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All around Australia early in the morning, mothers are busy packing lunches, getting little ones ready for day care, and then careening around in the car, trying to get to work on time.  At least with a 3 second commute from home to office, you don’t have the latter to contend with.

Working from home can help you remove the stress and let you find time for relaxation, exercise and even gardening. Or it can go the other way.

While you may start off thinking you need to work well into the night to get your new enterprise off the ground, or keep enough hours up, it will soon take its toll. You will start to feel tired and stressed and even resentful of all your responsibilities.

The average person needs around 8 hours sleep to be refreshed, but some need more or less. I’ve found that if I can sleep until I naturally come awake, then I feel much fresher. Alarm clocks are devils for waking us in the middle of deep sleep. But when you work from home, if you go to bed by 10 pm, you usually won’t need one.

What about breakfast meetings? Sometimes they require an early start, and you still need to get the kids ready for school or care. So for those times, ask your partner or nana to prepare and take them. The rest of your days you might get up around 7 am, or the time you choose, so there is not a mad rush in the mornings.

I believe that mothers who also work (at home or otherwise) are usually the ones landed with the longest ‘to do’ list. Those of us who work at home have found that having a balanced schedule is a sanity saver. So schedule:

– times for your work
– times for your/your partner’s care of your children
– couple time
– time for exercise
– time for meditation, a bath, or listening to music
– time for socialising
– who’s cooking dinner which nights

Having a roster of household jobs, with age-appropriate tasks for kids, can also help a great deal. This really saves a lot of stress and resentment.

Sort out the jobs that you wish to do, and which jobs you want your partner to do, on a weekly basis. Forget trying to change their daily habits!  Go for the easy win – perhaps the man of the house could do the vacuuming once a week while you do the bathroom. Tell them it builds up arm muscles and ask nicely.  (Don’t say “you never do…”, that will start off on the wrong foot).

With more sharing of tasks and a proper family schedule, you will begin to feel more on top of things and enjoy all the wonderful reasons to work from home.

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