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Do You Suffer from LMH Syndrome? 
by Karen Denning

Before you reach for your home medical encyclopedia, allow me to explain. LMH Syndrome is something that I assume is quite common - especially among work-at-home parents.

I coined the term to justify my initial inability to separate business from home duties. At first I had the family fooled into thinking I had a real disease; I have had medical training after all. This gained me a measure of sympathy for my lack of organization and a constantly messy house. Eventually the truth came out and it was clear that something could, and had to be done. I'll explain later in the article how to treat this problem.

You see, LMH is nothing more than "Last Minute Housekeeping".

Some of the symptoms:

* You throw in a load of laundry at 11:00 p.m. so the kids will have clothes to wear to school in the morning.

* You hear your spouse pull in the driveway from work and jump up from the computer to wash enough dishes to cook dinner.

* You run to the convenience store at 5:00 a.m. to get milk for their cereal because you just can't find the time to do any "real" grocery shopping.

* Make a mad dash to the electric company to pay the bill before they shut you off. After all you do need power to run the computer.

* You never have company over for dinner. Your excuses leave others believing that your family has had the longest bout of the flu in recorded history.

Treatment options:

* Break up your duties into bite-sized portions and tackle them during 1 or 2 hour breaks in your workday.

* Make grocery shopping a family outing on the weekend. Take in a movie and lunch beforehand.

* If your children are old enough, teach them how to do laundry and put each one in charge of their own load.

* If you have a preschooler, join or form a babysitting co-op with other stay-at-home parents. Take turns giving each other a day off and make sure to keep records so that everyone does and gets their fair share.

* Write other chores eg. dinner dishes, mopping, vacuuming, etc. on slips of paper and let everyone draw out of a bowl. Allow for trading in case someone gets stuck with the same chore too often.

Get creative! It's hard to break away from your business, especially if you're very passionate about what you do. But it is possible to do it all if you're reasonable with yourself and recruit the help of others. You don't have to be SuperMom or Dad!

Karen Denning is the owner and webmaster of 4MomsAtHome.com http://www.4momsathome.com She also publishes a weekly Ezine with articles and special offers for stay-at-home moms. Visit: http://www.zinester.com/mpb/ml_fs.cgi?topic=4121

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