“Yes?” I yelled from the next room.
“What do you need?” I asked, staring at my laptop monitor and typing away towards my impending deadline.
I am a working mom. I am also a workaholic. There I said it. I’m a career woman that sometimes has a hard time drawing the line between my work life and home life. You see, I work in an office, but also do freelance work at home. So you see my predicament? And I confess that I’ve spent too much family time on my computer doing work-related activities. Whether you bring work home with you, or you can’t quite relax because all the toys aren’t put away, it can be a struggle to keep your home life in balance.
Have a transition “ritual.”
Use your commute to decompress, whether it means listening to your favorite music or an inspirational podcast…or just enjoying the silence. If you work at home and your commute is out the door and 20 steps down the hall or putting the broom away in the closet—create your own work-to-home ritual.
Perhaps your kids can even help! Have your preschooler virtually take your work hat off when you come through the door. Or, maybe it means having a dance party in the kitchen while supper cooks. The music and movement can help lift everyone’s spirits after sitting at desks all day. Plus, the giggles and wiggles certainly are good for the soul and sets a brighter tone for the rest of the evening.
Make the time.
Because of the nature of my job, my reality is that I will have to do work at home. But when one of my children needs my attention, I’ve been more intentional about closing my laptop, looking her straight in the eyes, and soaking in what she has to say.
Aside from work activities, other things might be sucking up your time. Social media is one of the biggest culprits. I know it’s easier said than done when you’re always “connected.” But just as you give your children limits on screen time, try it for yourself, too. Then see how much time you really do have for your family!
Use those precious extra hours for family game nights or bike rides around the neighborhood—without devices. When you’re not distracted, your child’s demeanor will change because she has your full attention and will feel special.
Build in downtime.
If you’re a working mom, your jam-packed schedule can get the best of you, leaving you—and everyone else—exhausted. When you’re feeling completely spent, how can you truly be there for your kids and husband? I know when I’m tired, the only thing I think about is how I can sneak up to bed without anyone noticing. So plan 20 minutes to exercise, take a walk, take a bubble bath, or watch your favorite show. Even be intentional about planning one date night a month. When you have that time to take care of yourself, you’ll be better for everyone else, too.
When you have that time to take care of yourself, you’ll be better for everyone else, too.
How do you make the transition from work to home?
Lori Clapper is a radio personality, freelance writer, editor, speaker, mom to three kids, and is married to an incredible guy.