For those of us who work from home, so much of our focus is on the kids. We openly discuss working from home with kids and we share lots of strategies, tips and techniques for making it through summers and holidays. But, what about the balance of working from home and our marriages?
As a work at home Mom I have the flexibility to work around the schedules of my children’s activities, sleep schedules, and need for Mommy time. The result is that often I get up early and work before they get up, and I know that many of us work after the kids go to sleep at night.
It is this fragmented work pattern that can leave me in a catch-22 of sorts. A lot of days I am faced with a choice – one I don’t always like to make – spend my evening doing work to earn money or spend my evening hanging out with my spouse.
And what about times when your spouse has the day off or the week off? How do you manage expectations? I can’t afford to put my business on hold every time my husband takes the day off or the week off.
While I have found that communication and compromise go a long way, this is still an area I struggle with! Some of the ways I have found to help maintain the balance include:
- Get a laptop and work while your spouse watches TV – at least you are in the same room and can have a conversation at the same time.
- If I know my husband will be off for a day or two I try to schedule a block of time for a family activity or a lunch date.
- Keep my husband informed of my successes and what I earn so that he can see the value of what I do.
Now, I’d like to get your input! What has worked for you and what has not?
Things are hopping at my web design blog called Essential Keystrokes! We are celebrating my blogging birthday for the whole week and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the fun. So just in case you haven’t ventured over there, here is some of what has been happening:
- Win some great prizes! Come over and celebrate my blogging birthday and you could win some fabulous books, a cool game, an iTunes gift certificate or even a guest post opportunity on a really high profile blog.
- We all have to start somewhere – I started my blogging at Blogger and have redesigned a few times. Whether you are just starting out or have been blogging for a while, you might want to see the Evolution of my Blog.
- How about 164 Essential Tools for Online Success? Dawud Miracle gave me a great blogging gift – he compiled over 500 links while going through more than 25 Essential Tools features at my site. This is some list!
There is still time to enter the contest and there will be more great posts this week! Don’t miss it.
One thing I have learned since I started blogging (one year ago tomorrow) is that no matter what your niche is, there is a community for you. I have also learned that there are A LOT of Moms who are passionate, creative, and well-connected in the new world we call the Internet. Whether you are a Mom looking for an online community or a business looking to get in touch with your Mom audience, there are plenty of great communities that are already established – and there seems to be attitude that there is always room for one more at the table.
Here are thirteen places where the Moms are:
1. Being social! New social bookmarking sites are cropping up that fill a need within a niche. Sk*rt.com is a very HOT digg-like site for women that is slightly addictive. Others in this arena include Babblz.com, Absolutely Parents, and Netscape.
2. On the networks. Blog networks like b5Media Family & Relationships Channel, Grasshopper New Media Parents, and 451 Press have dedicated channels of family-related content and blogs. And don’t forget Strollerderby – its written by a team of hip, urban parents.
3. In the cafe. Cafe Mom that is! Cafe Mom is run by the same group who brings us Club Mom – both very good resources for Moms, but Cafe Mom is more community and social focused. Did I mention that thousands of Moms have already set up their profiles there.
4. Working the forums. Traditional discussion boards are still great ways to connect with like-minded Moms and my favorites include the MomGadget forum, WAHM, and HBWM.
5. Linking up – Weekly memes like Menu Plan Monday, Wordless Wednesday, and Thursday Thirteen attract a huge following. One of the ways they work so well is thanks to Mr. Linky.
6. At the carnival. Thinking of joining the circus? Your family may prefer you play it safe and join a blogging carnival instead. Join in the carnival of family life or do a search at Blogcarnival.com for a another topic.
7. Joining forces. Looking for a way to exchange links and find more Mom blogs? Why not join forces and grow your blogroll too. Two of the groups that come to mind are The Mom Blogs and Blogging Chicks. In order to make the most of these groups you have to display a link to their mainsite or display a badge.
8. Thinking local. There are more and more sites coming about that serve a specific geographical area. Let’s start with Silicon Valley Moms, and their sister sites Chicago Moms and New York City Moms.
9. Acting global. I love the sites All for Women and Real Savvy Moms for their global reach. If you have a product and want to tell the parenting world about it you must go to The Parent Bloggers Network (thanks Ponn).
10. Popularity plays. Have you seen TopMomma or The Top 100 Mom Blogs? These are a great source of new reads and a fun way to reward your favorite Moms.
11. Talking among ourselves. One of the best ways to get to know other Mom bloggers and build your own community is by leaving comments on the blogs you like to read. Or you could stop by here on Fridays for Casual Fridays – bring your cup of coffee and just chat.
12. Lurking in the wings. Yes, I know there are a bucket load of Moms online that haven’t found their voice yet! If you are one of them, jump in, leave a comment or better yet, get started blogging today.
13. Meeting in Chicago – BlogHer will be in Chicago July 27-29. Some of my favorite Moms are even speaking!
This list is by NO MEANS exhaustive! I know there are so many more places that Mom’s hang out online. If you happen to have a favorite that is not on the list, by all means, leave a comment and let us know! And for more Thursday Thirteen entries, visit the TT hub.
With Sunday being Father’s Day here in the US, I’d like to take some time to recognize some of my favorite Daddy blogs and bloggers who are great Dads!
- Rory at Hamelife – Rory writes about communication between parent and child and is obviously a great Dad. However, I do like his latest post on Male Pasttimes.
- Mike at Be a Good Dad – I love that he has a page dedicated to the cast of characters on his blog.
- Bad Hair Dad – I just love the picture on the About page – you get my vote as a great Dad just for that!
- Inside Fatherhood and Silly Dad – Steve is a stay at home Dad of 5 kids. You are amazing.
- The BlogFathers - this a group blog for a bunch of really cool Daddies
- ZeroBoss – A little bit edgier, I just like his hold no punches style!
- Easton of Business Blog Wire – while this is not a Daddy blog, I happen to know Easton is a WAHD and a good one at that!
- Ingo at Stixster -you get my vote for many reasons, but this picture is my favorite!
- Dawud at dmiracle – Dawud is a WAHD, too and has such a wonderful attitude and outlook on parenting.
- Adam at MonkatWork – Ommmm… (sorry Adam, I couldn’t help myself) I love your post on the benefits of working from home.
- Tony from Success from the Nest – who can resist these drawings and all of your very sensible advice
- Steve at Cymru66 – You must be a good Dad if you answered my call for Father’s Day ideas
- Steve of Babblz – afterall, he created a site for all the parents of the blogosphere – a site where we can submit posts and vote on them in true Digg style.
And, of course, my husband would be on this list, but he doesn’t blog (yet – wait until he retires). Thanks for all the great things you do for us as Moms and kids all year long!
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It is inevitable – before the week is over I will have to put gas in my vehicle and the way prices are going, it is not going to be fun. Wendy at eMoms at Home reminded me today that while it is going to be painful putting gas in my SUV this week, I am fortunate to work from home and save money.
She also reminded me of a picture I got via email and almost forgot about:
It pretty much sums it up! So, how much is gas in your area right now? Ours is between $2.94 and $2.99 but I think we are on the low side (I can’t believe I just said that).
Wendy also shared a tool to help you find the cheapest gas in your area. I also found a few sites that do the same thing:
What other gas saving tips do you have? Me, I’m just not doing any driving I don’t have to do and I am combining optional errands with the mandatory ones.