Working moms need support. Whether that is help with housework or help with childcare or even help homeschooling. You have to realize that you can't do this alone.
For several years, my mom came over and watched the kids while I went to work. This was a wonderful blessing for us, and the kids really enjoyed spending quality time with their grandma.
You could consider hiring a babysitter or nanny to help watch the kids while you work. Especially if your kids are younger, a nanny or babysitter will give you peace of mind so that you can focus on your job at hand--whether you work from home or leave the home to go to work.
Some families adjust their schedule so that mom and dad work opposite shifts. That lifts the burden from both parents and allows them to work freely.
I have to say that you could become quite creative in coming up with ideas for ways to get help. Maybe a friend would like to trade child watching services with you. Maybe there is an elderly person at your church, who would love to spend some time with your children.
One thing I am certain of is this: if God has called to you homeschool your children and work, then He will provide some support for you.
I have been blessed and encouraged that both my family and my husband's family live close to us. They have all pitched in at different times to help with the kids. As my kids have grown older, we have been able to leave them home alone for periods of time, which is another blessing.
Daily Office Hours
This was a HUGE aha! moment for me. Just this week, I implemented office hours. I started blocking out 2 hours in the afternoon so that I can work.
This year has definitely been a year of transition for us. I have transitioned from working outside of the home to working from home. This transition has definitely had its challenges, but implementing the afternoon work hours has helped me to be able to focus strictly on work.
It has also prevented me from interrupting school time to answer an email or go to the computer to do just 1 quick thing and then 2 hours later realize that the house is in disarray and nothing has been accomplished as far as school work goes!
Instead I just jot myself a note and place it by the computer. Then when I sit down at my "office hours" I haven't forgotten what I meant to do earlier.
Since my kids are older, they are capable of entertaining themselves and working on their projects. I am available if they need me, but the office hours are allowing to me to accomplish some new and exciting business possibilities.
Occasionally, I work in the evening to finish something pressing. In the beginning this was when I did most of my work, but I realized that it was wearing me out as I would stay up way too late. I was also missing out on spending time with my husband.
I do enjoy my new "office hours". I think the kids are enjoying them too. The hardest thing is to actually stop working when the time is up. I'm one of those people who keeps saying, "Just a few more minutes won't hurt." And then those "few more minutes" turn into another hour! If you implement office hours, just remember to set a stopping time.
Have a plan for dinner
If I had to choose just 1 tip for successfully working and homeschooling, this would be it. Having a plan for dinner has freed up so much stress (and saved our budget). Since dinner is planned, I can start on it right away after work. It also prevents us from just deciding to go out to dinner or order pizza because I'm too tired to try to pull something together.
Usually, I list out the meals that we want to have for the week. When I grocery shop, I make sure to have all of the ingredients on hand for each meal. This way during the week, I can glance at the choices on the list and then pull out those ingredients for dinner. Like I said before, a strict meal schedule doesn't fly with me. This method allows us the freedom to choose.
I have been teaching the kids how to prepare simple meals. This is a great life skill for them, and it helps me that they can start preparing dinner if I am tied up with work.
I often like to prepare dinner at lunch time and keep it in the refrigerator. That way at dinnertime I can pull it out and put it in the oven.
My crock pot has become a huge work horse for me. Throw the ingredients in there at lunch time and then it's ready to eat at dinner! It almost feels like cheating when I use the crock pot, but the meals are so healthy and delicious. You can easily find tons of crock pot recipes online. I have even adapted several of my recipes into crock pot versions.
All of these are just ideas that have worked for me. I am happy to share my experiences with you and hope that you can implement some of them in your homeschool. Do you homeschool and work? What are some tips that you can share?
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