When it comes to children and divorce, there are many moms out there who have to handle the work/life balance. For work-at-home moms, it can be even harder to maintain this balance, especially if the children are too young to be in school (or if the father has little to no interest in helping take care of the children). So, exactly how can a work-at-home mom handle parenting and paying the bills by herself?
Scheduling is Key
Without a schedule, things will get hectic. Make time to care for and play with the children, and make time to work. It may mean you go with much less sleep than you should, but it will pay the bills without neglecting the children. Work around their needs. Get up earlier than they do, stay up later than they do. Cherish the fact that you're not having to pay terribly high child care bills, or worry about having gas in the car to get work every day. Adjust workloads to accommodate scheduling needs as they change. Get the children into a daily routine so they know what to expect.
There's nothing wrong with getting help when you need it. If you're dealing with children and divorce, you income with child support (from the child's father) is rarely enough to pay the bills and put food on the table. If your income and family size qualifies, consider using assistance programs to help pay the the rent, buy groceries, and/or provide health insurance for the children. Rules and regulations will vary from state to state, but in working and paying taxes, you're entitled to the help.
Enlist the Help of Family and Friends
If you are fortunate enough to live nearby other family members, see if there is anything they are willing to do to help you with the children while you work. You can offer to help them in other ways. For instance, if there are other children in the family, offer to watch them a couple days a week, in exchange for the other parent doing the same thing. This way you can work in peace and quiet a few days of the week.Whatever arrangements you can work out with family and friends to make sure you have time to work will be a great help to you (and the children will get to socialize). If the father remains active in the children's lives, take advantage of time they spend with him to get more work done, but don't forget to take time for yourself to avoid burn out.
Parenting and handling a work/life balance through divorce is a hard task for any work-at-home mom. Expect to have good days where a lot of work gets done, and bad days where little to no work gets done. The best thing you can do is brush it off and start the following day as a new day. The less you stress, the better for you, the quality of you work and the morale of the children.