Make it All Work
Write up what a weekly schedule would look like for your family. Put down when you will be with your kids, how much time you need for your business, and what time you are taking for yourself.
Does it look like the hours just aren’t adding up? While working moms everywhere wish we got more than 24 hours a day, the truth is we have to find creative ways to make it all work.
Here are some suggestions for getting more hours to work in your schedule:
- Hire a sitter- Could you hire a teenager to watch your kids one day or afternoon a week? I know spending money when you’re trying to make money seems silly. But think of how much you could get done in a short period of time if someone else took care of your family.
- Get help with household chores- Are your kids old enough to help with the laundry, cleaning, or cooking? Finding ways to get them involved from a young age will help them in the long run as well as freeing up some of your time for your business. If they aren’t old enough yet, then see if you could hire someone to help clean your house or get meals delivered.
- Go to a coworking space- If the hardest part of working from home is that everyone knows you are there, then see if your community has a coworking space. These low cost office alternatives would give you a designated place to work without kids saying “MOM!!” every five seconds. An alternative would be a library or coffee shop.
- Take shifts with your spouse- If hiring help won’t work for your family, then see if your spouse could watch your kids and take care of things around the house a couple of days a week. Once again, it wouldn’t have to be the whole day; even a couple of hours of dedicated work time can make a big difference. If that isn’t an option, then see if you can take turns watching each other’s kids with a friend or neighbor.
- Put your kids in programs they enjoy- Preschool, Mother’s Day Out, after school sports, scouts- these are all great activities for kids. If you think your kids would enjoy an activity while freeing up some of your time, then the cost is well worth it.
Running an at home business is hard work. It takes planning and organization to make sure your life stays balanced and everyone gets what they need (including you!). Use these 3 easy steps to create a schedule that will help you manage it all without the stress.