Last Updated October 5th, 2007

What’s Really Important to You?

Being a stay at home or work at home parent means sacrifice for most people. It is often a statement that you value your family above money or your career. Not always, but often.

But even in your day to day life you need to think about what is most important to you. If your children are in a lot of activities that interfere with family time, is that the right use of your priorities? Of your children’s priorities? Is it right for the family?

Sometimes the right answer is not easily seen. If your kids love their activities, for example, you might not want to make them give those activities up, even though they result in such a loss of family time. On the other hand, taking a break might be the right thing to do.

Similarly, you have to balance working at home with working on housework. How important is a clean home to you in comparison to having a successful work at home business?

My own balance can be a bit off at times. If I let housework slide a little too far because I’m feeling inspired in relation to my business, there will quickly come a time where I will have to work much harder on housework than I would have if I had simply kept up.

And of course there is no substitute for time with the kids.

One of the key things I try to do (don’t always succeed, but try), is to minimize how often I deal with a particular item. Mail, both electronic and paper, needs to be sorted and disposed of quickly. The majority may go in the trash, but the rest really should be read immediately, and a decision made. The fewer times I have to interact with a given item, the better.

Keeping your life organized and focusing on what really matters to you is a great help when it comes to perspective. You will know what matters the most to you and what you really don’t care all that much about.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated September 18th, 2007

Do You Forget Family Time?

Working at home has always been a major time commitment for me, and I’ll readily admit that sometimes I struggle with balancing it with family time. How do you make sure you have enough of it?

A part of it comes from planning. If you don’t have a schedule it can be very easy to overdo, to feel that you have to keep working, even when your family needs you.

Your day to day routine can help you keep in touch with your family. You should always be taking time to be there with your family.

It can start with dinner. Eat together regularly. Daily is ideal, with the television off. Prepare dinner together. I got my kids started in the kitchen very young. They don’t have to be very old to tear lettuce, after all, and how they help changes as they grow.

That’s one of the important things to remember about family time, in my opinion. It is not just about having fun. It’s about living together and helping each other.

But I do try to get out with my family. We try to have family outings regularly. Our ideal is once a week, but other parts of life often get in the way of that.

A simple thing to do is pick a place and go hiking. It’s free and good for all of you.

Of course, at times you do have to cope with your work getting out of hand. Business picks up and you really need to work extra hours. Getting enough family time is tough.

In part you will need to decide how much work you should be taking on. Sometimes you have to just deal with it, but other times it’s a matter of knowing how to say no.

If it’s getting really tough, it may be time to consider a little childcare help. That may not be the reason you work at home, but it can be of great assistance at those times when you just really need to get things done without interruption.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll have family or friends who can help much of the time. In my case, that would be my inlaws. Retired, local grandparents are really amazing.

Other times you’ll have to pay for help. If that’s what it takes, you may have to be resigned to it.

Once you’re done with the busy times, make sure you commit to some good family time again. You do not want overwork to become a habit.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated May 6th, 2007

Are You Overcomplicating Your Home Business Schedule?

Great time management skills are vital to running a successful home business. If you aren’t paying attention to how you use your time, you are probably wasting a lot of it.

But if you overdo it you can make things worse.

There are some basic things you should do to manage your time well when working on your home business. You should have a time to check your email, then leave it alone as much as possible. You should know how much time you can spend on forums and blogs. You should know how much time you need in order to get everything that you need to get done, done.

But sometimes you can overdo it. When you forget that flexibility is one of the key benefits of running your own business it is very easy to do this.

If you say you’ll check email from 9-10, participate in forums from 10-11 and so forth, you’re probably overdoing the schedule. You may not need all that time for each activity every day, and if you find scheduling that carefully hampers your ability to change tasks when you finish early, it’s probably a problem. Read the rest of this entry »

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 17th, 2007

What's Hardest About Working at Home?

When you’re just starting out working at home or even if you’ve been doing it for a while, you need to consider the downsides to working at home. It’s not all fun.

I’m fortunate in that things are working out well for me as a work at home mom, but there are times that I realize I’m letting things get out of hand and working too much.

Working too much is a very common hazard. It’s just so EASY to go back to the computer and keep working. The kids might want to play, you might really need to get dinner going, but there’s just that one little thing you really, really want to get done.

When I catch myself at it, I make an effort to do better. I take more time with the kids. Today we went to the park for lunch, for example. Didn’t quite turn out how I hoped, but overall we had fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated October 14th, 2006

Working at Home Gets Hectic Sometimes

Working at home is a dream situation for many people. The ability to be there for your family, avoid that miserable commute, be your own boss… lots of people would love that situation.

What many fail to think about, however, is what it really takes to work at home. Being at home often gets hectic. The kids are demanding, every little problem in the house needs attention, there’s the temptation to do housework instead of paying work or worse yet, to just watch television.

I’ve dealt with plenty of challenges as I’ve worked at home. The biggest was when my son had surgery for craniosynostosis, and then had at least two helmet checks per week, plus surgical followups and regular checkups. Hectic didn’t begin to describe it. But can you imagine how hard it would have been to cope if I had been working outside the home? Read the rest of this entry »

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.