I love to be creative and to work as an artist. It is so fulfilling and enriching to be create every day of my life. But my job as a mum is even more important than the art work I do. I love being a mum to my 5 children, they are my priority, but there are times when I have to work when I have the children at home. I may have a deadline looming or a blog to write or a competition to enter.
Over a few years of trying to balance both my family and art work I have come up with some great strategies and solutions to be able to do both well. I
It takes planning, organisation and a lot of drive and commitment to be able to make it work. these are things I do when I have sickies, holidays or need to work a little in the weekend (I don't do that much though because that is usually family time) These Ideas are for school aged children if you have 0-5 year old children many of these ideas would need modifying or changing.
- Do basic routines of house (before school time)
- Do dinner preparation in the morning and use a meal plan.
- Have a rest time for you & the children every day (1 hour per day) In the middle of the day. 12:30-1:30 works for me.
- Make a sign for the door something like -Artist at work do not disturb unless there is Blood or a fire
- Make an options to do list for the fridge. Include ideas for boredom I.E a chore list for those who can't keep themselves occupied
- Make a Stay at home kit (ideas below)
· Make clear and very strong boundaries for you and the children. What times will you be working and what time will you be fully available for the children.
· Be committed and present to time and for each thing you are doing
· Plan to succeed
· Get children to make boundaries and put up somewhere to remind them of them
· Treat you time sacredly
· Keep positive in voice
· Restrict time on the phone
· Schedule appointments (If possible) outside work time
· Give yourself permission to have your own consistent routine for work
This is a normal schedule for me when kids are at home. The left column is when I have sick kids and the right when the children are on holiday.
Normal school week (ideas)
Holiday/sick week (ideas)
· Daily routine as normal
· Start work 9am finish at 3pm
· Break every 1 ½ hours for 20 mins.
· 12:30 -1:30 pm rest
· 1-2 hour of work in evening
· House daily routines night before
· 6am – 10 am work
· 10:30- 12:30 pm chn
· 12:30 -1:30 pm rest
· 1:30- 2:30 work
· 2:30 – 7pm Children
· 1 hour in evening
(shuffle around hours as needed)
· Build routines with yourself and the children and keep them. We can be our own worse enemies :)
· Start at the same time every day
· Be consistent
· Plan each morning/ or evening before what needs doing that day
· Make an action plan
· Be clear with work times
· Be consistent
· Discuss routines before they are put into place
· Focus fully on children when not working
The last thing that really helps me is being able to transition between work and home. Most people will have time to transition while commuting to and from work. When you work form home that transition time needs creating yourself.
-Be mentally prepared when you leave 'work'
-Take handbag and coat to work in the morning and leave 'work' with them.
-Do hair/ face etc like you would if you were leaving the house.
-Try leaving house and then coming back in
-Prepare lunch/snacks and drink in morning and have them nearby so you won't be lynched going to the fridge for morning tea.
-Try exercising between work and children time
-Be organised and prepared.
With a bit of preparation and a good mind set a real balance can be achieved and your beautiful babies will not miss out on the most important thing in their growing years YOU