There has been an abundance of parents choosing to have a career so they can work from home, and for just as many reasons it seems. Perhaps that’s the reason there are so many advertisements for ‘working at home’ plans and programs, because they are well aware of the public’s desire for it. For some, it’s not a desire, but an actual necessity.
One reason a parent might choose this path is because of the exorbitant cost of daycare. By working from home, a family can save thousands of dollars a year just by not having to place their kids in daycare.
I have heard of a family who wanted to stay home with their disabled child. They couldn’t find a place to provide attentive and individualized care for their child, without having to take out a second mortgage. The mom found a way to work from home, and have help from the extended family and a hired aide for a few hours a week.
For me, it was an easy choice. I’m a freelance writer and didn’t need a traditional brick and mortar office, so I knew this was a path for our family. Attending our kid’s events and activities is an important goal for me. So, having a flexible schedule and office allows me the luxury of being able to be involved, and still help provide for the family.
The Pitfalls of Working from Home
I learned early on that working from home is not as easy as it sounds. If I hadn’t learned early on, it could have been an actual disaster, because it’s not necessarily the healthiest, both physically and mentally, to work from home.
It’s so easy to succumb to the dangers of staying home all day, even if you are working. The refrigerator is just a short distance away, as is the ‘treat drawer’. At times, it just might be the only exercise…walking back and forth to get a snack. I’m sure you see the dilemma.
Combining the ease of grabbing a snack, along with the idle position a freelancer has sitting at a desk all day, leads to a less than desirable result. However, it’s not just about your clothes feeling a little snug, or feeling mentally drained.
A sedentary lifestyle, combined with extra pounds, can lead to some serious complications. Back problems, sleep disorders, diabetes, and even heart ailments are all conditions that can be brought on, or worsened by an idle life with weight gain.
I knew that if I didn’t get this new habit of sitting and grazing under control, before it controlled me, I would have sabotaged the sole reason for wanting to work from home to begin with. I wouldn’t have the energy to spend quality time with my kids, or go to their events.
I needed to get control over it all, from the snacking to the lack of exercise. So, I did. Planning menus, exercising, and even investing in equipment such as the Bowflex 552 Dumbbells, went a long way in providing a healthy environment. But, I wanted it for my family as well.
5 Tips to Get the Family Involved and Healthy
I knew that in order to keep myself on track, I needed to integrate my entire family into the plan. Besides, a healthy lifestyle is just as good for them, as it is anyone else. So, I came up with some ideas that worked for all of us.
I scheduled a break in the day for my kids and me to walk. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, but enough to get our heart pumping a little faster. We could even incorporate a little scavenger hunt in the walk, such as looking for certain leaves, animals, or colors. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we choose another activity such as dancing.
I found that my kids actually like to help with preparing a meal. So, I make it a challenge for them to find the ingredients, and to learn how to tell the difference between a healthy and fresh ingredient, over a processed one. Grocery shopping is also educational at times, if they come along.
It’s common knowledge that drinking plenty of water is good for you. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to accomplish with kids. I have heard of someone who makes it a challenge, or contest. They keep track of how much water they drink on a weekly basis, and the one who drinks the most gets to choose one physical activity for the family to do on the weekend. I haven’t done this yet, but it’s on my list if drinking water becomes a problem for us.
Keeping a chart of all the intake for the family has been a real eye-opening experience. When marking down all the calories, carbohydrates, and fat, it makes you think twice before over indulging.
Exercising is a great way to get, and stay healthy. It’s also fun to do as a family, and can be a simple game of tag in the yard, or a structured and intense workout program. I found a great one that I can do on my own, or with the family, through reviews for P90X. The best part is that I don’t have to take time away from the family to go to a gym, and it saves money.
I believe that a healthy environment is extremely important to have a successful and productive career at home. It doesn’t matter what your reason for wanting to work from home is, just that you don’t allow the pitfalls to control you. I hope I was able to provide some helpful information, and that you will prosper in work, health, and play.
Photo by rmolnar7