5 Tips For Balancing Work and Home Life

By September 4, 2013Be Productive

( Note from Kat: Today’s post is from my friend, and monthly contributor, Liz Griffin )

liz-5-tips-for-balancing-work-and-home-life

Okay, lets be honest. EVERY mother works.

In the home, from the home, outside the home. I don’t care what preposition you use, all mamas put in their hours! Some of my friends homeschool their kids ( hello, thats a job), work in business offices, or work hard managing the everyday running of their homes. Any bloggers out there? That can feel like a job sometimes, right?

I have the fantastic option to work from home. I am a writer and also work with an anti-trafficking organization. My hours are flexible based on my kids schedule and what projects I have the capacity to take on.

5 Tips For Balancing Work and Home Life

Balance is not a concept that comes naturally to me. I have had to be very intentional about making room for both my work life and my home life. Here are a few of the things I have learned along the way.

1. Create a peaceful morning. Nothing throws my day and starts the family off on the wrong foot like a frantic morning. A little prep work the evening before always pays off for me. Laying out the outfits, thinking through lunches and packing backpacks. Plus, waking up on time usually helps.

2. Ask God the plan for the day. Each morning I talk to God about my day. What are my priorities today? Do my kids need anything specific? I find that He is faithful to prompt me if needed to add in a little extra time with one of my kids who may be having a hard time with a friend at school. Or He may tell me to scrap one of my to-do lists for something else. This is a must for my sanity and to be at peace knowing that I am doing what I am need to be doing.

3. Find your ” off ” switch. Err… I have by no means mastered this one. I am constantly looking for ways to turn my work brain off when it is time to play with my kids. Equally, I need to stop worrying if I moved the laundry when it is time for a business conference call.

One thing I have found helpful is not to have my phone on me when I am not “working”. The temptation to return emails, send one more text, and browse social media comments is just too much. I keep it far enough a way that I am not distracted by it, but close enough to grab when I need to take another pic of my kids doing something cute. Because, lets face it. The world needs more pics of my kids.

4. Set a consistant routine. I am not naturally a scheduled person. However, I have found it is really helpful for my kids. They do better knowing when they will play with me, when they need to be quiet in their rooms and when I have my “work” hours.

I have noticed my homeschooling friends are amazing at this. Their little kids get into a routine of playing by themselves while the older kids are in class. It is brilliant how you homeschooling moms juggle this one. Mad props to all of you.

5. Don’t feel guilty. Comparison and guilt is a temptation for every mom. None of us do it all. I am always having to remind myself that I am doing my best, and God has my back. My kids don’t need a perfect mom. They just need me to to my best and rely on Jesus big time.

God has each of us on different journeys and paths, and no matter what preposition comes before our “work” we are all created to thrive. He has a way to balance all the spinning plates we have going on in our lives.

 

Do you have any great tips or insight to share on balancing “work” life and “home” life? Click here to share and join the discussion!

20130218-193106.jpgElizabeth is a church planter, speaker, writer and naptime abolitionist. She lives in Texas with her husband and two little kids. Her other hobbies include wasting time on social media, trying to remember where she parked her car & browsing Pinterest for DIY projects she will never actually make. You can visit her over at Lark & Bloom or on twitter @larkandbloom.

 

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23 Comments

  • Avatar Breanne says:

    My favourite part was when you said all moms work, because we all do and in a wide variety of jobs.
    I’m ‘just’ a stay at home mom of two little girls who writes a blog in the quiet (ha!) moments.
    Good, good tips, especially about being my best, not the best.

  • Avatar Susan says:

    I love the peaceful morning, nothing can mess up my day or everyone else’s for that matter if the day goes haywire! By getting up with enough time to do the things that feed my soul, I am a better mom. The other one that I agree with 100% and need is consistent routine. I am so thankful for the return of school – it helps me keep on a routine and everyone else too!

  • Avatar Christie says:

    Thank you for these great reminders! Balance and scheduling fight my personality too!

    I really lost sight of the peaceful morning over the summer. The time with my son is so short now, he and my husband both leave at 7:30, so it’s not as hard to keep my peace from the night before for only a half hour! Not what I expected, but I guess it’s the season we are in.

    I wish I had been more balanced when he was home. My personality is that I get completely focused on something to the elimination of everything else. I have regrets now. But I realize that I can make changes now before it’s too late. With no one at home I really need to ask for God’s direction. I am really directionless and lost now!

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Christie, aren’t you glad that it is never too late to make changes??? That truth is my saving grace as a mom! Sounds like you are in an exciting new season as a mom. I’ll be praying God gives you all the direction you need!

  • Avatar Joyce says:

    I need to work on #3. With reading The UnWired Mom I found that I am so much more productive with a longer focused time obline instead of checking in for every notification or email to reply to.

  • Avatar Shane Birkey says:

    I really need to work on having a consistent schedule for the kiddos. I know we all would benefit from it. How are you doing it? What are your breakdowns of times?

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Shane, I am trying to find a new schedule at the moment. I have found that there are certain windows of my day that the kids really need me and others that they don’t. First thing in the morning, they want mom. After hanging with me for a while, they are happy to play by themselves. Usually I “work” in the late morning. And in the early afternoon during their quiet play time. But, its an ever changing formula!

  • The peaceful morning has been hard for us, but this school year (we’re in our 4th week), my 10 year old and I started getting up 30 mins earlier than before, and going on a bike ride together. We’re back home at the same time the alarm would have been going off and I’d have been punching snooze. We jump right in showers and are getting a MUCH better start, that then also helps my other son and husband get started right. This morning we also saw a gorgeous sunrise sky as we left that I would never have seen before- he was even in awe.

  • Avatar Katie says:

    I love the idea to ask God the plan for the day, rather than just plowing through with my own agenda 🙂 Thanks for that, and the other good words here! I’m really enjoying your guest posts.

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Thank you Katie. I’m so glad God is faithful to re-direct our days. He knows what we/our kids need. And I am so glad to hear you are enjoying my posts!

  • Avatar Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for not one but 5 important & relevant tips. I’m struggling so much lately especially with finding my “off” switch and balancing my time so I’m focused where I need to be when I’m there. Thanks for the gentle (and do-able) reminders.

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      I have yet to find a mom that doesn’t have trouble finding the “off” switch. Hopefully, I’m getting better at it. Still a long way to go though. Sounds like your kids are blessed to have a mom like you who is so dedicated to figuring out how to be “present” with them!

  • Awesome tips. I left this post instantly inspired and motivated. Finding my “off” switch is always a challenge 🙂

  • Avatar Sarah Craig says:

    thank you so much for this post. i needed every word today, as a part-time photographer who works mostly from home and a mama to a 4 year old and 1 year old. thank you. pinning it on pinterest now…

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Sarah, sounds like you have your hands full. Glad this was helpful and thanks for sharing it. Feel free to leave any work from home tips you have with us!

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  • Great tips! I have been working from home now as a Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant for just over 1 year and have 3 children…working from home has been both very rewarding but also challenging at times. #lovebeingmyownboss #713training