“How do you balance it all?” That’s easily the number one question I’m asked. Readers, friends, family, random ladies at the park, they all seem to want to know my magic secret for balancing work and large family homeschooling. I hate to break it to you, but I don’t really have a magic secret. I do have some tips that have made my life a lot easier in this hectic season we’re in, though, so read on to hear about that!
Must-Try Tips for Balancing Work and Large Family Homeschooling
The first thing I want to say is that “balance” really isn’t the right word here. The fact is, it’s more like a juggling act than perfectly balancing three eggs. I keep two things going in my hands and just have to know the right timing to throw one up in the air to catch the third I’ve been neglecting for a while.
Fitting Work Into Your Daily Flow
There are millions upon millions of blog posts you can find about how mom bloggers don’t work at all while their kids are awake. That’s totally great for them, but it’s not how our family operates, and it probably won’t ever be. One day I’ll write a whole blog post about why I blog while my kids are awake, but that’s for another time. For now you just need to know that I definitely work throughout the day while my kids are awake.
How do we make that work? We fit work activities into our daily flow. My brain is mush when I first wake up, so I use that time to check stats, schedule social media, check email, and do other mindless work tasks that need to get done.
When the kids are having quiet time or watching a movie mid-afternoon, I get more in-depth work time in. In fact, it’s 3:00 PM right now as I’m writing, the kids are resting, and Chris is downstairs working on LuLaRoe.
If work wasn’t naturally woven into our days, we’d be overwhelmed, stressed, and worst of all feeling guilty for every minute we “took away” from the kids while we got work done.
Finding Time to Just be a Family
This tip is unbelievably important, and it’s probably the one I’m worst at following. Because my job is so “connected” I have a really hard time putting everything away and taking time off to just be a family. My phone is constantly dinging with notifications or messages from clients. There are always new comments to check and respond to in our LuLaRoe group. There’s always a homeschool lesson we didn’t quite finish that we could squeeze in…
Sometimes, though, we need to turn all of that off and just be a family. Go to the beach and fly kites. Have a parent date night after the kids are in bed. Get out a sensory bin and just let the kids dig around without any lesson. Even just turning on a family movie and popping pop corn. Because really, what’s the point of working from home and homeschooling a large family if you’re never going to spend any time all together as a family?
Homeschool While You Work Whenever Possible
Multitasking is my best friend. I know, I know, you can never get as much done while multitasking as you can if you’re focused on one activity. I’ve read the studies and the blog posts. But I still don’t believe it. I really struggle if there’s only one thing in front of me. I seek out things to get distracted by if there isn’t already two things splitting my attention. Or maybe I’m just weird. Whatever.
My point? Homeschool while you work! Sometimes this is super easy, like when “work” is reviewing a homeschool curriculum. We can take pictures and notes for blog posts while trying out the curriculum, two birds one stone! But beyond that, I often pull up a chair right next to Mr. C and I’ll work on my laptop while he gets his independent subjects done. I’m available for questions, but still able to be productive.
Let Go of the Mom Guilt
If you leave this blog post remembering only one tip, let it be this one. Please, please, let go of the mom guilt. Moms feel like we have to give every part of our lives 110% at all times. The fact is, we’re humans, and we just can’t do that.
There will be seasons where you’re mom of the year and your kids get an over abundance of your undivided attention. There will also be seasons where your kids watch a lot of cartoons and get told “in a minute” a lot. Both of those seasons are perfectly fine. I pinky promise you are not ruining your kids by working. You’re showing them that your work matters and that it’s okay to be a working mother. Be proud of that!
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