How to Establish Boundaries When Working at Home (and a Job Opportunity!)

It has been over eight months since I last posted on this blog and told you I was going to Cherish this year. It has been a year of celebrating everyday joys, enduring some deep sorrows and sorting through what it means to cherish my life and how that fits into my work-at-home lifestyle.

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With much prayer and discussion with my husband, I picked up my pruning shears and decided some things needed to be cut in order to help my life blossom into what God means it to be. Here are three questions I asked myself before the Lord. Perhaps they will help you establish proper work-at-home boundaries as well.

1. WHAT are my priorities?

I have drawn up lists and goals and plans for most of my life. For the last 13 years, I have known as if they were highlighted in bold red ink on my brain what my priorities are. My relationships with God, my husband and children come first. God’s particular purpose for me is to keep my home and homeschool my children. All other ministries or work or hobbies must come after those things are adequately (though not perfectly!) cared for.

In light of those priorities, I know to work the hours I have been working would require me to cut corners on my homeschooling this year. It is also hard to cherish every moment when I am behind on my hours and have that fact in the back of my head all the time.

2. WHY am I working?

The Income

This is perhaps the most obvious reason to work. Our philosophy has always been not to depend on my income but to view it as extra. I realize not every family has that luxury. In fact, as our family and needs have grown, some of those “extras” are becoming more “necessities”. I have friends who are trying to homeschool and provide as single parents, and the income is even more essential. However, in our current situation, we try to keep our lifestyle modified in such a way that we are able to live on what my husband makes as our sole provider.

Meaningful Work

All of us want to know we are doing something of purpose with our hours. I have always believed staying home with my children to care for them and my home is extremely meaningful work. I need no other employment to add purpose to my life or the world.

That is not a popular idea in today’s culture. An friend acquaintance once told me if I expect my husband to provide for the family financially alone, I am no better than a parasite. Ouch! I suppose that reverberates in my mind on the days when nothing is going right except for my work-at-home job. However, I know that God views my work as meaningful even if it only impacts my children and contributes nothing to the household budget. And that goes for you as well!

3. WHEN will I work?

While my job was a wonderful opportunity to help others and make extra income for our family, I had to admit I only have 24 hours a day. If you aren’t sure if you can fit in an extra job, I would encourage you to write down everything you do all day for a week or two as suggested by Laura Vanderkam. She provides excellent resources for this here.

Since we are switching back to school mode, I did this with the schedule I hope to keep as well. When I drew up our homeschool schedule for this coming year, I realized my work was simply fitting into the crevices of my day. Furthermore, there were some priority tasks I was not able to put on the schedule let alone some essential margin time.

I suppose I wrote the previous post as a disclaimer for what I am about to tell you. If you can ask those questions honestly before the Lord, your husband and yourself  and still have time for a work-at-home job, here is a job offer from my previous company. I can vouch for the income, the meaningful work, and a wonderful boss who understands a homeschooling mom’s priorities. It is up to you and the Lord to determine the rest.

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By His Grace Promotions is seeking a part-time Promotions Consultant/Administrative Assistant. We help Homeschool and Family product companies find the best way to promote their products.

A candidate for the position would be one who is organized, has a computer with good internet access, is able to work from home, and has excellent communication skills both by phone and e-mail. They must possess a character of high integrity and excellent work ethic and be self motivated. A big plus is to have a heart for helping others succeed.

Training will be provided. You will be paid an hourly rate with an initial 30-day trial period to confirm that it is a good fit.

If interested, please submit your application/resume by e-mail to Cynthia Tiffany at byhisgracepromo@gmail.com with the subject line: Promotions Consultant Resume.

Please be thorough and include how many hours a week you would like to devote to the position, when you could start training, and a good time for a phone interview.

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