Do any of these statements sound familiar to you?
“I just need one more minute. Is that too much to ask?” growled through clenched teeth, under your breath.
“Get out! I’m working,” yelled at anyone or anything entering your sacred work space.
“Oh my gosh! I will never get this done,” sobbed loudly by your beat-down self.
It doesn’t matter – we often need time to work and to do so when our kids are home AND awake. ☺
And we want to do it with honor. Not with the big dose of mom guilt that we usually feel!
Listen up. Scheduling your work time at home is the key!
Read below for 3 reasons why it’s a crucial step to a happy home life.
And, just so you know, these reasons aren’t coming from an expert. They’re coming from a sinner too. (I’m preaching to myself here!)
Reason 1: Productivity
Bluntly speaking here, when you SCHEDULE time to work away from your children, even if they are still in the house, you just get MORE DONE.
One hour by yourself…focused can be more productive than 4 hours on a Saturday morning with everyone awake and moving around you.
Without scheduling “official” work time at home, here’s a common scenario. (And fill in whatever task you want—grading papers if you are a teacher, checking email if you are anyone, whatever.)
You start to pack a box for shipping to a customer. Lose the label because your child interrupted you for a snack. Reprint the label. Then realize you left the package in the kitchen when you inadvertently took it to prepare the snack. Retrieving the box, you are once again in your child’s line of sight and another request of you is made. 30 minutes of “work on your side business” = one product only half prepared for shipping.
Ugh! What a waste of everyone’s time–yours and your child’s!
Reason 2: Mistakes
Working in pandemonium can result in lots of mistakes. Look, we are already strapped for time. Pardon my Southern here, but we AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THIS!
So, set aside time when you plan to work. Tell your children that you will be working.
Explain the tasks you plan to accomplish and why they are important…to your job, to your income or to them as members of the family.
Of course, share only things that are age appropriate. Don’t scare them but inform them.
Set yourself up for productivity, and set them up for success. For example, get snacks ready in advance if you know they’ll ask for some when you are working. Or, tell them what to do if they come to a homework problem that they can’t do alone.
Then, get to work.
And of course, not every session will be perfect, but getting in the habit of scheduling work time will lessen your mistakes and set you up to be overall more productive.
Because…you don’t have time to redo something that you just tried to do and messed up.
It’s a waste of your time and your children’s time.
We mommas feel guilty about everything…we work too much; we don’t work enough; we didn’t pack our children’s lunches; we packed their lunches so they’ll never be independent. Ever.
You get my point?! It just goes on and on.
Scheduling work time can help with the mom-guilt thing!
See, there is a time and place to tell your children that you are working and you need time to yourself to do that work. There is nothing wrong with that! That is how we teach our children to value work and to value other people’s spaces and ideas.
That is why scheduling your work time is so powerful. It removes the guilt by placing it on our to-do list.
It moves “work” from the something-I will-do-when-I-have-time-this-weekend-but-must-be-done-before-Monday category to the get-it-done-today category.
The concept is the same with anything we care about…making time to exercising, visiting with friends, going to church and spending time with our children.
We have to intentionally make time…to schedule.
Otherwise, things get in the way. We are left frustrated because we (the moms) didn’t get to do something we wanted (or really needed) to do. It is that frustration and attempts at multitasking (in order to squeeze in our wanted activities) that we lash out at those people standing in our way of accomplishing that task. Admittedly, often times these so-called people are lying, crying, eating, screaming, etc. in our way. They aren’t actually standing. But, you get my point.
If we do things to lessen our frustrations, such as schedule official work time, our careless comments lessen. And when we are more thoughtful in our speech, we feel much less guilt! Think of scheduling work time as a preemptive strike on mom guilt.
And just so happens, it makes you more productive and less prone to mistakes.
About the Author: Rachel Eubanks, a freelance writer in Huntsville, AL, writes about her experiences in life, motherhood, and business at inspiretoengage.com. There she tries (bless her heart) to inform and inspire other mothers who are navigating the murky waters of motherhood and entrepreneurship.