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Balancing Work And Family

Discussion in 'Mindset and Motivation' started by FreelancingQueen, Feb 10, 2016.

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  1. I thought when I began working from home it would be a wonderful thing. While I admit I am much happier than I was when I worked outside my home, it is not easy balancing time to work and time as a wife and mother. I have also realized that many family members do not see what I do as work and they think I can just drop everything and do what they want or need. How do some of you who work from home find a happy medium where you can balance work and your family?
    setupdisc likes this.
  2. I work from home and it is really difficult to manage my work and family. When I am working, I also have to fulfill my family obligations such as receiving guests, helping in the kitchen, cleaning the house. The main problem is people do not believe that work from home is a real job.
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  3. swalia

    swalia Member

    I have worked full time for years before I quit my job last November. Initially I found it difficult to work from home because I was lacking the discipline. Now I have designated fixed hours to work from home during which I focus only on the work. Working from home gives you the flexibility to choose the timings accordingly. However, my son often doesn't treat it as real work and will always make some or the other demand at the time when I am working.
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  4. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Member

    That's true. It's really sad to think that some people (friends and relatives) don't totally consider working from home as a real job. They think we're just lying on the couch, surfing the internet, not much work at all. Anyway, I already know how to manage and maximize my time. I have already set up a working schedule for myself, and I always try to follow it. During weekends, I am totally free from online work, and could hang out with my favorite people.
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  5. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Member

    It is just a matter of time management for your work at home and for your family. And having a proper scheduling of hours you can balance and manage what you will be doing for your work and your family. It is really true other people are saying why I quitted my full time regular work before and why I am just working online and if it is true that I am really earning from this kind of work.. It is hard to explain to them how this kind of work is doing. But they did not know that I am already happy having this work at home job because I can have the time to take care of my family too.
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  6. eProject

    eProject Member

    I have also experience that problem. That made me to consider working at night and get some time to sleep during the day. You will have to excuse yourself if you can't work at night. Talk to them about why your work is also important. They may not understand if they have never known that you earn out of it.
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  7. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    Working from home often seems like the ideal solution for people that want a better family life, but that's not how it always works out.

    Working from home needs to be treated as exactly that, work, and just because your at home, doesn't mean that you can have more time to be with your family, as is often the case, you'll end up spending less time with them as you'll end up having to work longer.
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  8. setupdisc

    setupdisc Member

    There has to be a firm line drawn in the sand to where they know and understand that there is a time and place for family, but when you are at work, you are at work and can only leave work for them if it is an emergency. It should be just like if you were at a job and having to work for your previous employer. It is no different because if you treat it differently, people start to treat it as if it is a hobby or like you were unemployed. You have to carry the same conduct and practices with your daily work at home as you do with a 9 to 5 job, because if you don't you might start treating it with less importance than it deserves. If that happens, you will start to get less out of it than you deserve or need. You can't make people understand what you do, only respect that you do it and that you need to be able to. You are responsible for you and what you do...what they understand of it is not to be worried about.

    If you balance your work time with your home time as you would any other job, you can successfully have an office or work space to where you are able to use that like an office and do a very "short commute" even if it's just a few steps away to another room to work. If you have a child or pets or other needs that have to be addressed at home, then consider them the same as a routine checklist at work. If you worked at a grocery store, then you would have to do a temperature check on frozen foods and deli to make sure that everything runs smoothly. While you are working at home, your home-life needs can be addressed the same way as a part of your "clocked-in" time, and a part of your routine.

    It is going to be a little different than if you're at work because you're technically at home, comfortable with everyone and everything there, and you're the boss. You can take more breaks when you want to and make many more exceptions than ever possible while working for someone else. Being disciplined and planning your schedule and your efforts around those conveniences are mandatory for quality in your work and balance to your lifestyle while doing it.
  9. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I couldn't agree more, and routine is the most important part of working from home, even more so than when you have a regular job.

    Fair enough, you don't have to get up at an earlier time to make the commute to work, but at the same time you can't be getting up at lunch time everyday either, and you have to organise your day as if your going to a regular job.
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  10. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Member

    You have to establish boundaries and a clear schedule. Post it in the house and be certain everyone understands that interruptions are for emergencies only. Make a space for yourself that can be closed off from the noise in the house. Let everyone know, you are creating a business and everyone must treat it as such.
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  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    Having that space, your office or work space away from your family and the other distractions is key to making working from home work, especially in the beginning when your first trying to settle into a new routine especially.
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  12. mooray

    mooray Member

    That is also my biggest challenge right now. Other people don't take my work seriously when they see me just sitting on my PC like i'm playing video games. It is frustrating!
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  13. ctfranklin28

    ctfranklin28 Member

    I have never been able to establish boundaries with family!!! I've come close, but there is always something going on in my family life that needs fixing. As a freelancer, there is always something that I can do to grow my business.

