“How Do You Do It?”
That is the #1 question I am asked by almost anyone I run into.
They ask me: “How do you do it with 4 kids and running multiple businesses?” .
It makes me chuckle sometimes because I don’t always know how I do it. Yes, I have things that I do to help my life run smoother and stay organized, but I do have my moments when I fall apart and fall to the floor crying because of sheer exhaustion.
I often hear moms of just 1 child complaining about all of their responsibilities and how hard it is living their lives and it makes me laugh. But then I look back and remember where I was when I had my first child and only had one business and how stressful I felt like it was. I would’ve never been able to handle THEN what I am handling now. I really think we grow and learn to deal with MORE as we get older, have more children, and expand in business.
But life is still crazy at times. I mean just today my 3 yr old son got stuck in the metal bars attached to a folding table and we could not get him out. He was screaming and screaming until we were able to squeeze his body through because his head was too big to get out the way he went in. But that was not the only incident of the day so by that time that pretty much threw me over the edge. Thank God everyone is in bed and I have calmed down a bit so I can write. LOL
No, I am not the perfect mom. I do scream. I do cry. I do leave the dishes in the sink overnight. And there are times when I even don’t shower for 3 days straight because there is just not enough time in a day.
But most of the time, I do my best to be a good wife and mom and business owner. I am not always the best friend that I think I can be though because I hardly have time to be chatty with anyone anymore. Basically the only quiet time I have is after everyone is in bed and by that time I am just plain worn out and I don’t feel like opening my mouth anymore, let alone talk.
I always say when the kids get older I will have more time. I wonder if that is true. Any of you older moms out there? What do you say to that? Do small children demand more time or is it the other way around?
There are many great things that I try to do to have balance and be the best work at home mom that I can be, but a big challenge that I often face is having TIME to be able to do all that I need to.
Here are some points that hopefully will be helpful for you to understand the benefits of truly making the most of your time. They help me tremendously and it really helps for me to write some of them down.
Make the Most of Your Time
- Schedule & Routine – Having a schedule will help you to get more accomplished in a day. You can have a daily home routine and a daily work routine. There are certain things that I do the same everyday like get up at the same time and get the kids ready for school. But I also do certain things on certain days of the week. One day I focus on the laundry. One day I will focus on an area of the house that needs to be cleaned or organized. One day I will work on something for my business like updating my website or sending a letter to my email list. There are also certain times that I do things during the day. I am a HUGE clock watcher. I KNOW when 12:00pm is approaching because it is NAPTIME (my main client work time) and I make sure my little ones are fed and ready to go down for their nap. If I am 15 minutes late with that time, it can screw up my day. And that is the last thing I want to happen. (But I also want to throw in there that you have to be flexible because life always throws stuff at us that is just plain unexpected and we have to adjust)
- Stay on Top of the Cleaning – As we all know, a perfectly clean and tidy house can get completely destroyed in just a day when you have children around. And if you miss a day of cleaning up the messes, it can pile up until you need an entire weekend to get it all back to normal again. I am not a big fan of cleaning, but I know that it is something that needs to be kept up with on a daily basis. I know I admitted to leaving dirty dishes in the sink on occasion, but I normally like to have everything cleaned up before I go to bed. It is wonderful to wake up in the morning to a clean house. That allows me to have a free mind to be able to focus on my priorities for that day. My daily cleaning consists of putting the kids toys away (they help with that), vacuuming, fluffing couch pillows, cleaning the stove, table and counters. There are lots more, but those are just the basics.
- Set Boundaries with Work Time – This is something I have always had a hard time with. Balance is not always easy. I struggle big time. I think it is something that I will always have to work on, but I am definitely getting better. I used to stay up all hours of the night trying to get client work done and I would be a wreck in the morning. It took almost a year of me doing that to finally realize that I was WAY too stressed out and it was hindering my health, my sleep pattern, and my demeanor as a mom. I now try to make sure my computer is shut down by no later than 9pm and sometimes I actually shut down earlier. This has been huge for me. Also, I not only set boundaries with my work, but I also set boundaries as far as setting aside time for my family. Weekends are when we get away and go on fun adventures and I am able to get my head away from work for a while. Nobody messes with our weekends. 🙂
- Plan Ahead – Planning ahead is something that can be so simple and yet so hard to stay disciplined and follow through with. One example is with meals. I am the type of person who would rather work than eat. But that can be a problem when you have multiple children. They HAVE to eat and it often seems like they never STOP eating. LOL Well, one thing that I try to do is prepare meals early so that I am not stuck doing everything last minute. I thaw things out from the freezer the night before. And I take a mental note of what I will prepare for that day. Another way that I make sure I am prepared is by having everything I need whenever I leave the house. I am known as the person who is super prepared because of how much I take with me. It almost seems like I am moving out everytime I step out the door. But you are really better off being more prepared than less, especially with children. Whenever we go anywhere I make sure there is a toy bag ready for emergency situations in case we have to wait a long period of time somewhere. And I am always stocked up on snacks and drinks as well.
There are really a lot of different things that we can do as moms to make our lives easier and our time more efficient. I would love to hear some of your ideas as well. Us moms have to stick together. Time flies by and I don’t want to look back and think that I could’ve done things differently or better. I want to do all that I can NOW and be the best mom that I can be in spite of juggling working from home and everything else in between.
So, please leave a comment. I always love to hear from you!
Fatima Ayala says
I commend you on the great inspiration you are to other moms. I have a 15mon and 12 yr old that seem to take most of my time. lol. I just now have really set a daily routine and have free time and my question is, what kind of work from home do you recomend?
Painter Mommy says
Hello Fatima. Thanks so much for your kind words! I am not sure about what to suggest for a work at home business. I guess that would depend on what skills you have. Many moms are going with VA type work (administrative).