Whoever said that working at home is easy is clueless. Sure, work-at-home mums like me have time on our hands but it’s certainly not a walk in the park. It’s more like running around a park with screaming kids, Frisbees being thrown at you from all directions and dogs biting your ankles.
few weeks during the school holidays, I’ve had my moments when I have
sat down at my desk and I have tried to work on some urgent stuff. I couldn’t
because of constant interruptions. It has been absolutely impossible. Fellow
work-at-home mums and other home based professionals know what I mean—phone
calls, a constant flow of visitors, play dates and my gorgeous daughter
demanding for my attention, it feels like a million things all at once.
I can’t keep my temper in check and I lose it. Let’s face it, I am only human.
immediately after I rant and rave, I just feel so guilty, knowing I could have
been more patient.
family and work life is not easy but with a little help, it can be managed.
Here are some tips for guilt-ridden work-at-home mums:
1. Involve your child.
your laptop and do your work in the garden or veranda while your child is
playing. This gives you the opportunity to watch and interact with your child
while doing some work. Mums who are into arts and crafts can also ask their
kids to join in. While mum is doing her own projects, her kids can make their
own little projects, at the same time. Not only are you accomplishing something
for work, you are also bonding with your children.
2. Schedule time-outs.
you’re taking a break, make sure it coincides with your child’s schedule like
meal or play times. This allows you to spend time with your kids without
feeling guilty about work. If you’re running errands, bring your child along
and take the opportunity to connect. Get out and do the grocery shopping
together. Your child can help pick out ingredients and you can both cook
something together delicious for the whole family. Mind you the clean up
afterwards is not much fun. My daughter adores helping me in the kitchen.
3. Seek your husband’s help.
Superwoman like you needs help sometimes. Don’t be afraid to ask for it from
your husband. If you’re just swamped with work and can’t spare a minute, ask
Dad to pitch in and help. This will give you a break and cut you some slack to
attend to that urgent email.
4. Buy educational books and toys.
never a good idea to distract your kids by making them watch TV although I must
admit I have done this in the past. While you’re busy working, you can give educational
toys and books to your kids to keep them occupied. Books are great to develop
children’s love for learning and educational toys help in cultivating
creativity and imagination. Set up a little desk and chair in your office and
let your child do their “work”. My daughter loves this.
5. Learn to drop everything.
will be moments that you must realize that you need to drop everything for your
family. In times of emergencies like a health crisis or when your child needs a
ride home. Family milestones are equally important and you should never miss
those special moments. Soccer games, ballet recitals, birthdays, swimming
lessons, sports carnivals, tuck shop duty – this is the stuff that should
always take priority.
get a little too hectic and you feel you can’t afford any more distractions,
stop what you’re doing and breathe deeply. Stretch your patience a little
longer and remember why you chose to be a work-at-home mum or home based worker
and not a corporate slave chained to a desk from 9 to 5 with a 2 hour commute.
home based worker, how do you cope with constant interruptions? Would love to
hear your strategies.
Leah Gibbs is the Founder and Business Manager of Lifestyle Careers Lifestyle Recruitment and Work At Home Mums.
With an award winning National Jobs Board, recognised blog and the No. 1
leading website that supports Australian & New Zealand home based
professionals, she has written articles for major magazines, newspapers, online
resources and professional organisations. She has also been featured on the
Channel 7 Sunrise Morning Show and is often called upon by the Media to provide
her expert opinion. Empowered by her passion in playing Career Cupid and her
previous experience in the job services industry, she embraces job flexibility
and is a huge advocate in promoting working from home and flexible employment.