I’ve been working from home fulltime for almost a year now. Prior to giving birth to our youngest child last year, I was already working from home part-time, reporting to the office only twice a week.
I count myself truly blessed to have the current set-up I have now — balancing freelance writing/editing jobs, and PR and social media-related tasks (all from the comfort of our small but cozy apartment) while being a hands-on, household helper-less mom to our three kids, two of whom I homeschool. I know many moms would love to be able to stay/work at home while dedicating most of their time to their children, but can’t do so for one reason or another. I know they’d probably trade places with me if they could.
Having said that though, I will confess that even if I am blessed to have this set-up, there can be days when I feel stressed — days when I’m chasing deadlines; when dirty dishes lie in the sink for hours; when piles of clean clothes lie in a corner, ‘begging’ to be folded and put away; when the toddler doesn’t take a bath (or when I don’t get to take a bath!); when we end up ordering food for dinner or lunch; or when we all end up with dirty, yucky feet because the floors need a good cleaning!
There, I’ve confessed it: making a living while making a home is t-o-u-g-h! Actually, even if you don’t work at home and have a household helper, it’s still tough! (Right, ladies?)
So what’s a woman who wants to stay sane (and blissful, of course!) to do? Here are a few things I do, that may help you too, all of which revolve around having a ‘village’ to support you:
1. Pray and ask others to pray for you
I believe in the power of prayer. I’m also a firm believer in the power of community, and of the beauty of belonging to a ‘tribe.’ I don’t think we’re meant to travel through the ups and downs of life on our own, so getting strength from Someone greater than us is crucial to our ‘surviving’ and ‘thriving’ in the path we’ve chosen for ourselves.
I also think that when we ask others to pray for us — especially those in our ‘village,’ i.e. the people around us and the people who share our goals, dreams and lifestyles (*waves to my fellow blissmakers, ‘sisters’ from the WAHMderful Life Community and fellow homeschoolers!) — miracles can truly happen! We’ll find the strength and encouragement we’ll need to keep on keeping on.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask your ‘village’ to help you out
I have discovered time and time again that asking for help from your ‘village,’ i.e. the people around you is crucial to keeping sane. 😉 It’s not a sign of weakness to do so — it’s actually a sign of humility and knowing that you can’t do it all, because really, who can do so anyway, right?
Whenever I have too much on my plate, I ask for help: from my husband and even my kids; and from my parents, who are always willing to have our two older kids over for a day (or more!) when I have deadlines to meet. My ‘village’ also includes our cleaning lady, who comes in at least twice a month to give our apartment a thorough cleaning and help me put everything in order.
Your ‘village’ could be your family, the people around you, your officemates, friends, etc. Whoever might comprise it, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
3. Prioritize people, not projects
I mentioned my fellow blissmakers, homeschoolers and ‘sisters’ from the WAHMderful Life community earlier. I also mentioned my family: my husband and kids, my parents. These people — part of my ‘village’ — are important, and remind me to prioritize relationships over other things.
Sure, it would be so tempting to accept project after project — after all, additional income means extra blessings for our family, extra homeschool materials for our kids, extra money for savings and investments, and extra resources that can be shared with the needy. However, if one prioritizes making a living over making a home (and I admit I sometimes have the tendency to do this if I’m not careful), then one simply misses the point of it all, right?
So yes, go ahead and make a living — but keep your priorities in mind! People over projects, relationships over resources!
Of course, when it comes to making a living while making a home, the things mentioned here are just the ‘tip of the iceberg,’ so to speak. There is a lot more that needs to be done and remembered, and I’m still in the process of learning how to find that ‘blissful’ dance amongst it all, and how to consistently make everything blissful despite the crazy days that may come! So I invite you to join me in the journey — and I’ll gladly count you as part of my ‘village’!
How about you? What tips can you share for making a living while making a home? And who is in your ‘village’? Let’s ‘talk’ in the comments!