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Just like people who go to the office five days a week, you work hard. You deserve some hard-earned time off, but work-at-home moms don’t have it easy when it comes to taking time off work.
The reality is, time off is so important for your mental and physical wellbeing. Moms are no exception to this. So here are some tips for how work-at-home moms can take time off.
Work ahead where you can
I started preparing for the holidays on Nov. 1. I knew I wanted to take Wednesday through Friday off the week of Thanksgiving. When my husband takes off work, I do my best to either only do what’s absolutely necessary or take the day off entirely.
As a digital marketer and copywriter, I write blog posts regularly for clients. To prepare for the holidays, I ran the topics by my clients about a month in advance so I could start writing. Then, I turned in the articles early so that they had time to review them long before the holidays. That way, I didn’t have to answer emails or make revisions during the time I planned to truly be off.
Tell your clients you are taking time off
Keep your clients or employer well-informed about your time off. I work with many small businesses and with entrepreneurs, holidays aren’t always true days off. They’re always thinking, always striving to grow their business and always sending new ideas for how we can work together.
In many senses, the entrepreneurial mindset works well for my flexing schedule while caring for my son. But when it comes time to rest, it isn’t always ideal.
Well in advance of the holidays or of vacation time for me, I let my clients know that I’ll be unavailable. It’s a courtesy to them and it helps immensely with ensuring that I actually stop working during these timeframes. You need to plan ahead a bit, but you certainly won’t regret it.
Update your email signature with your time off
Put your time off in your email signature to serve as a constant reminder to everyone you interact with regularly. This way, clients, vendors and partners will all know what to expect from you long before they get an out-of-office response.
And when you are away, put up an out-of-office response. These messages keep everyone in the loop and set expectations for your clients.
Put your phone on do not disturb
I’d love to say leave your phone at home during family functions, but I realize I probably couldn’t do that. Instead, set your phone to do not disturb. I have an iPhone and in this setting, I can choose to let important calls go through, such as those from my husband, family members and close friends who might be wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving.
Using this setting, you’ll know you aren’t missing important calls, but you also won’t be interrupted by work calls when you’re trying to unplug. Even if it’s only for the time you are visiting with family, this will help you feel more free. You can pick up your phone to show off photos of your little ones without getting distracted by messages from your clients. It’s a great way to actually enjoy the benefits your smartphone offers without getting caught up in work.
Allow family members to care for little ones
Let’s be real, running your business is only a fraction of the hard work that you do everyday work-at-home moms. Caring for your children is rewarding but also exhausting and never-ending.
I have a habit of being a little bit of a helicopter parent at family parties. But when I realize that I’m doing it or one of my family members looks at me and says, “I’ve got him, go drink some wine,” I let them play with our toddler and I go drink some wine as instructed.
During the holidays, many families get to see extended family members that they don’t often see. So let those grandparents, great aunts, uncles and extended family members have their one-on-one time with your child and you enjoy some well-deserved time off.
Enjoy your turkey, cranberry sauce and yams! Work and this blog for work-at-home moms will be here when you get back.