Sunday, March 27, 2011

Work at Home Mom Stress

By Aurelia Williams, author of Balancing Work and Family guide.
The trend of moms working from home to be near their children has grown in the last couple of years. Now that they have found jobs or businesses to run, they’re starting to realize that working from home is not as easy as they thought it would be. The work they do is hard to separate form their personal lives, which makes it hard to schedule time for work responsibilities and home duties.
The workspace these moms use to do their jobs at ends up being a part of their household, so that makes dividing work and home life even more difficult to do - and one of the motivating reasons for creating my Balancing Work and Family guide. Imagine that your office is a part of the dining room, which also happens to be the room where you eat your meals as a family. How easy is it going to be for you to leave your work life to be with your family when the office is 5 feet away from the dinner table?
The realities of dividing work and personal life can get smudged for work at home moms. When that happens, one’s stress level is sure to rise, which could jeopardize one’s sanity. To prevent your sanity from leaving, you should find ways to ensure that separation takes place between your job/business and your family life.
Assess the current situation. Try to find an area, within your home, to have your office so that it won’t interfere with your family life. The home office needs a room with a door where you can be apart from the rest of the house. A den or a garage can be converted into office space that is exclusive to your business. Some people have resorted to placing their office in the laundry room, just because it has a door! When that is not an option, set up shop in your bedroom to keep it away from the family areas.
Organization is the next step. A messy desk can be a huge distraction when trying to work. Everything needs to have its place. If you worked in an office, your boss would not stand for a messy work space. There’s no difference when you’re office is at home and not at the worksite.
Use inexpensive organizing items, such as baskets with separate compartments to help organize the odds and ends on your desk. You can keep rubber stamps, letters, invoices, pens, pencils, and the like in here. Organization makes finding things much easier, which results in a more relaxed work day.
Keep your business phone separate from the family phone line. When using the same line, you run the risk of your children answering business calls or picking up the phone during a conference call. This causes your professionalism to fly right out the window and takes your customers or employers along with it.
The same goes for the computer. It’s best to keep your business computer separate from what the other family members use, but budgets don’t always allow for this. In that case, make sure that the business/job files and documents can’t be easily accessed by anyone but you. This will help prevent some of the stress that could be brought on by family members stumbling on a client’s important document and accidentally deleting them.
Be sure to use calendars or planners as they are very helpful when trying to keep track of business appointments or deadlines and family appointments. This will lessen the stress of setting up family appointments when you’ve forgotten about business deadlines you have.
Consider hiring a sitter on days you have a lot of work to do. Being a work at home mom gives you the benefit of controlling your own schedule. Having a sitter keeps the kids away from your office and gives you quiet time to focus on your work and gives your kids a chance to have fun without you feeling too guilty.
Mixing business with family in the home setting can be a major source of stress. Keeping the business side of your life organized and separate is crucial to success in keeping your stress levels down and your sanity intact.
Get More Help:
Working at home can be extremely rewarding, but it's challenging. Get the help you need with Real Life Guidance to Balancing Work and Family. It's your practical guide to tracking your time, setting priorities, learning to say no and achieving that balance you strive for.

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