Balance As A Work From Home Mom

by | May 29, 2023 | Blog

Is there such thing as “balance” as a work from home mom? Or, for that matter, as a stay at home mom? A mom working outside the home?

Let me start by telling you that I think the typical impression of “balance” is horse shit. I don’t believe balance is about making sure that work, self, home and kids get equal time or equal attention. If that’s how you view balance, I’ll argue that no, it’s not possible.

I see balance as responding appropriately to perceived imbalance.

Think about it: if you’re walking on a balance beam, your ability to balance is about recognizing as you start to lean too far left and being able to appropriately counter to the right, without going too far. Responding appropriately to imbalance.

I am a work from home mom. I also consider myself a stay at home mom. I run multiple businesses, a non profit, I’m a landlord, I’m an investor, I have 9-month-old twins, a newly 2 year old, a husband, 13 chickens, 11 goats, a dog and I’m also committed to taking care of my health daily.

Nothing on that list gets as much attention, time or effort as another thing. They’re all in flux, all the time. I also don’t believe in easy-to-say generalities like “put yourself first”. It’s a gross over-generalization and over-simplification that lacks practicality. There are moments when I put myself first. There are moments when I put my kids or my marriage or a friend first. It doesn’t matter that we rank things, it matters that we are feeling capable, empowered and (most of the time) fulfilled.

My pursuit of “balance” is all about paying attention to any perception of things being “off” and course correcting without overcorrecting.

In episode 1093 of the Primal Potential podcast, I’m breaking down what my day-to-day flow looks like, so if you enjoy that kind of content, definitely tune in!

What Works for Me As a Work From Home Mom

First, I’ll say that what works for me this month might not be what works for me next month and almost certainly won’t be what works for me next year. But, here are some of the most important strategies I’m implementing:

  1. Get up before the kids (and use the time wisely)
    I understand that this doesn’t always happen because kids are unpredictable, but when you can, wake up before your kids and use that time really well. For me, that means waking up about 2 hours before the kids, reading my Bible, walking and working out, emptying the dishwasher, folding the laundry, starting breakfast and getting the kids’ stuff ready for the day (diapers, bottles, outfits, etc).
  2. Watch (way) less TV
    I love a good mindless show as much as the next person, but I also feel so much less stressed when I’m staying on top of my work, my health and my house. That generally means I don’t sit down to watch an hour or more of TV daily. If/when I do watch a show, it’s on my phone during a workout or while I’m folding clothes or making a meal. Good time management is essential and I contend that we can all improve in this area! It makes a huge difference.
  3. Do at least one full load of laundry daily (and yes, that means folding and putting away!)
    Keeping up is way easier than catching up. When I am picking up at night, I toss in a load of laundry. My husband switches it to the dryer before bed and I fold it first thing in the morning. With each trip upstairs, I carry what I can carry and put it away. This prevents me from having a mountain of laundry that feels overwhelming. Many days I do two full loads, but at least one daily feels really manageable.
  4. Know how you’ll spend your work time
    When I sit down to work, it’s precious time. I don’t waste it trying to figure out where I’m going to start or what I’ll work on that day. I define ahead of time what I’ll tackle daily and the order in which I’ll tackle it.
  5. Plan for breaks
    We all need mental breaks and this is especially true for me when I’m working. Instead of heading to my office to work and then spending 15 minutes scrolling on social media, I plan for my mental breaks. Literally, on my to-do list, it’ll say “task 1” followed by “10 minute mental break” or “task 3/task 4” then “15 minute mental break”. I know I’m going to scroll, but I’m going to control that behavior instead of letting that behavior control me.
  6. Avoid treading water
    This might be the most important one. Years ago, I saw something on social media that said, “the most beneficial thing you can do for your future is block off 1 hour a day (minimum) for building a project that will give you more freedom”. Now, I’m not sure that the time increment matters as much as the point does. So often, we create Groundhog Day-esque lives. We wake up, do what needs to be done, collapse in bed and then repeat. I want to challenge you to invest your time, every day, in something that sets you up for increased freedom down the road. That could be improvements in your physical fitness and health, it would be financial flexibility, it could be both or it could be something different, but remain consistent in this pursuit. Don’t just tread water!

Are you a work from home mom? A stay at home mom? A single parent? A business owner? What do you think of the idea of balance and what are some of the things you do to make sure you, your family and your business thrive?

I hope you’ll take a few minutes and listen to episode 1093 of the Primal Potential podcast! 

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