I get asked all the time how I get it all done.
My friends ask. My homeschool mentoring clients ask. My email subscribers ask. Everyone wants to know how you can work at home, keep house, and homeschool and get it all done.
Y’all, you can’t. At least I can’t.
BUT . . .
There are imperative tools that a mom must have in order to homeschool, keep house, and work from home successfully. And I’m sharing them with you here. Please leave your own suggestions in the comments. We can all learn from each other!
These tools and methods allow you to have a thriving home, homeschool, and business, it doesn’t mean your house is Pinterest perfect or that you’re running a 6 million dollar company within a month’s time or that your kids are going to graduate at 14 with perfect ACT scores. And that’s okay.
Cultivating a thriving life means getting messy. Are you ready to get a little dirt under those nails?
5 Must Haves for Working Homeschool Moms
Goal Setting Before Goal Getting
I know you’ve seen all the “Be a goal getter” memes, but let’s stop and look at this process for a moment. If all you are doing is going after goals without really breaking down the why and how, it’s like running your heart out on a treadmill.
You’re giving it all you’ve got, but you’re not getting anywhere.
My preferred method of cultivating my dreams into doable steps is using PowerSheets. I’ve been using them for years and they are such a wonderful tool. (The new ones are coming out October 25th, 2017, and you can sign up to be notified when they release here.) PowerSheets allow me to keep track of my progress, break down my ideas, and even dig deep to figure out if an idea is really something I want or need to pursue or if it doesn’t line up with my overall goals.
I have friends who do this with bullet journals, digitally on apps, and all manner of other methods. The point is to do the hard work. Figure out why you are doing things. Then figure out how. Then implement.
My PowerSheets are like an accountability partner, as are my mastermind group friends. Accountability is key, friends! If you aren’t good at holding yourself accountable, find someone who is.
Schedules and Planning to Accomplish All the Things
After you have your goals set, you need to map out when you are doing each part of your life. Otherwise you end up dropping all the plates you’re juggling and then there’s another mess to clean up.
Keep work hours. Keep homeschool hours. Keep your goals where you can see them to make sure your schedule is going to line up with your goals.
Be diligent and protect your schedule. If you have work creep into school, school creep into personal time, or any other combination you will cause yourself stress and overwhelm. Nobody needs that.
Feed your soul. You cannot pour from an empty vessel. Make time for the things that bring your heart joy.
As a Christian, spending time in God’s work is important to me, but with our crazy schedule and all the to-do’s I always feel like I am rushing. I have found the Write the Word journals to be the perfect way to make sure I spend time in the Word everyday. It’s quick and easy to complete in 5-15 minutes in the morning.
I also enjoy Bible journaling, but that takes longer and I don’t like to start a page I can’t get finished. Which means I don’t Bible journal often, but when I do it is a wonderful break from the day to day stuff and it brings me joy.
Soul fuel doesn’t have to be scripture. Yoga, reading, painting, listening to audio books while you run, exercise, hiking, serving others as a volunteer. Whatever it is that lights you up, make time for it.
Be willing to spend a few minutes everyday centering yourself. You will find that you are more productive and better able to focus on your children and your homeschool and to work your business when you are in a good frame of mind. This time of filling your heart is an investment in your mental and spiritual health. You are worth that investment!
Make Dreaded Tasks More Fun (or outsource!)
In the video I mention my, ahem, aversion to cleaning. One way I combat that is to find cleaning products I love. I’m head over heels for Modere cleaning and personal care items. And if you shop through my referral link, you can get $10 off your first order and I’ll get some points. Don’t worry, it’s not an MLM, it’s just a referral program like Thrive Market’s. Big puffy hearts to companies that you don’t have to “sign up” with to get rewards.
I digress. Do whatever it takes to make the tasks you don’t like more pleasant. For me it’s making cleaning and laundry tolerable with awesome smelling and eco-friendly products. Or even better, outsource if you can! (This can include your kids with tasks like cleaning and cooking. Life skills are important, people!)
Other tasks that are common struggles:
- Social Media: Spend the money for a scheduler like Tailwind or Post Planner or, if outsourcing is an option, hire a VA.
- Meal planning and cooking: Try out dinner boxes, check out Emeals, or work your budget to buy easy to cook foods that are already prepped or a meal out once a week.
- Creating products: You can hire this out, spend a weekend creating templates that you can easily change into multiple products, or even grab PLR content to make this task easier.
- Shopping: Grocery stores like Kroger are making shopping a breeze with ClickList! StitchFix is awesome for clothing needs. Madison Reed keeps you from needing to go to the salon. And then there’s Amazon, which covers just about everything.
- Leave Margin
Friends, if you’re going to undertake the task of being as close to Wonder Woman as humanly possible by working from home, keeping house, and homeschooling your children, you have to have downtime.
Those goals of yours should include some self-care: date nights, friendship building time, time for hobbies, daily reading/art/whatever time. Time for sleep. No, really. Running yourself ragged is not the way to cultivate a fulfilling life.
You cannot pour from an empty vessel. You cannot do it all and do anything well. Stop trying to wear a cape.
Leave the white space and cherish it. This means you will have to say “no” sometimes. And that’s a good thing.
Don’t ever feel guilty for running your business instead of letting your business run you. Stop believing that “busy” is better. It’s not. I promise. I’ve tried to live this way and it nearly broke everything I love.
You can totally rock this, mama. Being a work-at-home homeschool mom is an awesome way to contribute to your family, give your kids an excellent and individualized education, and do whatever it is that fires you up.
Start with your goals, set your schedule, fuel your soul, learn to love what must be done, and leave room for all the good things.
What is your number 1 piece of advice for moms who want to work from home?
We are linked up to Faith Friday at Awe Filled Homemaker.