|Working @ Home
Maisie Knowles has two full-time jobs.
In one, she is the co-founder of FreeShipping.org, which is a one-stop destination for consumers to find online retailers that offer free shipping deals. She operates the business with her husband, Luke Knowles, from their home.
In the other, she is the mother of Isabelle, the couple’s first child who turned one on January 26.
Balancing motherhood with marriage and a career is challenging regardless of the circumstances. However, it can be especially difficult when you are a first-time mother who works from a home office operating a business with your husband. Maisie Knowles, who is 26, offers these tips for achieving work-life balance for mothers who are also career women:
1. Try to keep to a schedule for both you and your little one. Infants crave a schedule and when they are on a schedule, you too can be on a schedule. “A schedule is important,” Knowles said. “Knowing when your infant will eat and sleep helps both the baby and the mother because the day is more predictable.”
2. Seek help when needed. It's easy for work at home moms to feel overwhelmed with domestic and career responsibilities. Get a part time nanny or a maid if you feel the need to help you to accomplish what you need to.
3. Multi-tasking is not always a good thing. Focus on the tasks that you need to focus on, and focus on your child when they demand your attention. Multi-tasking can lead to a distracted employee that is not giving 100 percent when needed and an unhappy child who is looking for your love and care. "Before Isabelle, I was able to get my work done whenever I wanted. Now, I must set time aside to care for her and set time aside for work," Knowles explained. "The key is setting time for work when I won’t be disturbed, and making sure I make the most of that time."
4. Schedule time for yourself. It's easy to keep working when you work from home and can cause you to burn out faster. Time away from home and your work will restore your energy and bring your responsibilities back into perspective.
5. Get dressed every day, put on your make up and wash your hair. It seems like such a small thing but getting out of your PJs and getting dressed will boost your self esteem and help you tackle the day with full force. “I am more energetic, focused and productive when I start my day as I would if I still worked in an office setting,” Knowles said. “Some people who work from a home office are fine with working in their pajamas. I’m not. I feel better and more professional when I get showered and dressed instead of waking up and going right to work.”
6. Seek friendships with other work at home or stay at home moms. They will be a network of help and support when needed because they understand the challenges you face and can offer suggestions based on their life experience.
7. Spend quality alone time with your significant other. Your relationship can suffer from everything that you are juggling and at the end of the day you are probably exhausted. Make sure you and your significant other keep the lines of communication open and don't let your responsibilities create a divide between the two of you. "It's important to commit to not talking about work," Knowles said. "That can be challenging, especially when you work from a home office and operate a business together, but it is ideal to make it a point to forget about work for awhile and go out on a date."
FreeShipping.org is the Internet's premiere destination for online shoppers to find free shipping deals offered by more than 1,150 online retailers, including Victoria's Secret, Target, Bloomingdale's, Kohl's, Sears, Best Buy, Old Navy, Nordstrom and Macy's. For more information, visit www.freeshipping.org.
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