Finding, Making Time to Work

A homeschooling friend asked me, ”How do you find time to blog, to write, to create videos and do podcasts?”

In other words, How do I find time to work?

The simple answer is, I schedule it. I make it a priority – or not :)   We all have the same amount of time in the day. We all have various demands on our time – especially as homeschooling moms and wives.

If I was working outside the house, I’d have a work schedule that shouldn’t be interrupted with personal calls and emails or outside activities. If I am to work at home, which I do, then I must maintain a similar ability to block out time to work, even if it’s just 5 minutes or a few hours.

When the kids were little, I often worked during naps or during quiet play time, and a lot at night when they were asleep.

When it was just Kgirl and J, I found that if I gave Kgirl 20 minutes of focused attention and play time with me, she’d give me 40 minutes where she’d play quietly with the toys and art supplies in my office while I worked.  I often took conference calls with a baby on my lap and learned how to write scribble notes one handed.

As they got older, my office or desk was always where I could see and hear them playing. I could work while they played quietly, while they watched tv or on the computer, as well as during nap and night time.

Over time, they’ve learned that when I have to work or am on a client call, what behavior I expect from them and what activities are allowed, and where they could go.

Now that the kids are older, they actually need my focused attention and engagement more, so I set aside natural downtime in their schedules to work. For example, when Z is at speech therapy, I have a choice – I can use that 45 minutes to work or I can use it to read or chat with other moms. Most of the time I choose to work.

As I write this post, I’m sitting at Starbucks working while Kgirl is at her dog grooming class.

I also always have a notebook with me, so I can make notes, map out plans, and write rough drafts in the little moments of quiet that arise when we are out and about.

And I guard my time, my family time, my work time. There are so many worthwhile opportunities that can pull at our time.  So I choose volunteer and ministry activities that we can do together or are a natural part of our day. That way, I can give back, but without causing conflicts within our family dynamic.

My friends and family know I work. Just as they wouldn’t call me at work to chat, they don’t call me at home to chat. Instead we chat online or set up times to get together over coffee and enjoy each other’s company in person.

Priority wise, the investment in my family is more important than my work. But my work helps supports my family, so it must be balanced and prioritized within the goals  and dynamic of our family.

 

 

 

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One Response to Finding, Making Time to Work

  1. Pingback: Words for Your Weekend « Jennifer L. Self

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