How to find work-life balance as a work at home parent
Do you ever feel pulled in so many directions you find yourself going a little bit crazy? Well, January was definitely a lesson in work-life balance for me as I navigated ramping up on work, my kids getting sick (repeatedly), and feeling serious mommy guilt over not making enough quality time for my kids. However, the last few weeks I really feel like I have found my groove, and it's all thanks to a few minor adjustments in my day to day life. Here are a few tips that have helped me get more done and be a more a present (and happier) mama.
1. Schedule your day
This single tip is really what prompted me getting my day-to-day life together. I don't have every minute of every day scheduled out –with two little ones I have to be flexible with my schedule! So my "schedule" really means setting aside certain times of the day for certain activities. For example, in the morning I set aside 10-15 minutes to check my e-mail. I don't worry about dishes, or being a "present" mommy in that time and instead just get a few e-mails knocked out. After that it's playtime and I focus only playtime! Then when naptime rolls around I set aside 15 -and only 15- minutes for cleaning, followed by work tasks.
2. Set realistic goals for each day
I figured out this one after I tried out tip #1. If you don't set daily goals, you don't know what you're working toward or when you've reached your goal. Setting goals helps you manage your time and prioritize your work. It's nice when at the end of the day you know you've met the tasks you've set to accomplish. And when you don't meet your goals, you know exactly what you need to do the next day.
3. Be aware of how much time you're giving up to social media
This one I begrudgingly learned. I never considered myself a huge social media person, but I did a lot of mindless scrolling. When I started scheduling my day, I was forced to realize just how much time I have in a day, and how much 5 minutes here and there on Facebook or Instagram really ate away at the 24 hours we're given in a day. I'm still working on this one, but when I put my phone away I am giving myself more time. More time to work when it's time to work and certainly more time actively enjoy being with my kids.
4. When you're not "on the clock" be fully present with your kids
I don't know if this is a tip or a reward for the following the above tips. Scheduling my time allows me to focus on exactly what I'm doing instead of being half focused on work and half focused on being a mom during the day. I don't guilt myself during work time, but once that time is up I push it aside and I am focused on the kiddos (and the occasional chore of course!). And this feels so much better than being half present in each task throughout the day. I'm also way less stressed, and the less stressed out mommy is, the way happier the kiddos are.
I am certainly no expert on work-life balance, but I know I feel so much better these days now that I follow the above guidelines throughout my day. I thought these tips were certainly worth the share!
Your turn: What helps you balance your life a little?