By Jill Hart
The balancing act – every mother’s nightmare. Many days we feel like circus jugglers with more plates in the air than we can possibly handle. The summer adds to the insanity with the kids at home, swimming lessons to attend and numerous other distractions. Over the years, however, I’ve learned a few secrets that help me keep things in perspective:
Keep God First
In Matthew 6:33 we’re told to seek God’s kingdom above all else. Like the apostle Peter who saw Jesus walking on water and asked to join him – as soon as we take our eyes off of Christ and begin to doubt, we sink.
In order to keep our eyes on Him, we need to be in relationship with Him. Schedule time in your day to read God’s Word and to talk with Him in prayer. Surround yourself with friends who love the Lord and who will point you back to Him when you struggle.
Don’t Be Afraid To Choose Family Over Business
As business owners, we do our best to maintain professionalism even when we’re working at our kitchen table with kids hanging on to our ankles. We have deadlines, client demands to meet and emails and phone calls to return. However, there comes a time in every work-at-home moms life when family simply must come first.
It may be that your child is struggling or it could be an extended family member in crisis. The point is, it’s ok to step away from your business when absolutely necessary. Be respectful – let your clients know that you will be gone and when you plan to return. But don’t be afraid to set business aside for a time to be there for people who need you.
This is by far my biggest struggle. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I love working from home because every day is different and, for the most part, I’m in control of what I do and when. However, when summer rolls around, there are vacations to take, sunny days to enjoy and kids needing attention. So, I’ve had to learn to plan ahead.
What works for me is to plot everything out weekly, giving each day a title for both home and business. So, Mondays are usually laundry days on the home front and “clean out inbox” days for business. Tuesdays tend to be more relaxed with maybe a trip to the park or the swimming pool with some writing to be done in the early morning. Find what works for you and make the best possible use of your time.
Plan Time Off
Summertime is meant to be a more relaxed pace. Even if your family can’t afford to take a week off and fly to the beach (I wish!) you can still plan days off to do special things. We often take long weekend trips to nearby cities and do inexpensive things like visiting the historic areas of the city and playing sports like disc golf.
It may seem backwards, but with some extra effort you can turn this summer into a relaxing, enjoyable time. Make it a point to spend the quality with your family that you so often wish for (yep, I do that, too.).