Being a work-at-home mom is always a balancing act, but juggling your work and your family can become even more precarious during the holidays when you are tugged in a million directions and you take on a lot more responsibilities.  You may be traveling or entertaining guests (both of which require careful planning) or you may just be preparing for a quiet family holiday at home (meaning you only have to contend with shopping and sending out packages full of gifts, decorating, and creating special meals for the family…on top of maintaining your normal daily routine).  Whatever roller coaster the holidays have in store for you, it’s likely to disrupt a schedule that is already jam-packed with engagements, but there are ways to meet all of your seasonal obligations and get the quality time you crave with your family (all while staying on top of your work).

For starters, you should plan to take some time off.  One of the few perks of being your own boss is that you can take personal time whenever you want.  If you plan accordingly and inform clients that you will be off the grid for a couple of weeks, there’s no reason you shouldn’t reward yourself for all your hard work during the rest of the year (and your family for putting up with late nights and delayed activities).  So take a load off, put your work on hold (no matter how you worry, the world WILL continue to turn whether you’re working or not), and use the holidays as an excuse to have a breather and bond with your spouse and children.  Likely the businesses and individuals you work with will also be cutting back for the holidays, so this arrangement should work out well for everyone involved.

If you simply can’t drop everything for a family vacay, then at least endeavor to cut back.  Remember, you wanted to work from home so that you could be there to see your kids grow up (instead of handing them off to strangers at a daycare center).  So be there!  Make sure the holidays are full of wonderful memories that involve you by limiting the number of hours you devote to work each day.  This way you’ll be sure to have time for all the events that make the season special for kids, like a visit to Santa’s workshop, building snowmen on the front lawn, and visiting the grandparents.  You may also want to set aside some time to reconnect with your spouse and let them know just how much you appreciate the love and support they provide.

Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help.  This is a season of family and of giving, so if you just don’t have the time to hang the lights, deck the halls, put up the tree, and cook an entire meal for twenty guests, have your family members help with the decorations and opt to host a potluck dinner to alleviate some of the burden (since you’re also working full time as well as caring for children).  The holidays can serve up a heaping pile of stress to an already full plate, so if relinquishing control and asking for help is the hardest thing you have to do this year, then thank your lucky stars that you have a caring support network in place, and make the call.

Jennifer Kardish writes for where you can find information on dieting and exercise along with printable cheesecake factory coupons and coupons for other great restaurants.

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