Being self-employed is one of the ways that parents can make their lives easier and more balanced, but self employment can be hard to integrate into family life. There are several ways to get the most out of the arrangement, while keeping the business manageable and still maintaining enough time for family life, and here are 3 of them:
1. Create a Dedicated Work Space
When you are self employed, it's easy to let your work items spill out of an office area and into the rest of the house. The problem for many people is that they don't have enough space for an office that is dedicated to just the business. However, it is possible to keep all work-related items in one area, no matter how small it is. You may have to keep the self employment items relegated to a single table, but doing so will make family life easier. There will be no anxiety about losing important items, no worrying about kids ruining important papers and no fighting for space.
2. Schedule Working Hours
Self employment takes up a lot of time, and work is rarely limited by someone else's schedule. Instead, you have to put your own limits on your working hours. To keep your working hours from intruding on family time, setting working hours can keep your working and family hours separated. To create a useable schedule, schedule working hours for the entire week. Don't forget to schedule days off. While it can be tempting to work every day to create more income and keep from getting behind on work, having no free days can interfere with the time needed to engage in family activities.
Conversely, with a flexible schedule, it can be tempting to take days off that should be spent on work. To make sure that your job or business is successful, it needs you to treat it like any other job. Skipping work days can lead to insurmountable problems within a home business, which can ultimately make it difficult to make a profit.
3. Make Sure You Have Support
Self employment can be the key to a healthy income and a more manageable schedule, but it's easy for some people to see what you do as not a "real" source of employment. To make sure that the people around you understand that you have a real job, talk to them about the support you need. From a spouse, that may mean keeping the kids occupied so that work can be done. From friends, you may need the occasional babysitter when there is a big project due or a client who needs to be met in person.
With family support, it may soon be apparent to everyone in the household how useful it is to be self employed. Everyone's needs can be scheduled around, and everyone who can help out will know what they can do to make it easier for you to remain self employed.