Working from home and being priviledged to enjoy time with your kids is invaluable. Finding the right work-life balance, and witnessing those unique moments as children grow up, is one of the great advantages of freelancing.
Anyway, you may have felt overwhelmed, exhausted, with a sense of inability to balance the two fields. Don’t freak out! You just need to take into account a few tips to get better organized and learn how to make the best out of it.
Don’t get stressed
Working as a freelancer with kids at home shouldn’t be frustrating or anything. Kids are kids, and they’ll behave as such. It’s pointless to get desperate or get mad at them. Let’s see how we might balance both worlds.
Acknowledge you can’t be on top of everything
As a human being, you have your own limits. And the moment will come when you’ll end up worn out if you don’t take some measures. Acknowledge that it’s impossible to be on top of absolutely everything and start relying on people who are willing to help you. Lower your self-demand levels and don’t push yourself too hard. If necessary, ask for help to a relative or employ a babysitter to look after your children.
Your everyday life with kids at home
You may have a newly-born at home, or young kids, or almost teenagers. Regardless of their ages, how to lead your everyday life working home office?
Control your calls
It’d be ideal to schedule your calls at specific times when the children are not home, or else they’re busy with some activity or under the care of a third party. If you find it useful, you may let them know that they cannot take the calls and that they should remain silent every time you’re over the phone with a client.
Organize your calendar
Set down a fixed timetable to work and to perform home chores, and be very strict to follow it. Then you’ll find it easier to balance your family and your professional life, and to get better organized. Try to find those free “moments” with more time availability to focus on your work: make use of their naps, their “after-school” activities, their going to bed early, or just any other momento when you’re more available.
Design your working area
It’d be great if you could make yourself an “office” to do your work. If that is not possible, find some spot inside your home that you might use as such. It’s really important that you feel it’s your working spot, and to let your family know about it and respect it.
Learn to say “no”
It’s healthy to say “no”, both to a client, when you know there’s going to be a family event that you’re not willing to resign, and to your children, when you need to deliver a project which you’ve committed to and which can’t be postponed.
Focus and concentrate
Make the most of the hours you spend working so that they pay off and you can be productive, but also enjoy 100% the time you share with your family.
Have a proper rest
Your body and your mind need to take a break as well. Learn how to have a proper rest and how to organize your routine.
If you can afford it, a good choice –quite trendy lately– is renting a co-working space, where you can meet counterparts at a working area “external” to your home, designed for freelancers.
When the kids become pre-teens, they might even help you with your daily work (for instance, scanning documents or filing paperwork). Don’t dismiss this option.
Another important tip: keep an eye on deadlines! With this flurry of activity, no deadline can slip your mind! If it’s necessary, use reminders, timelines, or what proves most useful to you.
And as a final recommendation, working from home doesn’t mean you’ll miss those special moments shared with your kids: make breakfast for them, bathe your baby, read a fairy story or play for a while with them. You’re home and being part of their “everyday life” will make a rewarding experience.