Balancing WAHM Life!
Possibly the most tiring aspect of being a ‘Work at Home Mum’ (WAHM) is the daily balance between work, children, husband, house, and finding time for yourself. I like to think that I put the children first all the time, but with an extremely demanding 4 year old ‘screamer’, and a nudist toddler who enjoys climbing on top of the play house, it is quite impossible! Add to that, a husband whose primary love languages [you can read more on the 5 love languages here – I highly recommend it) are ‘Physical Touch’ and ‘Quality Time’, and a house that becomes more and more covered in toys and clothes, by the minute, finding time to sit down and work isn’t as easy as one would have first thought! No two days are the same, but I have found some useful tools that help:
‘Nudist-Toddler’ and ‘Screaming-Child’ (above)
The single, most important daily tool that I use. Scheduling allows me to set out time to focus on the children without feeling guilty that I should be working or replying to customers. It works both ways though! I can work later on, knowing that I have spent quality time with the children and I am not ignoring their needs by allowing the Paw Patrol to entertain them for 30 minutes or so. Occasionally, Screaming Child will ask for snacks every 2 minutes and nudist-toddler will decide that she would prefer to sit on my lap, dropping grapes and popcorn into my cleavage… But I can catch up on that lost work time later, right :/ ARGH!!
You can imagine my devastation when I found that at barely 2 years of age, Nudist-Toddler is beginning to drop her afternoon nap. The afternoon nap-time was MY time. It was a chance to either process orders, take 10 minutes for myself with a HOT cup of tea, catch up on some washing up, go for a wee, ALONE, or spending some 1-1 time with Screaming-Child. Make the most of nap time whilst you can, and don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for taking time for yourself.
Grab whatever time you can:
Screaming-Child attends dance classes for an hour on a Saturday morning, with a friend whose older sister just so happens to be Nudist-Toddler’s best big friend! This is my chance to either catch up on work, or take some time for myself and chat to a friend. Whether it is half an hour at football practice or the 5 minutes play-doh entertainment time (before it ends up squashed into the carpet), grab the time!!
Arrange a childcare swap:
My estimate, is that I am around 500% more productive without kids around… It is why I usually work in the evening, however when poor hubby has barely seen me all week because I have been packing orders and making stock every night, other forces have to be called in for support! A childcare swap is a brilliant idea. I’ll have my friend’s daughters on Monday, whilst my friend goes to the gym, and she has Screaming-Child and Nudist-Toddler whilst I catch up on some work!
Weekly to do list:
Three columns – Family, House, Work. Three rows – Must be done, Should be done, May (Won’t) get done. What a brilliant idea! Unfortunately, my examples of the ‘Must be done’ list are: Drink cold tea, Find Screaming-Child’s missing Cinderella doll because “losing Cinderella is the worst thing to ever happen in the whole wide world”, Tell Nudist-Toddler to stop jumping off the sofa 10,000 times. Well, I’ll get there one day…
Ask for help:
DO IT! Don’t feel guilty, don’t feel as though your pride has been diminished. You cannot do it all, all of the time. Yes, sometimes you may have a superwoman/supermum day and everything will be perfect, but there will be days where Screaming-Child has screamed so much you worry your brain is going to explode, or where Nudist-Toddler has fallen and cried every 10 minutes of the day. It is OK to ask for help, and to screw up and throw away the list above! 😉
and most importantly, TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF: