This past week (or two maybe even three, I’ve lost count) I have struggled so much with balancing my time. My time between the kids being home from school and work and all the extra activities the kids wish to do that I have neglected my responsibilities with my work. I had officially entered that summer funk and that was a new thing for me because I have always put my work first since I had started my business. I always thought I had the balance thing under control…until this summer. Something happened and it was like I totally forgot how to be a mom and a business woman all in the same second. Huh? You mean I am not superwoman? When did that memo go out and how come I missed it? While I know that I am not necessarily superwoman, I still strive to be in my mind.
I thought as my children got older they would need me less and that is so not the case. As they get older, I am finding that they need me more than ever. I had found that when they would ask for me to do something with them, simple things like go play a game of basketball, or go for a bike ride, or just watch a movie, the first things that would come out of my mouth, is (and tell me if this sounds familiar) “I can’t right now, I have so much work to do, maybe later”…. then as they turn away, they have disappointment in their eyes. I don’t know why I didn’t see it earlier, but I see it now and it tears me up inside knowing that I have what I think is a lot to do and all they are asking for is 15 minutes of my time. I mean, how selfish am I?
I’ve started to take notice of the little things and have made important changes not only for myself but for my children.
Some of the things I have found that have worked in helping me to get and stay balanced:
- iPhone or other Smartphone: Using the calendar to schedule all the kids activities and important business information.
- Carrying a pen and small pad of paper with you at all times. It helps when you have those random thoughts that you need to put into action whether it be to call the electric company or make that important business call.
- Finding Phone applications to make life easier: Banking Apps, Apps to pay your bills (ex: Directv or your phone company) Note/List makers such as PaperlessLite are wonderful ways to stay current when you are on the go.
- Schedule your week in advance: Create a time map for yourself and know that it will change according to your weekly schedule. Think of the things that you need to do, or want to do, and schedule it in. Example, for the kids – say if it rains this week, I will take the kids to Chuck e Cheese, or If it’s nice out, I will take the kids to the local water park. For work, Monday I have to reply to all my emails and once I am done with my emails I can take a break and play with the kids for 30 minutes.
- Say NO! As most moms know, we can’t seem to say those words when its needed, so the sooner you realize that you do not have to do everything with everyone, the more time you will have to spend with your children.
- Delegate duties: It’s ok to have your children do age appropriate jobs in the home to help you out. For example, my 6 year old has a job of giving the pets food and water every morning, in addition to picking up her toys, clothing, and miscellaneous items throughout the home. My 9 year old takes care of the cats liter box and all the garbage, in addition to cleaning his room and picking up his things from all the rooms in the house. My 13 year old empties the dishwasher every day, vacuums the upstairs, cleans the kids bathroom, and does her own laundry. These are all things that they are capable of doing and as they get older, they will have more responsibilities throughout the home. These are not paid chores, these are responsibilities that they take on as part of our family unit.
- Know when its your best time of the day. I am not a morning person. If I need to make any phone calls, they are usually done mid-morning. I do my best computer and organizing work late in the evening after the kids have all gone to bed. Trying to get me up early isn’t gonna happen and I know it so even if I attempted to schedule myself in the morning, it would be an instant failure.
I still have a lot of figure out where balancing home/work life is concerned, but it’s all a work in progress as there is no magic balance pill the last I looked. I can guarantee however, that as soon as I figure out a workable schedule for the two, the kids will be on their way back to school and I’ll have to chuck that plan right out the window and start all over again!
What are some of the ways you get (and stay) balanced when it comes to working at home now that your children are home for the summer? Are you finding it is easier or harder than you thought? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!