Though it is not a subject that most people want to think about, a family emergency can strike at any given time. Being prepared is the best thing a work at home mom can do to manage a family emergency while working from home.
Compile a List of Caregivers
Because a mom works from home, she is often thought of as the main caregiver of the children. This may not be possible though during a family emergency. Since the well being of children is the first priority during a family emergency, even the stay at home mom should have a list of alternative caregivers ready, if needed. Talk to the caregivers before hand and ask them if they would be available should an emergency come up, and discuss with them what should take place during an emergency situation, especially if a parent or close family member is not available.
If your child attends school or daycare outside of the home, make sure that there are caregivers listed on the emergency contact card in the school office. This is very important should a parent be unavailable to pick up a child.
Put Money Aside
Prepare for any emergencies that might cost your family wages. Open a separate savings account, or simply put money aside, as often as possible and save for a rainy day. Should an emergency come up, knowing that there is extra money available so that work can be temporarily put on hold is very reassuring. It gives the work from home mom peace of mind as the family copes with an emergency.
Communicate with Contractors
If you are employed and work at home you should know your how much personal leave and sick time you have available. If needed, take time off from work until things settle down. Taking time off might be more complicated for the freelancer or independent contractor.
Communication is key if work needs to be postponed or time off is needed. It is easier to be honest with contractors and let them know exactly what is happening than to make promises that can not be kept. It is useful to keep contact information easily accessible should employers or contractors need to be contacted by you or by a family member.
Prepare Meals in Advance
Prepare a few meals in advance to save time and lessen the stress during a difficult time. This can really help a family focus on the situation at hand instead of worrying about where the next meal will come from. Even better, set aside emergency cash, which every family should have ready, to order in or pick up fast food.
Conduct a Family Meeting
Before an emergency comes up, hold a family meeting and discuss how certain situations should be handled. Let children know who they should expect to communicate with and even take residence with if needed. Keep emergency contact, insurance, and general health information in a journal, and keep it in an accessible place, such as a kitchen or desk drawer.
It is easy for the work at home mom to take on more than her fair share of burdens, especially during a family emergency. Be prepared and willing to ask others for help, and to delegate tasks to those in the immediate family. Doing so will help you get through an emergency and still be a productive work at home mom.