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Working From Home and the Family Balancing Act

Work at Home and the Family Balancing ActBy Brandy Tanner

One of the hardest parts of being a work at home parent is to learn how to balance family and life. It’s very easy to get caught up on your computer for hours on end, especially if you are a workaholic like me. I am here to help share with you some tips on what may work as a way to balance your family and working from home so that everyone is happier, including yourself.

Lately I have been found on my computer, checking “just one more email” or “writing just one more blog post” when all of a sudden I am on the computer for two hours. Next thing I know I have to eat dinner, get the kids in bed and then myself in bed. I missed two hours of quality family time, for what? An extra couple of bucks? I mean, really, is the extra couple of bucks worth missing that first step or that first word or giving unlimited piggy back rides to the children I love so dearly? No it is not! But why do so many of us have such a hard time putting up a closed sign when working from home?

I tell you why … for me anyways, it’s that I am working for a purpose, well a couple of purposes:

  1. To make money and have more family time.
  2. To get my husband home working with me full time, so he no longer has to go to a labor intensive out of home job six days a week.

The latter of the two is what keeps me working passed my “office hours”, I feel that “extra couple of bucks” will push us closer to our goal of opening a computer business and being full time work at home parents. The first of the two is what I lose track of, “more family time”, I forget how fast these little ones grow, before I know it they will be in high school, taking Drivers Ed and not too long after that they will be off in the real world being adults. Gosh, I don’t want their young years to fly by that fast, but they do and if I miss most of them with my head in my work, well then was it really worth it? I say not.

So what I say to you, those who work at home, is set an hour to close shop and do just that – do not check emails, do not touch that computer, for me that means I literally SHUT DOWN my computer I use for work, yeah that means there are two other computers I could go to, but the one I shut off is my “main office computer” and so I can’t check my business emails, which means I can’t work. This has worked for me so far this week, and I invite you to do this as well … see if we can’t all work towards enjoying life with our family a bit more, creating those long lasting memories we so love looking back on.

Brandy Tanner is a work at home mother of three who has enjoyed sharing her time management tips and how she works hard to enjoy family time will still purusing a full time income from her home office. Brandy enjoys looking to the positive of every situation and hopes this positive life attitude will be passed down onto her three children. Brandy writes daily at Happily Blended and occasionally on her other blog Ask Brandy Ellen.

Posted in Time Management, Work at Home

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9 Responses to “Working From Home and the Family Balancing Act”

  1. 1

    Great advice, that is so hard to shut the computer some days, but I make sure and do it. I would love to make more money too.

  2. 2
    DogsMom says:

    As you state, it sounds good, but is so very hard to discipline oneself to do. We complain that working outside the home took us away, did not offer the flexibility we desire, and often we find ourselves being more of a task master than a traditional employer. I encourage WAH parents to keep a picture of the family at the computer area. When you are tempted to say “just one more” look at that picture and decide what is more important.

  3. 3
    Shop with Me Mama (Kim) says:

    I am having this problem too and only recently decided it is time to tone it down a bit and take more family time! Great advice!

  4. 4

    Excellent advice! Your work will always be there, your kids first words will not.

    Having clear office hours keeps yourself accountable and also helps the kids understand when you’re working, you’re working and they need to stay away and when you’re not, you’re fully available to them!

  5. 5
    Brittany says:

    Very, very good advice – sometimes you just need to shut down!

  6. 6

    I agree! It is a lot easier to turn & walk out the door of an away from home job. I think your trick to shut down the home office for family time is a great idea!
    I know how hard you work, as many WAHM & SAHM do, if you can get the discipline down the rest is easy, as the kids are more fun :)

  7. 7
    Louise says:

    This is great advice. One quality hour with your family is better than ten minutes here and ten minutes there. WOW, you are one impressive lady!

  8. 8
    Deal-ectible Mom says:

    I have to SHUT DOWN at a certain time or I would just keep going. It’s hard when you have a goal and your trying to reach that goal, to just shut down. But, the most important thing in life is my husband and kids and I cannot let MY goals crush that of my families ;)

  9. 9
    Erin Pyle says:

    Great advice! Instead of setting a time to turn off the computer, I set a time to turn it on! I use wifi on my palm t|x to check email, facebook, and twitter when I first wake up. Then I check again a few times a day. Unless it’s urgent I save replying until I get on the computer. Elijah takes a nap around 3ish most days and I was turning on the computer then. Instead of that, now I have been doing crafts, scrapbooking and sewing during that nap instead of getting on the computer. Lately it has been about 6 or 7 that I turn on the computer. That’s the time Elijah usually plays by himself for a while. I will play around for a little bit but I don’t ‘get to work’ until around 10 or 11 when he goes to bed! :) I find it’s much easier to prolong ‘turning it on’ then trying to ‘turning it off.’ lol

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