Although working from home is appealing to many parents, it can be quite burdensome at times. While you are able to spend more quality time with your children, the other tick to that pendulum is that you are spending more time with your children. For those who are paid for productivity, your little bundles of joy can be quite distracting and could reduce your actual income. As they say, “money isn’t everything,” but it puts food on the table and keeps the bill collectors at bay.
You don’t have to sacrifice your job or your quality family time in order to be successful at both. It just takes a bit of ingenuity in order to juggle your lifestyle. When your children are out of school for the summer, this juggling act needs to intensify. How can you make the most of your day without reducing the time spent between job and family?
1. Scheduling – Sticking to an exact schedule can greatly benefit balancing your life. If at all possible, try to schedule your work around the needs of your children. If you are paid for production, this can be quite easy to do. Simply move the work you need to do to another time frame in order to spend time with your children. Unfortunately, this may mean sacrificing a bit of “you” time until the children are in bed.
2. Meals – Try to schedule time around meals with your children. Sit down and take 30 minutes to an hour to have lunch with them. The larger a block of time you spend with your child, the longer they will let you work without distracting you with mundane questions or problems. He or she only wants to spend time with you, and you may need to chunk that time throughout the day. Many families discuss their day at meal time, and this could be a great way to involve yourself in their life.
3. Outside Play – Not only is playing outside a great way for the child to get some exercise, but it could keep them out of your hair for a couple of hours. It’s good to get some fresh air once in a while and perhaps you could join them in the yard for a few minutes at a time. As long as you make a presence and play with them briefly, you could buy yourself more time working.
4. Arts and Crafts – If the weather outside is lousy or there is really no place for the children to play without adult supervision, then why not institute an arts and crafts time? Have the children create masterpieces to hang up on your walls. Legos can be used to absorb a great amount of time if you ask your children to develop a space ship.
5. Bedroom Office – Developing an office in your bedroom can help you reduce the amount of distractions you could be facing. Having a desk out in the open, you are opening yourself to continuous conversations from your child. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can hinder your performance at your job. The bedroom office can also provide you with an outlet to quietly get your work done quicker in order to spend more time with the children.
6. Conversation – Sit your children down and discuss how important it is for you to work. You don’t have to burden them with the details or use comments like, “I need to work or the power is turned off.” Simply emphasize as to why it’s important that you need to complete your tasks without interruptions unless it’s important.
There are a variety of methods you can employ in order to balance your professional and family life to satisfy everyone including yourself. Don’t succumb to frustration and try to analyze the weak-points in your juggling strategy. You may be over-compensating in one area while not giving more thought to the others. Relax, this is a great time to demonstrate the importance of keeping schedules to your children.
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.