How to Work from Home without Killing the Family!
Do you work from home? Maybe you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or contractor and you’ve worked from home for ages. Or you have a full-time job but you also have a side hustle. Maybe Covid has forced you into it.
As a wife, mother and a high-achieving woman, you need some systems in place so you can work from home productively without driving your family crazy!
1. Get clear on what an ideal situation would look like
Exactly where you live isn’t important. It’s your actual, work-from-home environment that matters, so map out your ideal scenario.
Get very clear and decide on your bullseye – the dead center target – what would your ideal situation look like? What hours would you work? Which room would you be in?
What set-up would give you the best energy and flow? The best rhythm and quiet? What would give you peace of mind to operate at your peak performance and hit maximum capacity?
2. How close to that situation could you likely get to right now?
Please understand, I’m clarifying this with you now because this is not pie-in-the-sky. It’s not how you want things to be ‘one day’ when you’ve changed your income.
No! That’s important, but not right now.
We’re talking about you functioning and making a difference right now.
How can you use your existing income, situation and number of humans in your house to get you as close as possible to that ideal situation IMMEDIATELY?
Are there any shifts or tweaks to make to get you to that ideal situation? What do you need to do within your home or your family?
Do you need to buy some gadgets, a desk or some organizers? How can you set yourself up for max capacity and peak performance within your current environment?
3. Get your family on board
Your family, whether it’s spouse or kids, in-laws or grandparents, need to be on board. If they’re living under your roof, coming in and out or influence what happens in your house, they’re involved.
They need to understand why you do what you do, and why it’s important. Help them see that their cooperation and support helps achieve the family goals.
When my son was little, we put pictures on the fridge to help him see how what I did meant we could go to Disney World or to the ocean. He understood what it meant for him when mommy was working.
I’ve written before about being a working mother – you might find that blog helpful too.
Everyone needs to be involved in the work from home setup
It’s not just about what you’re doing – it needs to be a win-win-win for everyone.
Think about it… how can you working from home, your requests of the family, and the situation you’re creating become a win-win?
Get them involved! You need their buy-in, otherwise, the best-laid plans are never gonna work. Everyone needs their own space and boundaries.
Your family needs to know what to expect, and:
- what you expect from them
- what they can expect from you
- what’s expected as general rules of conduct in the house
- what the “work” hours are…
- and just as importantly, when you WON’T be working…
- …when it’s “their” time to have your undivided attention
They need to know you’re working X number of hours. And in Y hours you’re going to be there with them, hearing about their day and turning off work. Then they can be patient.
You might find this article from Investopedia interesting, too, as it was published mid-pandemic.
4. Honor boundaries that have been put in place so you can work from home
Whatever the family agreed on when you talked about win-wins and got their buy-ins, make sure you honor the boundaries.
If you don’t honor them after working so hard to set the rules, then they mean nothing.
Remember: Nobody else will respect the rules if you don’t!
Come up with a family agreement on how to address anyone who violates the boundaries…
…a safe, fair, loving way to call anyone out.
Just recently, we made a decision in our house about how we could do things better.
We realized that we were speaking negatively to each other, and it was a yucky pattern we’d got into and we wanted to change that.
We wanted a family agreement on how we speak to each other and how we’d deal with it if someone violated it.
So, we bought little buzzers and put them in different places around the house. Then, if anyone in the family feels they’re being spoken to in a not-nice way, they press the buzzer. It’s a fun reminder to get back into the rhythm.
You might not use a buzzer, but you could. You could give one to your kids and say, “If I go one minute over the time I said I’d stop working, you can come in and buzz me. I have to drop everything and come in for family time.”
5. Check in with your self-care
Make sure you dial in self-care. Whatever your personal outlet is…exercise, spa, yoga, bubble bath. Everybody needs a little me time in order to give our best and be our best for our families!
Do you remember this old saying?!
“If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”
You need to make sure you manage yourself in addition to managing everything (and everyone) else.
Check in with yourself and stay on top of your game by making sure your energy is on-point. Your fuel needs to be filled so you can give to everybody around you.
I promise you: Follow these five rules and you won’t kill your family! In fact, not only will your family survive, but you can thrive by working from home with your family all around.