It was a few months into being a work-from-home mom before I realized the potential challenges you can face.
I hadn’t even considered these when I started working from home. I was focusing on my business and my family, happily knowing that my dream seemed to be coming true. Working from home on my terms and staying home with my babies.
I was ecstatic when it began to show actual potential! Then one by one these little problems started to creep up.
Since then, I’ve learned how to recognize and manage these challenges, so I can address them before they spiral out of control. Because let’s face it, if mama ain’t happy, no one is happy. Am I right?
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1. Feeling Isolated
It’s easy to feel isolated when you start spending more and more time at home. Were you able to get outside to get some fresh air today? Or speak with another adult at all?
Working from home, especially when you are just starting your business and are the only employee, removes the social element most people find at the office. You can try talking about your business goals to your 3-year-old, but I’m guessing that is not going to cut it.
So what can you do when you start feeling isolated with no one to talk to? It’s time to get social!
On Facebook, there are so many social groups for business owners. The Live Free Academy Facebook group has 1.5k members to chat with, share your business goals with, ask questions, and more! Or come hang out with me over Instagram — you can catch me almost daily in stories asking for feedback, chatting about recipes, or just showing off my gardening skills!
There are also mommy groups specific to your local area. Join a mommy group, and ask to set up a play date at a park near you with another local mommy with kiddos that can play together while you two talk over coffee or matcha.
There are tons of opportunities in your community that you can get involved in too. Your neighborhood HOA or the PTA can give you some much-needed adult conversation and kid-free time outside your home.
We all know that mom guilt is real and it’s everywhere. No matter what you do there will always be some type of mom guilt creeping up on you.
And these adorable little kiddos know how to make sure you feel it, too. As soon as the laptop opens, it’s like a switch flips. They turn on the charm and amp up the sweetness factors.
To combat this I do two things.
- I schedule my work time around my family’s schedule. Every week on Sunday, I will sit down and schedule my family’s appointments and fun activities. Then schedule when I’m going to work around that and sleep times. Generally, this is before they wake up, during naptime, and after they go to bed. Because I can get more undistracted work in.
- I limit distractions when I need to pop open the laptop for a few minutes during the day, or when someone wakes up early and needs my attention. I will give them a few minutes of mommy cuddles. Then tell them this is Mommy’s working time. I’m going to get you your favorite toy, a drink/snack, and you need to let mommy work for X amount of minutes. I will not be getting any toys or snacks during this time.
It may take a few sessions, but my older two especially have started to understand, and I’ve managed to get a few last-minute to-dos in knowing everyone’s needs are addressed.
Since I’m a mom, I’m constantly thinking about what else I can be doing to increase my productivity.
Can I pick up and cook dinner? Yes!
Am I thinking about making that doctor’s appointment when I’m supposed to be writing this blog? Also, yes!
To help curb distractions, I’ve been using this system I wrote about in the 3 Steps to Balancing Family and Career in One Place blog.
I only keep work-appropriate items, notes, inspiration, and anything else related to work in my office. It is DEDICATED to my work, and my work only.
So, appointment reminders, bills, and grocery lists are kept in a separate room of our house.
Now, maybe you are not the only work-from-home person in your household and have to share your workspace. Create a filing system or folder system to hide things that are not work-related during your work time. Out of sight, out of mind!
I promise this will help minimize your distractions and keep your focus from shifting off work!
4. Lack of Boundaries
Whether it’s a lack of time boundaries or mental boundaries, focusing on creating boundaries between home and work is important!
I have to work at this one every single day.
Earlier, I mentioned creating a schedule. I schedule my work time and my free time. Everything is scheduled.
So, when I’m home with my kiddos I’m not checking my email. I’m in full mom mode.
But, I have scheduled cleaning time too. When I’m home that time is broken up between being with family, and other household chores that need to be done.
Having clear boundaries on my time split between my family, household chores, my business, and myself, helps me to intentionally devote time to each. I can feel certain that I’m not neglecting anyone and that everyone’s needs are being met each day.
5. Staying Motivated
When you first start your new business working on it every day is energizing and exciting. But after a while, when the honeymoon vibes start to wear off, and you have to keep going it can get tougher and tougher to stay motivated.
Motivation is key to your success as a working parent. How do you stay motivated when you feel like you are stuck or hit a brick wall?
Knowing your why.
This is the number one thing that keeps me motivated when things get tough in my business.
There’s generally a deeper, more genuine ‘why’ behind the superficial “making money” or “working at home”.
Mine is showing my babies how they can accomplish anything if they put their heads down and work hard.
What’s your why?
Need help determining your why? The Live Free Academy has a section of the training dedicated to finding your why in the planning phase of starting your business.
So, when times get tough and you need motivation, you can come back to your why.
Working from home and being here for my family every day is everything to me. I get the best of both worlds.
Yes, I work hard to make both worlds balanced. But it’s worth it, and what job doesn’t come with balance?
Are you a work-from-home mom looking for more tips and tricks on how to balance your family life and work-life? Check out the Live Free Podcast. Each episode is full of tricks of the trade and stories from other successful work-at-home moms that will help you find the balance you are searching for.