Friday, December 30, 2011

10 Tips To Avoid Work At Home Mom Burnout

Working from home is a great way to stay home with your kids while still supplementing the family’s income. On the flipside, it can be challenging to be mother and employee at the same time. Your stress level will rise quickly when you have deadlines to keep or phone calls to make while your little ones are acting out. Implement a few of the ideas below to prevent Work at Home Mom Burnout. 

1. Don’t work more than you have to. Money isn’t everything. You family needs a happy and sane mom.

2. Create a schedule or to-do list both for work and your personal life. Just realize that you won’t always get everything done and don’t worry if you don’t. There’s always tomorrow. 

3. Designate an errand day. Spend one day a week running around town getting everything done for the week. This is when you will grocery shop, drop things off at the drycleaner, go to the post office and anything else you need to do. 

4. Enjoy your kids. Take some time to play with them every day. Have a picnic lunch in the yard, take them on a little field trip or just play catch for a while. You’re a work at home mom because you want to spend time with your kids. Work and house chores can wait while you play. 

5. Go out on a date with your spouse. Make date night a regular occurrence and connect with your lover. 

6. Have lunch with a girlfriend. We need some adult conversation every now and then. Make time to stay in touch with your friends. 

7. Call a friend. If you are having a bad day, call a good friend and just talk for a little while. You’ll be relaxed and rejuvenated when you get back. 

8. Get some exercise. Go for a walk, join a gym, or try a Pilate’s class. Exercise will not only keep you in shape, it’s also a great de-stressor. 

9. Play some upbeat music and dance around the living room. Who cares if your kids and the neighbors think you’ve lost it? You are having fun and are releasing all that build up physical energy. 

10. If you own a business, stick to one until it more or less runs itself. Don’t burn yourself out by trying to run several businesses at the same time. 

Start implementing a few of these ideas today and watch your stress level go down. You will prevent work at home mom burnout and get to enjoy life more. Your family will appreciate spending time with a fun and relaxed mom. That’s what it’s all about – spending quality time with your family

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dealing with stereotypes - What does a Work-at-home-school mom look like?

One of the hardest issues to contend with as a work-at-homeschool mom is the perception of others that you aren’t working. Many people think that working at home isn’t working at all, and that you have all of the free time in the world. Those who have spent any time working at home know that there is a lot of time and energy that goes into effectively working at home. Friends who call in the middle of the day, spouses who expect you to be doing more while home or family members who make offhand comments, can undermine those efforts. Add homeschooling to the mix, and you have a recipe for misunderstandings and frayed tempers.

Not all stay at home moms work, and they certainly don't usually try to work and homeschool. If you have friends who do neither, it can be hard impossible for them to understand that your days aren’t free. Calls during your working time, invitations to lunch and uninvited guests can throw a wrench in your work schedule. In order to get your friends to respect your time, it’s important to make your working schedule clear to them. And to make them understand that homeschooling is not a hobby or a whim, but the most important part of your "work" day.

If you don’t have a clear work schedule, then it is time to make one for yourself. Since school is obviously a priority, you will have to be intentional about setting aside hours that you designate as "work."  By setting office hours for yourself, you will make it clear to everyone around you that you are serious about your work. It will also help set boundaries for your time. Tell your friends that you will be unavailable from a certain time to a certain time, but you’d love to talk before or after those times. Make sure your children are able to work independently, or that your older children can supervise the younger ones during the time you are "in the office." You may even go so far as to turn off your phone. If you do answer the phone and someone wants to chat, politely let them know that you are working but can speak after a certain time. Also, schedule things like lunches or visits for one day per week. This way you’ll reduce the drop-ins and spontaneous invitations.

Spouses can sometimes have difficulty understanding why, if you are home all day, the housework isn’t done. This problem can best by solved by familiarizing him with the nature of your homeschool and your business. Show him exactly what you need to do each day, and how long it takes to do each task. Help him understand your work schedule, and how much time you need to work per day. Happily, homeschool dads are usually good about recognizing the sacrifice you are making to homeschool your children, and they just need to walk through your day realize the benefits of your work as well.

Then ask him to help you come up with solutions for working at home and maintaining the household. Make a list of things that need to be done each week, and assign duties to you, him and the children (those who are old enough). Then taking care of the house becomes a family priority and something that you all share responsibility in. Notify him of any special projects by keeping a work calendar on the wall. That way he can see what is going on with your work schedule, and why you have ordered pizza for dinner three times in the last week!

Many work at homeschool moms can be hurt over offhand comments about working at home. Family or even friends can say things like “Well you have the time, because you are at home.” These are usually the same ones who cannot understand why you homeschool, or what it entails. In situations like these, you have two choices. You can either get upset and offer a flustered defense or you can take their comments with a grain of salt and offer a calm response. Depending on the situation you can say something like “Well, school ends at 2pm, and after that I have several hours in the office. Let me check my work schedule. I know I am not available on these days” or “That would be great on Friday afternoon, which is when I leave time in my work schedule for those types of things.”

Remember, working at home is new territory for many people although the numbers of moms who are trying to work at home and homeschool  are growing. It may take some time for the average person to understand the commitment and scheduling that it takes to effectively mix a home business with homeschooling. You may never convince some people that you are actually teaching and working while at home, but establishing respect for your own time is one way to make them see that what you are doing is important.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twelve Days of Homeschool

Thanks to Sandee Rodriguez for the heads up about this fun video version of "Twelve Days of Christmas" as sung by homeschool moms. No further comment is needed, the video speaks for itself! Merry Christmas!

This is pretty hilarious for homeschool moms.