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     Helpful Guidelines For Mothers Who Work From Home

Most of the mothers want to work at home so they can spend more time with their families. But itís not as EASY as it seems. Just completing the tasks it takes to keep a household running smoothly and caring for children can completely fill a motherís day. Adding another full-time job to this already hectic schedule can be more than any mortal woman can handle. But many mothers prove every day that with lots of energy, dedication, and organization, they can rise to the task.

When Mom is in the house, no one seems to be able to take care of themselves. When you work out of the house at a job, children will pour a glass of milk or look for a lost toy all on their own. But if Mom is at home it is so much EASIER just to have her do it. And letís not forget that those endless loads of laundry are not going to jump into the washing machine all by themselves and meals donít simmer on the stove alone. How do you handle it all?

Children are creatures of habit, what they grow to expect, they grow to accept. My children are young so they are extremely active during the morning hours. Iíve come to realize that if I spend the morning with them and give them my undivided ATTENTION, I am able to get much more work accomplished during the afternoon. They understand that during working hours Mommy is available to take care of problems but UNAVAILABLE for play. This is not something that they resent because they have had my full attention already that day.

I try to LIMIT the amount of work I do in the evening and on weekends. When your office is in your home, it can be very tempting to get some work done every time you have a spare minute. You really must keep in mind the REASON that you set up an office in your home, to spend more time with family, not more time at work.

Spend some quality time with your spouse. We can get so busy that itís easy to FORGET that we have a marriage that needs some care as well. Try to take at least one night a week and spend it together. Even if you donít leave the house, just spending some time talking together after the kids are in bed will help to keep you CONNECTED as a couple.

Letís face it, there are going to be times when your business needs your FULL attention for a few hours and you will need someone to care for your children. If you have a relative available who can come over and watch your children for a couple of hours, great! If not, try hiring a high school or college student to be a part-time motherís helper. If neither of these options will work for you, try TRADING baby-sitting with a friend who has children the same ages of yours.

Keep the lines of communication OPEN. If everyone in the family is open and HONEST about their feelings concerning your business and the household in general, problems can be avoided and everyone will feel that they are being treated fairly and that their NEEDS are being taken into consideration.

Keeping my housework on a ROUTINE has helped me immensely. A schedule gives me a place to begin. If Monday is laundry day, then the furniture will just have to stay dusty until Tuesday when dusting is scheduled. This keeps me FOCUSED on what is most pressing and will keep me from finding myself dusting furniture when I have ten e-mails to answer and two articles to write.

I could spend half an hour just trying to figure out what to make for dinner! Try to make a habit of preparing twice as much food as you will need for dinner that evening and FREEZE the second portion. Before you know it youíll have a freezer full of meals prepared. You can pull these out during your busiest times and have a great meal prepared without investing much time or EFFORT.

Most women donít want to impose on others, but sometimes that can be the only way to catch up on everything without completely killing yourself. If you need help from your spouse or kids, be SPECIFIC about what you need done. Assign specific tasks everyday -- even a toddler can be taught to pick up his own toys. If you are really behind and feeling overwhelmed, try HIRING a cleaning service. They can be expensive but if you use them sparingly, when you really need them, itís well worth the cost.

Try to INCORPORATE exercise into everyday activities. If you need to go upstairs for any reason, run up the steps instead of walking. Taking the kids out to the park is great exercise especially if you walk to the park instead of drive. When you go shopping. try parking a good distance from the store entrance and walk briskly to the door. All of these things may not sound like much exercise, but they can really add up if you practice them FREQUENTLY.

The vast majority of mothers donít get nearly enough rest. Not getting adequate rest can leave you VULNERABLE to sickness, make you irritable, and leave you feeling generally lousy. Try to resist the temptation to stay up late to catch up on work. I find that staying up well into the night makes me so tired and irritable the next day, that I lose everything Iíve gained by staying up. At least twice a week go to bed when your children do. If you find yourself awake early, then use that time to work. At least you will feel refreshed when your kids are up and ready to start their day.

When you make a habit of eating leftover peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or the last two bites of your childís macaroni and cheese for lunch everyday, it becomes no great mystery as to why your ENERGY is lagging. You might try putting a large bowl of fruit or a salad in the refrigerator -- make it as easy to grab something healthy as it would be to grab chips or cookies. Try taking vitamin and mineral SUPPLEMENTSif you feel you might not be getting all of the nutrients you need, especially iron. Many women are lacking in iron and that is one of the most common reasons for lack of energy.

Donít forget, everyone needs some time ALONE. Try to find five or ten minutes each day to spend in prayer and meditation, reading something inspirational, or just something really funny. I try to do this in the morning to get myself in the right frame of mind to tackle my very hectic schedule. In addition, try to spend some time with FRIENDS at least once a month. This helps to keep you in touch with the person you are outside of being a mother and a business person.

Feeling OVERWHELMED at times is just part of running a business and a household simultaneously. When these feelings begin to overcome you, refer to these guidelines and see if one of these areas may be out of balance. Taking the time to really evaluate an area that you may be NEGLECTING and finding solutions to the problem can make the difference in becoming a successful work-at-home mother with a happy well-adjusted family.


Crystal Dupay is a work-at-home mom living in West Virginia with her husband and two daughters. She, along with her husband, own and manage an insurance and securities education company that includes online courses. You may visit her website at www.insurance-schools.com.

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