Today’s Biz Ladies post is by Jennifer Dunn from Outright.com, the online resource to help manage your business finances. Today Jennifer offers tips and tricks for balancing your work-life and mom-life when the kids are out of school for the summer. Thanks for sharing your advice, Jennifer! — Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump . . .
There are only so many hours in a day. As a crafter, you want as few distractions as possible, especially when you get into “the zone.” Time is money, and the more you spend it dealing with other stuff that isn’t involved with your company, well, the less you have of both!
This can be exponentially worse when you work from home. When you have an office space, you’re able to do what you have to do and buckle down. At home, looking away from your computer can give you dozens of other things to think about. Suddenly you see all the clothes to be folded, shelves to be dusted, and bills to be paid.
When the kids are home for the summer, forget it. How are you supposed to get anything done with them running around? You might as well just give up for the summer, or send them away to camp.
If you play your cards right, though, you can get all your work done AND have time for the little ones. It just comes down to maintaining a healthy balance of work and family time. But how do you achieve this?
The big problem business owners with kids run into is that kids are very unpredictable. One second they’re hanging out watching Dora in the other room, and the next they’re hanging from the rafters in your home office. There’s no real way to predict how they’re going to act on a minute-to-minute basis.
But think of it like this: Your kids desperately want your attention because they love you (and they’re bored). The only thing they want when they burst into your office is for you to acknowledge them for a little bit.
With a little careful planning, though, you can (mostly) prevent this. If your kids are in school, they should be approaching the age where you can reason with them. So try to negotiate a little agreement.
Kids don’t want to do anything that isn’t fun — it’s part of being a kid after all! So your agreement with them has to keep their interest. For example, let them know why these boundaries are in place.
“Mama has to work and make money. Why don’t you help me out? You guys go do these fun activities, and it’ll be like your work! For payment at the end of the week, we can go to that place you really like.”
We’re not above bribery, is what we’re saying. That probably shouldn’t be your first line of defense, but we all know it works with kids most of the time, especially when they’re super rowdy.
Above all else, make sure there’s a definite boundary between “home life” and “work time.” Let the kids know that when you’re in your home-office space, you are not to be disturbed. You can do this with a closed door, or if you have to work at the kitchen table where you’re easily accessible, wear big noticeable earphones or a funny hat to let the kids know you’re buckled down.
When you leave work, dedicate your energy to your family, and leave the work in the other room. It may be tough at first, but they’ll get it, and you’ll be able to get things done and have a happy, balanced life.