Do you struggle to find a balance between work and mom life? Since becoming a mom, I’ve been searching for a job that provides the best work-life balance (is there really such a thing?). Over the last 9 years of my mom life, I’ve worked outside the home (both full-time and part-time) and over the past few years I have been working from home.
I feel fortunate to have found a way to work from home part-time, but it is certainly not without its challenges. Challenges like kiddos yelling in the background, “MOM I NEED YOU!!!” when I’m on a work call, having the sound of Peppa Pig on full blast during a FaceTime meeting, kids constantly disrupting my thought process by asking me for random things while their dad is sitting two feet away from them, and trying to be super multitasking mom (cooking, cleaning, assisting with HW and working at the same time) while failing at everything simultaneously.
I asked my fellow WAHM’s from the Scottsdale Mom’s Blog team for their tips on maintaining sanity while working from home. So many great ideas were shared and I’ve compiled them below. I was happy to know that I’m not alone in the madness!
Sanity Saving Tips for WAHM’s:
Schedule work & play
- Set tasks to complete each day ahead of time. Monday focus on emails, Tuesday projects, Wednesday follow-ups, etc. Then leave Friday open to catch up on all things you didn’t get to.
- Block out chunks of time for work and quality time with the kids on your schedule. Like on Monday, focus on work from 1-3 and the rest of the day focus on the kids instead of spending the entire day going back and forth to your computer and feeling like you failed at both work and mom life.
Let your village support you
- Take advantage of anyone offering to help, whether it be family or friends who offer to take the kids, so you can get some work in.
- Some ideas for childcare:
- Significant other, school, preschool, friends or family, use a babysitting service or swap time with a fellow mama.
Pretend you’re at a “real” office
- Treat your work at home day just like an office day. Get up, get dressed, take coffee to your desk if that’s your thing, take a lunch break at noon or 1 pm, then go back at it. As hard as it can be, separate yourself from your home – your laundry, dishes, that pile of clutter you needed to clean out – and focus on getting your work in the time you allotted for yourself. If you need to get out of the house, so the chores are out-of-sight & out-of-mind, head to a coffee shop and work there.
- Let your family know that you are “at work” when you are doing anything work-related and set guidelines ahead of time. Come up with a system that you and your family members agree upon where they know they are not to disturb you unless it’s a true emergency. If you can set up a separate office space in the house (preferably with a lock on the door)- do it!
Get creative with your time
- Try to get as much done as you can while kids are occupied (school, napping, at grandmas house, with a babysitter, etc.). For those times when you have to work with the kids around, get creative with ways to keep your kids busy while you complete work tasks.
- You might establish “quiet time” if your kids are too old to nap, where they can read or play independently.
- If the TV or Ipad is your best option at that moment- that’s ok! You are likely spending lots of quality time with your kids and by all means, you do what you need to do mama!
- Utilize those in-between moments (like waiting for your kids at school pick up) to get smaller tasks done on your phone if this is part of your job.
Set boundaries with your family
- Make sure your family knows the drill during your work hours! This includes your kids, your significant other, and anyone else who lives with you or is visiting you.
- Teach kids to do chores like dishes, laundry and school lunch making from a young age! You might create a reward system or chore chart that incentivizes them for doing things for themselves. This is not only helpful for you but teaches them the value of hard work and independence. To prepare them, walk them through routines before they are expected to complete them on their own.
Expect the unexpected
- This might be the ultimate work-at-home mantra! There will be days where the work will pile up and days that you will feel like you’re not on top of the household tasks and that’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself because you are doing your best to navigate this crazy WAHM mom life and you’re not alone!
What tips do you have for us fellow WAHM’s? Share your wisdom in the comments below!