I’ve run my photography business from an office in my home for a few years now, and although I am definitely no expert in this area, I thought for this month’s SuperMoms Anonymous series I would share a few tips on how to optimize working from home when you have kids underfoot.
Having a room or even just a corner carved out for office space in your home is important for being organized and productive. It’s also key in maintaining some separation between your home life and work life, when it’s otherwise all too easy to feel like you’re always at work.
Whether it’s at naptime or after the kids go to bed, or even for just an hour while Sesame Street is on, setting specific work hours can help you to be productive in the midst of being home with kids. Be sure to plan out in advance what you’ll be working on during your next block of time to maximize your results, and resist the temptation to do household tasks during your office hours.
TIME FOR YOU, TIME FOR ME
My four-year old has missed her favorite playmate a great deal since her sister started kindergarten this year. I have found that if I can play a few games or do a craft with her for a little while – fill her tank, so to speak – she’ll quite happily play on her own for a bit while I cross an item off my to-do list.
If you find yourself with more work to do than time to get it all done, you may need to take some time to analyze where the problems lie. Would hiring a babysitter or mother’s helper for a few hours help you catch up? Can you delegate or outsource some tasks? Is there a project that you can give up, or at least put on hold for now?
LET GO OF THE GUILT
Our modern-day culture tells us that we need to constantly engage with our children, but kids need their own personal space just as much as we do. Letting kids entertain themselves helps them to develop independence, intellect, and creativity. Encourage your children to explore on their own, and enjoy the time to be productive or just take a minute to yourself, guilt-free.
Christy Johnson has two amazing little girls and a rock of a handsome hubby. She photographs Raleigh’s most adorable families and blogs her photography work and personal stories at Be True Image Design. Email her with your own struggles and triumphs with work/life balance at firstname.lastname@example.org.