There’s no doubt about it: working from home has a lot of advantages, especially for working moms.  It allows them to have a career along with the freedom to raise a family and run a household.  It offers a flexibility to set and change a schedule that other types of jobs simply can’t compete with.  And then there’s the money you save on gasoline, eating out, and daycare for the kids.  All in all, work-at-home moms have a lot going for them.  But don’t think it’s all one big picnic.  Trying to squeeze an entire work day into the busy life of a homemaker is no easy feat.  But there are plenty of ways to be the woman who has it all, if you can just manage to avoid the common pitfalls of working from home.

For starters, there is scheduling to be considered.  Now that you’re home all day, you’ll no doubt field requests from your husband to pick up his dry cleaning, call for appointments, and make all the travel arrangements (whether for business trips or family outings).  You will also be in charge of the kids all day.  That either means keeping the little ones occupied while you try to get some work done (supervising toddlers while attempting to build a client’s website can be quite a chore), or if you’re lucky, carting the kids off to school, getting a few hours of work (and housework) done before they get home, and then picking them up, running them all over creation for their various lessons, and then feeding them, helping with homework, and spending some quality time before bed.  Whew!  There’s a lot to be done in a day, especially when you are planning a schedule not just for yourself, but for a whole family.  And compartmentalization is the key.

Although women pride themselves on their multitasking abilities, you can really only do one thing at a time if you want to do anything well.  So try to find a way to separate your work time from your family time so that you can give each the focus and attention they deserve.  Along this same vein, you will want to organize your space in order to streamline the process.  So keep containers for office supplies and toys in different places (so you don’t end up with a plastic dinosaur when you want a stapler) and have your calendar or day planner handy to jot down appointments and deadlines.  A system of color-coded pens is ideal to make sure you don’t accidentally book a dentist appointment at the same time as a client meeting.

Finally, you may find that between your two jobs (that of a freelancing goddess and that of a wife and mother) you have little time left over for yourself.  Consider for a moment what would happen if you got sick.  Your whole life (including the lives of your family members and clients) would be put on hold.  If you want to keep everything running smoothly, schedule in some time (at least once a week) to have some fun with your hubby, meet your gal pals for a little SATC-style lunch at a café, or simply soak in a tub and remember what it feels like to be pampered.

Jennifer Kardish writes for Online Colleges where you can find the online school ratings and a variety of online education programs to fit your needs.

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