Keeping Your Sanity While You Homeschool and Run a Business
by Kristi Crosson
I get asked all the time about how I “do it all”. Or people will ask me how I stay sane being home with my children all day. Truth be told, it’s the grace of God.
There are days when I need to get work done and it feels like those are the days the kids refuse to work independently on their school assignments for just 10 minutes. There are days when they fight with each other like crazy. There are days when, to be frank, I lose my cool and everyone ends up in their bedrooms to wait it out. Myself included.
In my experience, it takes a different kind of discipline to run a business and homeschool. I think it seems so different because it’s not what most people do. There are a lot of stay-at-home moms who are incredible and care for their children and homes with such mastery. There are female entrepreneurs who burn the midnight oil. There are work outside the home moms who do their work with excellence.
It feels as if those lives are compartmentalized in nice and neat ways. There’s work life, there’s home life, and there’s entrepreneur life, but sometimes it feels like they aren’t allowed to intersect. Then there’s me. I sometimes feel like my feet are a little in all the worlds, and it makes it a challenge to keep up with everything. Everything in my life connects like at the center of a Venn Diagram. Truth be told, it does feel chaotic at times.
Sometimes my home looks like a bomb went off. Between getting up early to work on business, cleaning up after the toddler 334 times, and teaching my older two math, language arts, reading, and more, the actual work of cleaning the house doesn’t get prioritized.
Sometimes, no one wants to focus, and we go for a walk just to keep our sanity.
Sometimes, I forget a deadline, and need to apologize to a client.
Sometimes, I hide in my closet office just for a few minutes of solitude.
But in the process of living out my life in front of my children in very real ways, I’ve discovered something valuable.
When they see me work on my business, they get inspired to do business. When they see me help clean up, they get inspired to help (sometimes). When they hear me apologize for losing my cool, they get to extend the grace of God to me. And it’s powerful.
It’s humbling. We get to mess up and succeed together every single day. They know they are loved, they know God has a plan for their lives, and they know that anything is possible.
So, How Do I Manage Home, Homeschool, and Business?
1. Set the Right Expectations for Homeschool
It’s easy to scroll through Pinterest and see these gleaming homeschool rooms with perfectly dressed children. Everything is neat and organized. It looks perfect.
I’ve been to many homeschoolers homes and on any given day, it doesn’t look like that. Their homes look lived in and used. And that means there may be a mess on the table, their children might have their pajama shirt on with a pair of clean pants and one boot on and one boot off.
You may end up sitting on the couch or outside in the grass or at the kitchen table. It’s going to ebb and flow from day to day. But everything you do, your child is learning, and that’s what matters.
2. Do One Thing a Day for Your Business
I love checklists. I really do. I love to create them and check things off so that I can feel like I got something done. When it comes to running a business from home, I need things that keep me focused.
For me, having just one thing a day to prioritize and accomplish helps me do just that. Usually I get several more things done, but just having the one task helps me focus and stay sane.
3. Set Goals
We have goals for our homeschool and my business. The goals are what helps drive the tasks. I try and set deadlines to ensure that I don’t procrastinate. Sometimes it works, and others it does not.
The important thing is to keep them realistic and flexible. It may not be realistic to finish 3rd grade math in two months, but you may have a goal to have it done before summer hits.
4. Teach Your Children About the Business
I love that my children get to learn real-world skills when they see me work on business. I love that I can use it as an educational opportunity that they wouldn’t get in public school.
I love that they want to help create graphics and write things on social media. It makes me laugh when they think of their own hashtags.
5. You Need Some Time Off
I am really bad about asking for time to myself. I know I need it. But since everything in my life is this tangled web with work/business, my children, and homeschooling them, I find that I forget to just step away for a little while.
Just like it’s important to take vacation time when you work outside the home, it’s important to take a few hours a week to just do something for you. I like to hike, paint, and sometimes enjoy a meal with friends. These little moments help energize me and help me keep my sanity.
6. Get Help
Maybe it’s just a mother’s helper to give you assistance with keeping the dishes and laundry from taking over the house. Maybe it’s a nanny for a few hours to entertain the toddler while you teach your older ones something more complex.
Maybe it’s just so you can get out of the house for a bit. No matter what your need, it’s okay to ask for help.
The thing is, no matter what you do in life, things can start to feel overwhelming and out of control.
When I set my focus back on the Lord and ask Him for wisdom in how I use my time, how I teach, and what I do next in my business, I gain a greater level of peace and clarity.
How do I keep my sanity when I homeschool and run a business?
Sometimes I don’t, and that’s okay too. I wouldn’t give this up for anything in the world.
About the Author
Kristi Crosson is a writer and photographer and homeschools her three children, ages 8, 4, and 2. She is in the process of writing her first book, a personal story about God’s goodness in the midst of heartache and impossible situations.
Her background includes work in communications for a large Christian non-profit and freelance writing for hundreds of businesses on social media and blogs.
She has more than 15 years of ministry experience serving in the church and learned valuable leadership skills that she applies to her life and businesses. Kristi has a huge heart to fight human trafficking and see women experience God’s love in powerful ways.
When she is not busy with her businesses or her family, she enjoys creating art, playing music, singing, and hiking. And somehow manages to "do it all". Don't be fooled. In getting real, she'll share about how she manages her day to day work in business and homeschool.
You can read Kristi’s column, Getting Real with Kristi on the 3rd Tuesday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.