Working mothers constantly struggle to balance their career and their family life. This struggle is even more difficult for a telecommuting mom. Without the advantage of having a separate space for work and play, it becomes easy for you to let your work bleed over into your family life and vice versa. However, there are a few simple things you can do to maintain productivity and maximize the time you spend with your family.
Designate An Office Space
You may be tempted to tinker with your laptop while you make dinner, but it's not the most efficient way to get your work done. Create a space that is dedicated to work-at-home pursuits. Make sure this area is in a quiet place in the home, free from distractions like television sets and stereos. Also, try to keep your home office away from the kitchen so you're not tempted to wash the pile of dirty dishes in the sink while you're working.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule will not only give your work day structure, but it will help you divide your time equally between your job and your family. When establishing a routine, work around the kid's meals and nap-times. Once you've established a routine, stick with it. If you don't finish a task within the allotted time frame, don't cut into your family time to finish it. Respect the boundaries you've created.
Get Some Fresh Air
Being cooped up in the house all day is bound to drive you crazy. When you're not working, get out of the house. Take the kids to the zoo or take a walk around the mall. Leaving the house will allow you to leave your work behind for a few hours and enjoy the time you have with your children.
Telecommuting, like motherhood, can be a lonely enterprise. You may have the luxury of working in your pajamas, but you lose the opportunity to interact with colleagues and connect around the water cooler. To avoid feeling isolated, make an effort to meet up with friends at least once a week. Join a working mother's group or take a recreational evening class. Make sure you create ample opportunities to converse and connect with other adults.
Save the Best Part of Your Day for Your Family
You want to succeed as a telecommuter. However, it's important to remember that you're working at home so you can spend more time with your family. Don't spend all day in front of the computer while your child watches PBS. Schedule your work day, but allocate a large chunk of time to spend with your kids. While you're working, focus solely on your job. But when you're with your family, don't let thoughts of work get in the way.
Enjoy the time you have with your kids and make every minute count!