How I have found a Work-from-Home – Life Balance with three kids.

By Amanda Anderson Jan. 15th, 2020

My home (office) corner of the living room.

I have always wanted to be a mom with a big family, stay home and take care of my family.  Of course things are not always what we have dreamed. In this day and age, many homes are two income households.  My family is no different. Just like many, we have bills to pay and are on this journey of simplifying our lives and cutting debt.  One major expense is childcare on top of school. For us we did the math – with working about 25-30 hours outside of the home and paying for daycare I would only have walked away with $400 at the end of each month.  To me that was CRAZY (and soooo not worth it).

Back in March of 2019 I was presented an opportunity with a side hustle of helping small business owners who lacked the time, drive and knowledge to utilize social media platforms for marketing.  After finishing my bachelor’s in Business that past December I was happy to help. When I say it started as a side hustle – that is exactly what it was. A very very very small income to just add a few extra bucks each month to my pocket.  Then out of nowhere it seemed like I have almost every small business owner I knew asking for help. I thought carefully, looked at my strengths, weaknesses and my worth. After much discussion with my husband, we decided that having me work from home would be our best option financially.

Now, working from is NOT all margaritas and a shiny clean home.  It takes a TON of work to get into a groove, create a balanced schedule and a lot of self reflection.  If I have learned anything by being able to work from home it is these three things: routine, honesty and patience.

Purging the boys clothes on a non work day. We downsized with the 4 and 4 rule. 4 summer clothes and 4 winter clothes. The rest was donated to a local women’s shelter. I also purged a ton of baby stuff. I saved 1 box of newborn/maternity stuff and 1 small box of clothes from 3 months to 18 months for when we have another baby.

Routine:

Having a solid routine is extremely important when it comes to finding that work from home – life balance.  Don’t expect to find a solid routine right away. Start simple by setting X days & times aside to work. For me, I personally like consistency so I work Monday through Thursday 8:30am – 3:30pm.  My general routine during the work hours vary just like any other job but I still take a lunch break anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. I cook and do light kitchen cleaning just to get away from the computer, stretch and walk around.  Sometimes home life can cut into work just like anyone else. So sometimes I have to make up hours or days for when I have sick kids or appointments.

Honesty:

Be honest with yourself in what you are willing or not willing to do.  It is ok to not be “perfect”. Mental health when it comes to work is something so many employers and companies do not even acknowledge. There are days my productivity are severely lacking, my motivation is lost and that is a sign for me that I need a small break.  Even if it is just shifting my focus to something else like organizing my desk (despite working online I still have a lot of paperwork).

I have ambitions to work X amount of hours on X projects each week but I have to be honest with myself that I won’t.  I take things in strides each week. I try and work ahead as much as I can but I need to be OK with the fact that the job will never be “DONE”.  Once I accepted that, it was a weight lifted off my shoulders but drove me to work on my work-flow. There is so much more pride and enjoyment with my job since I have been honest with myself.

Patience:

Many people join MLMs or other “quick money” opportunities because they need an income NOW.  Well, there comes honesty smacking you in the face – it doesn’t. You have to be patient and work for it.  Read that again.

When working from home whether you are starting up your own business, joining an MLM or Networking company you have learn how to sell yourself and/or your product.  I have never struggled with the “people” aspect of entrepreneurship but the structure is what drove me to go back to college and obtain my Bachelors in business. It takes time, structure, strategy and a bunch of patience to be successful in anything you do – so working from home isn’t any different.

There is also a lot of change that takes place with any business, work from home opportunity.  You will evolve as a person and as an owner. Your business ideas, strategies and functions will go through many steps.  My own business working online has changed so much in the past 8 months and has many changes to come!

A Solid Foundation

If there is one thing I took away from my experience overall as a business owner ( and business school) – is this:  You Need A Solid Foundation.

white project book with teal blue and black letters.  Asking a questions for successful planning.
Successful Planning Step 1

What does this mean?  This means a business plan.  It does not have to perfect, professional or beautiful (but I will plug it in that I do provide this service).  It doesn’t matter if your business dream is just an idea or already established. Revisiting and revamping your goals with the steps to getting there is extremely important.  You would be surprised how many start ups or small businesses skip this step. Wasted time, money and resources are the casualties of lack of planning. Don’t make this classic mistake.

Have a plan.  Put a lot of time and thought into it before taking action.  You can find plenty of free and simple templates to get you started online.  If you are needing more detailed help feel free to reach out.

Go out there and start planning. Good luck on your journey!