Guest Post: Balancing Family & Working From Home

Hey everyone! Today, I'm kicking off a series of Wednesday guest posts to introduce you to some great writers and let me have time adjusting to motherhood with our new little boy. I hope you enjoy reading what these ladies have to say. Make sure you take time to check out their blogs and let them know how you found them! - whitney


Hi friends!  I’m Amy – wife, mother of three, and small business owner.  I’m so excited to be here at Journey Mercies today sharing about how to balance work and family life.  Thanks so much for having me, Whitney!

Finding balance in life is a continuous struggle for most of us.  As seasons and schedules change, we find ourselves rearranging our lives to find a situation that allows us to fit everything in.  It’s a tough job – fitting the many pieces of our lives together. How do we manipulate them to fit into the big picture? How do we make sure we are filling in the WHOLE picture and not just one corner?  The balance between taking care of our families and working from home – how do we find it?  I’m here today to share with you how I’ve found balance in this busy season of life – and I’m going to share some tips to help YOU find that balance as well.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a mother to three small children, a work-at-home-mom, and a creative soul.  After our adopted daughter, Maia, came home and I re-launched my small business, I found myself drowning in to-do lists, laundry, and work.  There weren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done, and my family was suffering.  I found myself parenting my kids from behind my laptop and plopping them in front of the TV for too many hours so that I could get more work done.  Something had to change.  I needed to find a balance that allowed me to follow my dreams while still maintaining a strong grasp on my responsibilities as a wife and mother.

I’m happy to say that three months later, my life is pretty well balanced.  I have time set aside each day for housework, work, and time with my kids.   My days end with a feeling of accomplishment, not regret.  I don’t get everything done each day, and I’m okay with that.  I have set my focus on what is important to me and I work to fit those pieces of the puzzle together.  No more, no less.

Here are the steps I used to find balance in my life.

1. Determine your priorities.

List everything that you need (or want) to accomplish in this season of life.  List them in order of importance. My order of priorities look like this: a) husband b) kids c) home d) work e) self. These are generic – my initial list was much more detailed than this.

2. Look at your daily schedule, weekly schedule, and monthly schedule. 

Is there time to fit everything in?  If not, start scratching off items at the bottom of your list. You can always squeeze them in as time allows.  For now you just want to make sure you have time for the top priorities in your life.

3. Plug things in.

I decided to break my day up into big segments: morning, afternoon, and evening. Find what works for you and break up your day.  Then start plugging your priorities into the segments of your day.  I try to make sure I get every priority into each day – even if it’s just getting my teeth brushed to accomplish my “self” priority.  The items at the top of my life get big chunks of my day and the items at the bottom of my list are squeezed in to what remains.  My mornings consist of housework, time with the kids, and/or errands.  Afternoons are my time to work.  Evenings hold our family time and more work for me after the kids are in bed.

4. Watch the clock.  

If my housework isn’t done by 11:30 when my “morning block” ends, that’s ok.  I stop what I’m doing and move on.  I’ll come back to it later if there’s extra time at the end of the day.  If work isn’t done at 4pm, oh well.  I’ll finish it after the kids are in bed or save it for the next day.  Don’t get sucked in to one priority and forget about the others.

5. Set boundaries to protect your priorities.  

I protect my time with my husband by NOT working past 10pm. This ensures that we have time before bed to talk and that we go to bed together instead of the hours apart it used to be.  I also take one night off completely and we have a date night at home. To protect my time with my kids I keep my laptop off, ipad away, and phone on silent for most of the morning.  When they need me I can respond right away and cater to their needs without having to be snapped out my “technology coma”.  I also have one day a week where I do NO WORK at all.

You’ll find that your priorities and schedules change with different seasons of life.  Re-evaluate often and give yourself grace as you learn what works best for your work and your family.  Remember that these boundaries are to give you freedom to focus on all areas of your life, not to stifle you.  Once you have things figured out you should be ending each day feeling accomplished, balanced, and in control of your days.  At least for the most part. ;)

Amy is the founder and creative soul behind Owls for Orphans.  She is a wife and mother of three on a journey to live a life that makes a difference.  She is passionate about Jesus, family, and orphans.  You’ll find her blogging over at www.owlsfororphans.com.