Being a stay-at-home mother or father is a full-time job in itself, but when you try to combine being a full-time stay-at-home parent with the prospect of also trying to work full-time from home the entire situation can get a little bit complicated. Trying to take care of and entertain children during the day, while also trying to work, is extremely complex and in some situations impossible. Nonetheless, more and more women and men are choosing to be both full-time parents and full-time at-home workers, but the only ones who are completely successful at it are those who are extremely organized and know how to manage their time effectively.
Why are stay-at-home moms and dads attempting to combine their daily parenting duties with the responsibility of working from home – without hiring another person to help take care of the children?
Some parents think they can do it all… and in reality, some can and are very good at it!
Women and men who want to work from home while also taking care of young children are determined to spend time with their children instead of sending them to daycare centers during the day.
Some parents do not find it cost-effective to hire daycare providers to take care of their children while they work because they end up spending more money on their babysitters than they are making in income.
Many moms and dads want to maintain their professional status while they are also taking care of their young children and they believe that if they give up working they will lose their job – and they therefore try to balance both mothering/fathering and working at the same time.
Following are tips for stay-at-home parents who are also stay-at-home workers:
Have a Designated Area to Work: Depending on the layout of your home, you may or may not be able to designate a specific room for your work. If an entire room (which includes a door that shuts) is not available, a portion of a room or a designated spot should be established so that you have an area where your work-related equipment, papers and supplies can be kept without the fear of having everything disrupted by children. If you have very young children, you may want to surround your work area with a large baby gate play yard. Extensions for most brands are available so you can build yours as large as necessary to suit your needs.
Consider Using Daycare Centers or Babysitters a Few Hours a Week. The purpose of using daycare centers or babysitters a few hours a week is not necessarily to send your children away while you are working, but to allow you to have a few hours to yourself. Trying to juggle working and taking care of young children is very difficult, and you will likely need a break from your hectic home environment. You do not necessarily have to use babysitter time to get work done. You can use your break to go grocery shopping or do something for yourself without your kids in tow.
Don’t Obsess About Having a Perfectly Clean House. Guess What? Your kids are going to mess up a perfectly clean house approximately five minutes after it was cleaned. Therefore, the time spent on cleaning it is often wasted. This is not to say that a dirty house does not have to be cleaned, but it does mean that toys and clutter do not have to be put away the minute a mess is made. If you have a work deadline or if your children are hungry, you do not have to put the cleanliness of your house at the top of your priority list. Hopefully your friends, spouse and family members will realize how much you are trying to juggle and will not hold it against you if your house is messy on occasion.
Create a Daily Schedule: The best way to create a schedule is by using a large calendar and designating specific days and times to working and certain days and times to parenting. This type of schedule is easier said than done when children are young because their nap schedules are not always predictable. But creating a schedule that revolves around nap times, school schedules, children’s activities, and when your spouse or significant other will be available to help is what will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Besides finding time to work, it is important to find time to be a parent. When your allotted work time is over you must put your work away and switch back to parent time. It is often difficult to do this – – especially when there is a deadline or a large amount of work to complete, but it is essential to adhere to your pre-determined schedule.
Want more advice on how to work from home full-time while also trying to be a full-time stay-at-home mom or dad? Check out these articles:
Written by Melanie Fischer, Career & Job Expert who has been writing professionally for over 10 years.