Being a Work-at-Home-Mom (WAHM) always sound like the best of both worlds; you can stay at home with your kids and bring in some money to help with the finances. Sounds perfect, right?
Trouble is, a lot of WAHMs get burnt out pretty quickly, and this is mostly down to work-life balance.
When you both live and work in the same place, it’s not that easy to separate the two parts of your life and this can lead to a lot of stress. It’s not that uncommon for Stay-at-Home-Moms (SAHMs) to get depressed too and studies say that this is more likely compared to moms who work outside of the home.
How do you cope when your little one starts playing up when you’re in the middle of an important phone call? Or what happens if your kids get sick when you’ve got important deadlines to meet?
These things happen unfortunately but it doesn’t mean that your work or family life has to suffer as a result. Here are some of the secrets to staying sane as a work at home mum!
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
When you’re self employed, it can be tempting to take any work that comes your way – especially when you’re first starting out and fear that any new client or customer could be your last!
This is a sure-fire way to get burnout though. If you’re juggling home and work commitments, there is only so much you can give before your mind and body start to rebel.
Your work will probably suffer but your family may also feel the effects too. You’ll have less time to spend with them and you may get snappy and irritable due to the stress. Not quite the way you imagined it panning out when you first decided to be a WAHM, right?
Scary as it might seem to turn work down, this is something you’ve got to learn how to do for your own sanity. Biting off far more than you can chew probably means you won’t be in business too long as you’ll quickly feel overwhelmed by the pressure and maybe bail out altogether.
Work out how many hours you can realistically devote to work in the average week and plan your time around that. If you know you’ve only got windows of a couple of hours at a time, you know not to overbook yourself with lots of complicated or time consuming projects.
Take Care of Yourself
On a similar note, don’t feel bad about putting yourself first and taking care of your needs.
You don’t need to work every spare moment you get – even though it may feel like you do!
Spending a little bit of time each day doing things that you enjoy can help you to be more focused in the long term. Plus, doing activities that don’t revolve around your family or work can free up your mind.
As much as you love your kids, burnout is much more likely if you’re constantly flicking between being with your family and working. Sometimes you just need a bit of time to recharge your batteries and there’s nothing wrong with this. Date nights with your partner or a mini vacation every so often could be just what you need to keep hold of your sanity as a WAHM!
Have a Support System
Balancing home and work is a whole lot easier if you have a good support system to help you out and free up time.
The most obvious one is childcare support. If your partner isn’t able to take the kids off your hands for a couple of hours, maybe another friend or other family member could pitch in and free up some time for you to work without distractions?
It’s also important if there is someone that you can call on when one of your kids is sick so your work schedule isn’t thrown into complete chaos.
If you can afford it, your support system could also extend to help around the house. Freeing up a couple of hours a week could make all the difference for avoiding burnout – especially if it gives you that bit of extra time to spend on yourself.
Introduce Systems to Get Organized
Sometimes, it can seem like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done and this can be even more true when you’re balancing family and work.
Introducing systems is one of the ways that you can make better use of the time that you do have and this can streamline your approach to both work and home life.
As your business grows, you need an easy way to keep track of project deadlines and client or customer details or you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. This can send you into panic mode and you may not get anything done! Prioritizing the most urgent tasks that need to be done is the first step. If you can tick these off, you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something productive and anything else is a big bonus.
Get Out of the House
You might be a WAHM but you don’t have to do all of your work at home.
If you can, why not take yourself somewhere else on a fairly regular basis to give yourself a change of scene? You’ll probably find that it helps you to feel more motivated!
Set Aside “Chore” or “Errand” Days
Keeping on top of housework can be challenging if your business suddenly takes off and you might find it easier if you set aside a particular day of the week to do chores, errands and other household stuff.
Over to you – how do you avoid burnout as a WAHM? Have you got any tips to share with Stay at Home Moms who want to start working from home? Let us know!