As a work from home mother of three since 2006 there are many tricks I’ve developed to be able to balance work and family time. While some days are easier than others, I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything. Being able to run my own business for this long has allowed me to be a huge part of my family’s life and teach them a good work ethic. As my children watch me build a successful business they too learn how to make money on the internet, stay focused, and learn skills to be self-motivated.
Tips to Balance Work and Family Time
While there’s no one size fits all solution to balance work and family, I can share what has worked for me. Each day I thrive to spend quality time with my family while also getting a boatload of work done. As a self-employed freelance writer, I have to remain committed to my clients while also dealing with various family issues and needs. As I said, this lifestyle isn’t easy and it honestly took about six years from 2006 to about 2012 to really have a business income that would support the kids in a comfortable way.
Have Access to Reliable Internet
The first way to make sure you can balance work and family time is to always have access to reliable internet. My family is currently on a different sort of adventure this summer that’s allowing us to save money and spend more quality time together, so knowing where we end up has access to reliable internet is a must-have for business. If I can have reliable internet at a playground, a campground, or even a hotel then I’m able to get work done in between the chaos that is called family time.
Set Work Hours
Since we’re not residing within a specific area, it’s hard to figure out what work hours are good for the appropriate balance between work and family time, but I’m trying to develop a good solid plan to get work done in between the times I have to work to entertain kids while camping. I usually start the day off by checking email and put in about two hours of work before breaking for lunch. After lunchtime, I’ll work for another hour or so. I then put in the brunt of my work hours when their dad is available to spend some quality time with the younger two so I can work again.
Just Be Honest
Last, but not least, clients appreciate honesty above anything else. If you’re running late, have minimal access to reliable internet, or have something that comes up then communicate that with your clients. When it comes to being a successful freelance writer or virtual assistant, you’ll find that keeping open communication will really help you continue having a fabulous word of mouth reference and be able to work on a regular basis. Not only should you be honest with clients, but you’ll need to be honest with yourself so that you don’t take on more than you can handle and know that your good enough some days are better than doing nothing.
At the end of the day whether you live in a big house, an apartment or you’re on a summer adventure with your family, the key to balancing work and family is, to be honest with yourself and others, make sure you have reliable internet and set a steady work schedule. I’ve found that setting myself a couple of hours to work and informing my kids that Mama is working during that time and then actually taking a break after two hours or so has allowed my children to trust that I’ll pause work to spend time with them.
If you’re struggling to balance work and family then I highly suggest you revisit your daily schedule to make room for a few minutes of quality family time. As a mother who’s about to have her firstborn graduate from an online charter school, the idea of not spending enough time this last year before that kid is an adult makes me sad. This is why I work hard to make sure I keep open communication with my kids so that they understand that my family is just as important as getting work done.
Brandy Ellen has been a blogger since 2008 and enjoys spending her free time with her family and making the most out of every moment she has. Brandy enjoys sharing personal stories, tips, and other advice based on real-life & work from home experiences to help others live a fulfilling life.