Managing the Work Life Balance for Parents
Working from home seems to be the solution to the recession as it allows many parents to juggle work and life while bringing in extra cash. As more and more opportunities arise for people to sell their skills online, more people than ever are using the home PC to make money.
This flexible way of working is obviously popular however it can blur the lines between work and life, leaving some feeling as though they’re giving neither work nor life 100%.
Many parents often feel guilt when they work a full-time job as they miss time with their children. Working from home can be a solution to this, however if it’s not managed properly it can make the guilt worse.
For instance, if you work in an office away from the home, when you have a deadline to meet the only people that see you stressed are your colleagues. At home, your children will witness your stress and it can be easy to snipe at them a little if they choose this particular time to be less than well behaved.
When situations like this arise, working from home can seem like a disadvantage when all it takes is a few small changes to make it work.
Here are some tips on how to separate work and life to ensure you give both the attention they deserve.
You may hate the thought of routine, as it does have a bad press for being boring and can make you feel as if you are turning into your parents. However, it’s important to know that children thrive on routine, while an adult’s mental health can benefit too. If you have a proper routine for work, childcare and life, your children will adapt and will be more likely to embrace the changes.
For example if you have children at home, schedule time where you concentrate solely on them, play their games and give them all of your attention. Then schedule time when you’ll work as they watch a little TV or play close by. They’ll soon get into the habit.
Invest in Help
You may have played Candy Crush with the children around, or chatted to friends on Facebook but working is a whole new ball game. You need complete concentration and peace and quiet in order to do the job properly. Of course, you may be working from home to save money but investing in a little childcare can help you double your income in just a few days.
You’ll be surprised how much more you do get done when you’re not on demand 24/7. They don’t often shout about it but some parents actually look forward to going to work so they can have a break!
Set Clear Structures
You may think you’re multitasking if you’re answering emails when you’re eating dinner, everyone else thinks you’re rude. For your own sanity and for the sake of your family you need a set structure so you and they know when work comes to an end.
For example, choose a couple of complete days off a week, it doesn’t have to be a weekend (many work weekends as childcare is easier). Also choose a time when you start and finish work. Children will look forward to you packing up your tools for the day and partners will appreciate your undivided attention too!
Make Space for Success
It’s impossible to switch off if when you finish working from home for the day you see notes scattered across the dining table, your laptop winking at you as it charges in the bedroom and your diary poking out of your bookshelf reminding you of those little “To Do’s".
It doesn’t matter how small it is, make a space for your work and put a screen across it when you’re done so it’s out of sight, out of mind. It helps to separate the two and will also make you more organised.
Remember why you chose to work from home, to enjoy more time with your family and to have a better quality of life. Your future is in your hands and as a freelancer you now have the gift of choice!