    I don't strive for balance in the traditional sense anymore. I strive for competence. As long as I can pay the bills, save a little bit, and get (close to) enough hours of sleep, then I'm good. The trick is mastering the schedule gymnastics I have to do keep that running.
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  14. remnant

    remnant Member

    Balancing a work at home job with family obligations is a tricky and slippery occupational hazard one has to live with. I personally think that the best strategy for balancing work and family especially for work at home mothers is, well, no strategy. Taking things as they come, one at a time and then carry on with work at home tasks in between is the best approach. Your instincts will guide you and with time, you will develop the necessary dexterity for working at home and coping with family obligations. You will eventually find yourself juggling the tasks effortlessly.
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  15. This is so true! I will never understand why family members who do not live in my household think I do nothing. I mean obviously my income is needed just as much as my husband's. I pay bills and they know that. I buy groceries and they know that. And, I have children to help provide for and they know that too. Do they think I just get paid to do nothing? That would sure be nice, but it doesn't happen for those work outside the home and it is not going to happen for me.
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  16. Nancy

    Nancy Member

    As great as it is working at home, it can also be frustrating. I found that a specific work area, preferably with door you can close, and set hours helped a lot. If you children are small, hiring a helper or sending them to preschool a few hours a day can really help. Older children can help out. They can entertain younger children, cook, clean, or keep themselves occupied for a few hours a day while you work. When my children were all small, I worked a lot in the middle of the night. It was the only quiet, uninterrupted time I could find. When friends or family call or stop by during my working hours, I am polite, but keep working or tell them I must work and now is not a good time. Eventually they will respect your work. Be creative and flexible and you can find ways to make working at home enjoyable and productive.
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  17. Corazon

    Corazon Member

    I think this thread applies to anyone who has a family and who's got work offline or online. My husband is very strict when it comes to the so called family time. He wants us to have time for ourselves during weekends. It is all right to work on weekends but not all the time. That family time is also the reason why we go on trips - abroad and domestic - just to have time for family bonding. And it is the best time to bond when you are on a trip that you enjoy. Next week we are going to Bangkok for a brief vacation with the kids. A promising bonding time.
    setupdisc likes this.
  18. I put work first because without money I can't take care of my family, my rent, and all my other bills. My family have come to understand that during certain times, I'm simply not available because I need to focus to get my work done in timely manner. The trade off is that Sunday is always a beach day, I can bring light work as long as I go on a walk at some point in the day. I also rarely give out promises anymore because I don't know when work might come up. The promises they do eek out of me are always kept. This reduces hurt feelings because if I don't agree to something I have the right to reject it without breaking a promise. Between those two things, my family understands and accepts my need to put work first over play.
    setupdisc likes this.
  19. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    It's not a nice situation to be in having to decide what comes first, work or family, but a lot of that is age dependant aswell. When I first started out, I was spending more time working and making sure that I could provide for my family, and while it was difficult, they understood that.

    As times gone on, I'm now 38 and I'm able to spend more time with my family now, but only because I put the extra work in years ago. At the time it was hard, but looking at the situation I'm in now it was worth it, but it does require a certain amount of luck aswell as I've known people work morning, noon and night and they're not in any better position now as they was back then due to circumstances beyond their control, and that's an horrible place to be.
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  20. Valerie

    Valerie Member

    Finding balance is definitely the foundation of an operational and success at-home business. Just because you're working from home doesn't mean that 'you are home.' A lot of my friends and family can't understand that just because I'm here in my apartment doesn't mean everyday is relaxation time. I'm actually actively laboring, both physically and mentally. Dance practice, online classes, article writing, research, promotions, finances and other work-related tasks have to be completed before I get around to 'homey' things like cooking and cleaning.

    Working from home still requires the same effort of separating work from our personal lives. It's easy to do between an actual office and homestead, but doing everything from a single location blurs the lines. For entrepreneurs, the division is probably easier to see than for those outside looking in. Compromise is going to help out a lot when making working at home viable for everyone involved. Naturally, you need to give time to your family, and your family needs to give you space. Once these parameters are set, I think balance comes more easily. Though it's an effort, nonetheless.

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