Some of us have the luxury of using our computer to work from home. But being a work at home mum can also be something of a challenge, especially when you have toddlers and young children who also need your care and attention. So being able to maintain a work life balance becomes important.
Balancing Work and Life as a Mum Working From Home
Exclusively working from home using a computer can make the physical and psychological boundaries between your work and your personal life blurred at best, and non-existent at worst. No matter how organised you are, managing your work obligations, your household, your kids, and making time for yourself can be incredibly difficult. It can even send you stir crazy!
Maintaining a healthy balance between “work” and “life” is crucial for your mental health, happiness, and overall well-being. Without an adequate balance, you can become stressed, anxious, overtired, and depressed. On the other hand, a good balance between these results in efficiency, productivity, autonomy, and general well-being.
How I created an area to relax and spend quality time with my family
As a mum who works from home online, I found that I needed to combine spending time with my family and being able to get exercise and fresh air. So we came up with the idea of dedicating an area in our backyard to plant a butterfly and bee friendly garden. We could all get outside and do something together away from technology.
This has been a great experience and now we have an area where we can relax and watch these amazing creatures flying from one flower to the next, pollinating as they go. As I work online building websites, I decided that in my spare time I would share my experiences of building a Butterfly Bee Garden and the benefits for our environment.
7 Tips for a Mum Working from Home to Maintain a Healthy Work Life Balance
Tip 1 -Create a Designated Work Area
When using your computer to work from home, you should find yourself a designated work area. Whether it is an office, a study, a nook, or even just a comfortable chair, designate an area in your home for work – and only work. Make it ergonomically suitable for the work you need to get done, as well as comfortable and appealing with plenty of natural light and fresh air available. Keep this space uncluttered and distraction-free.
You must try to keep it separate from your bedroom, your children’s play area, and where you relax.
Tip 2 – Set a Schedule
Working from home can enable flexibility, but you do need to be committed and disciplined for it to work. Set a schedule that suits your job requirements and your availability and do your best to stick to it, as being a work at home mum things inevitably come up.
- Wake up and start work at the same time each day, you may need to factor in time when your children are sleeping.
- Focus on your work and avoid distractions such as having a TV, radio, or music on in the background.
- Plan to knock off at a predetermined time. This helps you to separate your workday from your leisure time and avoid having one overlap into the other, and allows you to have quality time with your kids.
Tip 3 – Get Dressed!
If you’re having virtual meetings for work, you’ll need to dress accordingly. But what about if it’s just you and your computer? You can just work in your pyjamas, right?
Wrong. By getting dressed, you’re preparing mentally for the workday, and getting “into the zone”. You don’t need to dress up or put on makeup, but you should dress comfortably and in clothing you’d happily walk out to your letterbox in.
Tip 4 – Communicate Efficiently
Keep in touch with your team or work colleagues – via email, voice call, Skype, Zoom, or whatever works for you.
Tip 5 – Take Breaks
When you’re bunkered down working online from home, it can be easy to neglect breaks for lunch and morning tea. These are very important so that you avoid feeling trapped by your work and in your home.
Tip 6 – Log Off – Completely
When you finish work for the day or the week, really be finished. Let after-hours phone calls go to voicemail. Let emails wait until the next workday. Move away from your work area. Let your team know when you’re scheduled to be working and when you are not.
Tip 7 – Ways to Maintain a Work-Life Balance as a Mum Working from Home
Make time for your family and yourself:
- Go for a walk around the block
- Check social media
- Chat with a friend
- Get out in the garden
- Take a relaxing bath
- Read a book
- Do something creative – craft, cooking, sewing, art
- Watch a favourite TV show or movie
- Play with your pet
- Spend quality time with your kids or partner
Prioritize what you need to do alongside what you want to do. Plan and schedule your day accordingly.
The ability of a mum to work from home can be incredibly beneficial for so many of us, as we are able to be there for our children when they need us.
Benefits of Being a Work at Home Mum
As a mum, working from home with a computer has many benefits:
- Flexible, being there for your children if they need their Mum
- May minimise stress
- May even afford a greater work-life balance
- Less time stuck in transit between work and home
- You’ll save money on fuel, bought lunches, bought coffees and child care
- No need to get up as early
- No need to dress for the office or put on makeup every day
- Many workplace distractions are gone
- More flexibility over when and how you take breaks
- You achieve more work output in less time
- You achieve more in terms of household management – giving yourself more time to relax
The above suggestions are there as just that – suggestions.
Figure out what works for you and embrace it.
Know that just as much as you may be struggling with the transition, so are many, many others. You may even find that, being a Mum that works from home, once you get used to it, you actually prefer this way of life – and your work-life balance is better than ever before.