Survival Tips from a Seasoned Work-At-Home-Mom

by Guest Contributor

Jennifer SpragueI am excited once again to introduce you to Jennifer Sprague.

Jennifer is a single mom of two kids, and has owned her own business since April ’05. In addition to all her other priorities, she just released an all new baby carrier called the Podonbutai (it’s 3 carriers in one)! You can visit Adventures in Babywearing to learn how to WIN your’s today!

I look down at the clock; it’s reading 1:24 AM and I am just about to head to bed, thinking to myself, “Boy, I got a lot done tonight!”

Being a single mom of 2 great kids, and owning my own business has been much harder than I had ever imagined it would be. Honestly, I wonder now looking back, if I would have opened All Natural Mommies had I known just how hard it was going to be.

Learning how to balance work, family time, and household duties, has been hard, even after 3 ½ years, I have “those days” where there is just NO way to get everything done! Though, thing’s are getting better. I have learned several “tricks of the trade” to help make sure the kids get the “me” they deserve, the house gets the “cleaning” it needs, and my business gets the “passion” it deserves, as well.

So, how you ask? The biggest thing, for me, is learning to prioritize!

First off, we here have a schedule. Mind you it’s not a “strict” schedule, it’s more like a “flow” of how the day will go. By doing this, it helps everyone know exactly “what’s next” during the day. It also gives me the freedom to enjoy what I am doing, because I know that business time, or family time will be “next” on schedule.

I also start off most mornings with a list. (Or I create one for the next day the night before.) That list consists of: things I must do, things I would like to “try” to get done, and then an area for projects “in the works” (for if/when I have extra time). By doing this, I make sure not to miss appointments, or forget about projects.

I have also learned to USE effectively my kids “down time”. By that I mean, when they are resting, or asleep – I use that time, as effectively as I can. Making phone calls, cleaning, answering emails, sewing or updating my website.

I also get the kids involved. Being 8 and 3 they help with all kinds of daily tasks, from vacuuming to picking up there toys. They like being involved, and they are a HUGE help with getting things done.

I also forget about the stupid “little” things, that we moms tend to get “hung up on” – like whether or not the toys are ALL picked up (or put away in the RIGHT place) EVERY night or whether or not the baseboards are all clean!

All in all, even as a single mom, owning your own business is something you CAN do. It takes a lot of work, a REAL love of what your doing, and a huge commitment – but it can be done… And I think if you’re like me, you will find that it’s more rewarding than anything than anything else! I love being here for my kids and I love what I do every day – and that, to me, means something!

Jennifer Sprague
http://www.all-natural-mommies.com – Owner
Where nature meets nurture.



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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Adventures In Babywearing July 8, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Wow- you are so inspiring. Somedays (like today) I don’t know how I can go on another minute, and I am not doing it alone. You have done a wonderful job and are someone I can learn from!

Steph

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2 Tammy and Parker July 8, 2007 at 2:40 pm

I am so impressed with your organization. I need to put together more of a schedule, plan meals better and just try to get on track for my family.

Thanks for your post. It has given me some inspiration!

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3 Bob July 9, 2007 at 2:55 am

I also think list is an effective tool in keeping things in order. It is a great way of planning our day to avoid unnecessary delays caused by wondering what our next task would be.
Thanks for sharing this.

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4 Kathy Gillen July 9, 2007 at 9:05 am

Not getting hung up on the little stuff saves me too! I want my children to grow up in a home that has energy and dirt and fun stuff in cupboards, not necessarily clean floors and matched socks. Thanks for sharing your tips.

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5 Amy Grant July 9, 2007 at 10:53 am

I’ve been a single mom of three for a few years now (recently engaged though!) I can totally relate to what you are saying. For me it requires alot of prayer and scheduling to maintain a business from home, housework, homeschooling, and other everyday activities. People always ask me how I adhere to such a strict schedule and I often have been at a loss for words as to how to reply. However, I love your response… “it’s not a “strict” schedule, it’s more like a “flow” of how the day will go.” That is exactly what it is! Thank you for the inspiration!

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6 autumn daisy studio July 9, 2007 at 4:32 pm

I’m very impressed!

It certainly is a lot of work, and I find myself looking at the clock at the wee hours of the morning as well thinking, “Well — I guess I really need to get to bed now!”

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7 Stacey July 10, 2007 at 1:30 pm

Very Inspiring!
I need to work on my morning list.

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