This seems to be the age of the work-at-home entrepreneur. Hey, that’s a great thing! It is wonderful that so many of us have an opportunity to meet the needs of our husbands and families while still raising our children. If you are home educating and are considering working at home, here are 5 tips to consider:
1. Forget the False Security of Identity
There are a million reasons to work from home while we raise and educate our children. But if our personal reason for working from home is an identity — a claim to something we may perceive as being more important than just being Mom — we are going to fail.
- If we fail to see the mission field in our own homes, we will fail our children, our families, and, in the long run, ourselves.
- If our reliance is on others’ approval, we will be unable to accomplish our mission.
- If we need to hear the affirmation and praise of others, then we will be unable to hear the Lord’s direction and still, small voice, and may forfeit the best.
- If we find our identity in anything other than Christ, then we will never really feel accepted. We will never really be sure that our path is straight, our work accepted, our methods secure, and our future firm. Our decisions will be founded on flights of fancy rather than the solid bedrock of God’s word.
Quite a few moms fool themselves into thinking that by working at home and earning a great income they can better impact the world. The truth is, “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
If we indulge in any confidence which is not grounded on the Rock of ages, our confidence is worse than a dream, it will fall upon us, and cover us with its ruins, to our sorrow and confusion.
— C. H. Spurgeon
Doing the BIG Thing
Day in. Day out.
2. Keep to the Priority List
When working at home while we have children at home, we also have to watch our priority list very carefully. After all, Christian moms are on assignment from God to:
- Teach our children God’s Word.
- Model God’s wisdom as they watch us walk in His grace.
- Pray faithfully.
- Provide for the individual needs of our children.
- Give — sowing bountifully seeds of patience, kindness, and gentleness.
All of these things take more than quality time — they take quantities of quality time. And like it or not, we also set the atmosphere in the home.
You create the atmosphere of the home with your attitudes.
— Elisabeth Elliot
The key to finding time in today’s busy world.
3. Spend Time Preparing
One way to avoid chaos is to think in advance rather than react after the fact. Here are a few simple examples of ways to keep things moving:
- Create a schedule with blocks of time set aside for each important task.
- Keep a list of meals handy.
- Make a weekly shopping list to make sure you have the ingredients that you need on hand.
- Have a set time that everyone can get to the table.
- Think in advance about ways to encourage pleasant conversation at the table.
- Plan at least one fun thing to do with your children each day.
- Rather than ignoring them (hey, that is easier), nip bad attitudes in the bud and reap the benefits throughout the day!
- Plan reading/quiet times for everyone each day.
- Scale back outside activities to a manageable number.
9 Tips for Moving from Chaos to Peace
Living a chaotic lifestyle is not a given.
4. Set Boundaries
Work can consume us if we let it. Keep a set number of hours, particularly if you are educating young children at home. During the child-rearing years, we are to be pouring ourselves into our children — not our jobs.
Step 7: Smart Scheduling
One way to set boundaries is to implement a smart schedule!
5. Stay Healthy
The time you invest on keeping healthy pays off with interest. To raise children requires energy. To educate them requires more energy. To add working, cleaning, cooking, and more can drain our energy if we don’t invest in ways to keep up.
10 Ways to Stay Well-Rounded
Ways to avoid being one-dimensional!
Is Working at Home for You?
Only you know.
There are moms who, having committed themselves to staying home to educate their children, start their own businesses and find the pressures too much — and their children end up being sent off to school.
There are moms who successfully educate their children at home, maintain the house, create healthy and enjoyable mealtimes, provide the art of home through atmosphere and attention to detail, stay personally healthy, creative, and rested, and still contribute to the family finances without going insane.
For the rest of us…there are seasons — each precious, and meant to be enjoyed!