EACH DAY I AM THANKFUL I CAN HOMESCHOOL MY KIDS AND WORK FROM HOME AT THE SAME TIME
I know working from home while homeschooling sound like a dream combo and in many ways it is, but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows around here.
There are days when I think I should just do one or the other because things can get really hard sometimes.
But like most moms who homeschool and work from home, I consider this an ideal life (at least most of the time), and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Having said that, being a working homeschool mom comes with its fair share of challenges and I think it’s only fair to talk about some of them.
I don’t like to gloss over things or paint an unrealistic picture for others.
I like to say things as they really are because I want to help you avoid making some of the mistakes that I made.
Working at home while homeschooling requires a balancing act to make it work.
There are some sneaky traps in this lifestyle that you can easily fall into if you’re not careful.
So here are some of the sneaky traps you need to be wary of, if you are thinking of homeschooling and working from home.
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WORK FROM HOME FOR HOMESCHOOLING MOMS:SNEAKY TRAPS TO WATCH OUT FOR
NEGLECTING HOMESCHOOLING IN FAVOR OF WORK
When you work from home (especially as a freelancer or if you offer services), you have to be extra diligent and very disciplined to avoid falling into this trap.
You can so easily fall into the trap of prioritizing work over teaching your kids. The worse part is that you can justify why homeschooling is taking a back seat.
Maybe some bills are due and you need to bring in the extra money. Or you need to buy some homeschool supplies or maybe it’s something else.
There was a time when I fell into this trap. I became inconsistent and I put homeschooling on the back burner because I could.
When this happened, I started telling my kids stuff like “I will do your readings later because I need to do some work.” Or “Go and play with your toys a bit let me finish this work or blog post or whatever it was.”
Some of you know what I am talking about, right?
When you let your work become more important than teaching your kids, it’s time to take a step back and reassess your situation.
Because you don’t want homeschooling take a back seat because of your work.
I know there are times when it’s necessary for you to take on more work to make ends meet, but you need to plan for those times so you don’t end up short changing your kids.
That’s why it’s very important to be organized and for you to have good time management skills.
If you’re behind in your homeschool because of work, or you’re spending more time on your work than you are teaching your children, you need to make a change.
Sometimes all it takes is a few tweaks to your schedule to get back on track.
Other times, you may need to cut down on the number of clients you take on, or the number of hours you spend working, networking or browsing the internet.
NEGLECTING FAMILY TIME IN FAVOR OF WORK
Do you sometimes wish you could clone yourself or wish there were more than 24 hours in a day?
There are lots of days when I feel like that!
There are days when I would rather be by myself or have the freedom to spend the time the way I want, but that isn’t realistic most of the time.
It’s true that you’re a busy homeschooling and working mom, but it’s also true that you can’t give up or ignore family time.
You still need to work on nurturing your relationship with your husband and kids and that means spending time with them.
So how do you know when you’re neglecting your family in favor of work?
There are a few ways you can tell.
For example, if you find you keep explaining to your kids or spouse why you can’t do something with them (or for them), then you’re probably choosing work over family time.
Before I continue, let me just say that the whole idea of this isn’t to shame you or make you feel guilty because ain’t nobody got time for that!
The reason I’m doing this is to alert you to the danger you might be overlooking.
No matter how busy you are, you still have to find a way to make time for your family.
Your kids still need their mommy time even though you already spend hours every day homeschooling them.
Building a strong family takes work and you need to be intentional about it.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your kids or spouse will understand why you can’t spend time with them.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure you don’t neglect family time.
- Learn to compartmentalize. This is easier said than done. It’s hard for your work to not spill over into your family time, but you can do it. You can have set work hours and when those hours are up, it means work is done for that day, or you can choose a time of the day to stop working.
- Take on fewer clients and/or higher paying jobs to free up some of your time.
- Learn to switch off from work. Don’t let work intrude on your family time. Some ways to do this include: switching off your devices, talking about/focusing on something else other than work which means no checking emails or whatever when work is done for the day.
There are lots of other ways you can protect your family time, but I have found the ones listed above to be especially useful for me.
NEGLECTING SELF CARE AND BURNING YOURSELF OUT
First as a homeschooling work at home mom, you have to accept that you probably won’t have lots of free time anymore.
With that said, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t create or find little pockets of time for yourself.
Homeschooling is hard enough and requires a lot of time investment, but it gets even more demanding when you are also a working mom.
It’s absolutely crucial that you take care of yourself if you don’t want to burn out or break down!
I am dealing with a few health problems right now because I neglected my health and developed some unhealthy habits as a result of my lifestyle.
In other words, I stopped caring for myself.
I am one of those people who doesn’t like asking for help and I used to struggle with the super mom syndrome.
I have since learned that asking for help or knowing your limits isn’t a sign of weakness but actually of strength.
Knowing when to let some things go is actually you being very smart.
So the next time you have the urge to neglect self care, remember this: Your health matters. Your happiness matters. You matter.
There’s only one of you and you need to take care of yourself even in the midst of your busyness.
So don’t be afraid to outsource some things if you can afford it, and definitely accept all the help you can get when you need it.
Here are some self care ideas for work at home homeschooling moms:
- Schedule a few breaks for yourself each day.
- Incorporate exercise and healthy eating into your life. Drink more water instead of coffee.Choose fruits instead of snacks. Little things like that go a long way.
- Get as much sleep as you can (or as you need).
- Don’t let yourself go. You don’t have to be frumpy because you spend a lot of time at home. Shower and get dressed.Take care of your appearance. Put on some makeup, style your hair, use some good moisturizers etc. If you can afford it, get some nice outfits or clothes (like this top, pants or dress) for your wardrobe.
- Feed your soul. Read good books or poetry, listen to good music or do whatever makes you you happy or inspires you.
Working from home while homeschooling can be quite fun as long as you don’t try to do everything and you don’t completely neglect self care.
ISOLATING YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO BUSY
This one is a biggie for me because I am somewhat of an introvert. I like to keep to myself and I’m usually quite content with my own company.
When you work from home and homeschool, you can easily isolate yourself because you’re busy juggling so many responsibilities.
But, you need to socialize with other people or other moms.
Find like minded people you can meet up with on a semi-regular basis.
Yes, I know you have your kids and husband around, but it’s still nice to have some mom friends or other work from home/homeschooling friends you can share ideas with.
I am not asking you to have weekly girls night out because that’s totally unrealistic, but maybe you can meet up with friends once a month or quarterly. Whatever works for you.
Some ideas for meeting people include: joining a book club or women’s group in church, attending networking events, volunteering at one of your local charities.
There are endless ways you can keep from isolating yourself.
WORKING FROM HOME FOR HOMESCHOOLING MOMS CERTAINLY HAS ITS PERKS BUT ALSO HAS ITS CHALLENGES
Just like everything else in life.
But it’s still worth it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
If you’re a homeschool mom who wants to work from home, I say go for it as long as you understand what you’re getting into.