Finding Balance is difficult for anybody, but I think work-at-home Moms probably have it the roughest. You can have all the stress of a bad day with your kids alongside an impending work deadline. Fortunately, Sarah Geringer (writer of last month’s Finding Freedom in Forgiveness) is back with some great tips to help her fellow WAHMs find balance!
7 Ways to Find Balance as a Work-at-Home Mom
I’ve been a member of every mommy category: work-from-home mom for 8 years, stay-at-home mom for 1.5 years, and work-outside-the-home mom for the past 4 years. Six weeks from now, I will return to the work-from-home category. As I prepare for this transition, I’m praying for wisdom in finding balance. God has helped me identify seven ways for finding balance as a work-from-home mom.
Time in God’s Word
Each morning I get up before my husband and children. I brew a cup of tea and spend about ten minutes reading my One Year Bible and praying over my day. This daily practice has set a peaceful tone before my busy days of working outside the home. I know it will continue to set a peaceful tone for my days at home, so it’s my top priority for the day.
Time to Work
I will designate specific hours only for work. Not for squeezing in vacuuming or folding laundry. Not for scrubbing the toilets or sorting papers. I learned in my eight years of working from home that certain hours of the day must be made exclusive for work. Home responsibilities will always be waiting for me, but working from home requires discipline and boundaries. I also can’t let my work hours bleed into family time or we all pay a price. My rule will be this: I work during the hours my children are at school—no more, no less.
Time to Exercise
Since my work will be done on the computer, I am forced to sit most hours of the day. If I’m not intentional about exercising, my health will suffer. To fend off sluggishness I set a timer for every 45 minutes. Then I stare out my windows at faraway objects, giving my eyes a much-needed break from the screen. I also walk briskly around the house for a few minutes or do some jumping jacks to get my blood flowing. I’m considering buying a walking desk to get some steps in while I’m working, and I will spend a half-hour each afternoon on my treadmill while I read books on my Kindle. However, nothing beats a walk outside on a pretty day (more on that later).
Time to Keep House
I lean more toward messy than neat in my housekeeping. But my husband really craves clean spaces. In my new schedule, I plan to use 15 minutes each day for pure organization (paper is my downfall). I’m looking forward to dusting off my cookbooks and making more meals from scratch. If I enlist the help of my children after school each day, we can have a cleaner house and more freedom on weekends. This will be a nice switch from cramming it all in on Saturdays. I hope that scheduled time for housekeeping will promote peace throughout our home.
Time to Unwind
Even though I’ll enjoy a quieter, slower pace at home as compared to the busy office where I currently work, I’ll still be using my brain and I’ll need a break after my designated working hours. Each afternoon I will relax by reading a book or taking a short nap so my brain gets some much-needed rest before I tackle evening responsibilities.
Time to Enjoy Nature
Staying inside all day will make my world feel oh-so-small. By getting outside every day, I will enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and an expanded view. I am blessed to live in the country where I can take peaceful walks and bask in the sounds of birdsong. I also enjoy gardening, and I plan to linger each day, perhaps at lunchtime or after supper, in my vegetable and flower gardens.
Time to Cultivate Friendships
What I will miss most of all from my current job is the face-to-face interaction with my colleagues, some whom I consider close friends. I’m going to beat the loneliness of working from home by scheduling phone time with a different friend or relative each day. To maintain a connection with my friends from work, I will schedule a monthly girls’ night out. I am also willing to sacrifice one morning of work hours for Bible study with a group of friends and offset it with extra work on Saturday mornings. As I work hard to cultivate friendships, my long hours alone will be counterbalanced with relationships.
I know from experience that I must be intentional with my time when working from home. By managing my time in these seven categories, I hope to find balance in my work-from-home schedule.
Questions for Reflection
If you are a work-from-home mom, how can you apply these tips to your current situation?
If you are in a different mommy category, which of these tips can help you manage your time well?
About Sarah Geringer
Sarah Geringer is the author of three self-published books and a memoir. She blogs regularly at sarahgeringer.com and is working on a new book for May 2017. Sarah lives in her beloved home state of Missouri with her husband and three children.