Parents, especially moms, are labeled a lot. Are you a stay-at-home mom? A work-outside-the-home mom? Or maybe you’re minimalist or formula-feeding or crunchy or fit… there’s a hashtag for it all.
Maybe part of it is because moms are expanding labels more often in recent years. Thanks mostly to the Internet, the majority of moms I know have some sort of “side hustle.” It’s a challenge to be a single-income family or a single parent. Side incomes can make a big difference.
It’s not just about finances, either — doing extra work can be enjoyable, especially if you’re used to spending all day doing housework and taking care of little ones. And it doesn’t hurt to add to your work history and job skills, either, in case of future needs that may arise.
Even though we haven’t started homeschooling “for real” yet, I get overwhelmed sometimes while working 10-20 hours a week and taking care of my kids and house full-time. So lately I’ve been wondering — am I crazy for thinking I can do both? Can I really be a work-at-home homeschool mom, and fill both roles well?
These thoughts led to me scouring the Internet wanting to hear from other WAHHMs (maybe we can get that moniker to catch on). I’ve realized that a lot of moms work and homeschool — including my favorite homeschool bloggers. Not only is it possible, but it’s also actually pretty normal.
Right now I’m practicing some ground rules for balancing both of these roles. I hope to establish good habits before we officially start kindergarten this fall.
I want to keep work-life balance a priority. Any home business can easily take over your life if you allow it. I’m learning to be realistic about my available time, and not try to do more than I can handle.
It’s easy to get caught up in the satisfaction of close-ended, compensated accomplishments! I love taking care of my kids and home, but both of those activities feel very open-ended. It’s satisfying to see the immediate fruits of my labor in my job. But I’m not in the season of life to pursue a full-time career, and I have to accept and embrace my current limitations.
One tip I read repeatedly was to have set working hours for your job. I think this is vital. Trying to squeeze work tasks in at all hours of the day will just make you feel frazzled and distracted. Having work hours gives you set times for each responsibility.
A commitment I’ve made to myself: always keep homeschooling the priority. In choosing to be our child’s teacher, we homeschool parents have to make their education our primary focus. My parents set a good precedent; as a homeschool student, I was never allowed to skip school without a valid reason.
Understandably, once you’ve committed to a job, that is also a top priority. So I’ve acknowledged that I’ll have to let other things go so I can be consistent with both teaching and work.
Another invaluable tip I read was to do one thing at a time. When you’re homeschooling, focus exclusively on school. When working, concentrate on work. Doing a few things well is better than trying to accomplish everything at once and feeling constantly scatterbrained.
This means having fewer commitments and leaving some less important things undone. But if it’s important to your family to both homeschool and bring in extra income, keeping your goals and priorities clear will help you balance everything.
Are you a work-at-home mom, homeschool mom, or both? What are some of your time management tips?