Work-from-home moms have a different reality than most. And though we are grateful we can be home with our kids and contribute financially, we are currently a small percentage. There isn’t very much advice out there to help us succeed at both motherhood and work.
Life As Mama is all about women who straddle the line of stay-at-home moms and working moms because they don’t get enough credit. There’s no “wrong” direction between staying at home or working. We just want work-from-home moms to know they matter too and to be open to some of our best tips!
1. Work your hardest at the beginning of the week so you can ease off at the end.
Mondays are hard, but work-from-home moms are way better off when they start their week off right by getting organized on Sunday night and working hard come Monday morning. Think about it this way: the more productive you are at the beginning of the week, the more relaxed you can feel at the end! Don’t let the procrastinator take over and leave you stressed at the end of the week! You will then find yourself feeling frustrated and impatient with your children because of your own lack of early preparation and hard work.
2. Maintain a planner.
What I have found that works for me is to plan my work week and projects on Trello. Trello is an online forum to organize projects and systems for both you and a team. I don’t know how I lived without it for so long!
For my personal life, I use a hardcover planner. It helps to keep my work and home life separate as so many other lines are blurred when it comes to these parts of my life. If I were to open up my planning tools and see all my work and home responsibilities in one place, I would quickly become overwhelmed. But maybe that works best for some! Find what works best for YOU and be consistent.
3. Make time for your marriage.
Unfortunately, I have found that my marriage is the first thing in my life to get neglected since I began working from home. It’s not because I don’t care, it’s only because my kids need me in ways that are more obvious and pressing. My husband patiently waits on the sidelines, and that is not where he is meant to be. I am working on making my marriage more of a priority. Putting the phone down, unplugging from work, and laying the kids down to sleep early are just a few ways to make room for your marriage. Another idea is to keep one night a week “safe” from any plans! This will be your date night! Sometimes you will be able to get away, but even if you just have an in-home date night, make it fun and intentional!
4. Turn off electronics.
This isn’t just for your marriage; this is for YOU as well. You need to cut yourself off from work just like others do when they walk out of the office. There will always be more to do, emails to answer, and projects to plan, so pick a time during the day and stop your work by turning off the electronics whenever you can.
Organization comes naturally to me in some ways and very unnaturally to me in others. For example, my house is organized and clean, but when it comes to planning a routine, I struggle. Since I began working from home, I’ve found that the more I can organize, the better. When the kids have a routine, they thrive! I am the same way! Organize your days by having one day of the week scheduled for appointments, another for errands, and several for staying at home. Try your best not to intermix the days. The less you can jump from one thing to another, the better! Our brains were made to focus and not spend our days constantly multitasking.
6. Meal plan
Cooking is a struggle for me — especially since I began working from home. I think it’s because I am in charge of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the snacks in between for all of us, and by the time dinner rolls around, I’m tired of all the food prep! Some things that help my family are crockpot meals and freezer meals! My husband helps a lot in this area too. If you have older children, get them involved! And if cooking is something you enjoy, schedule time during your week for meal planning and prep!
7. Do a few chores EVERY DAY!
I often become envious of working moms for the fact that they can leave their homes clean in the mornings and come back to them clean after working all day! For me, I get behind very quickly if I don’t do laundry one day or get too focused on work while the kids tear up the other rooms in the house. I MUST maintain my home by doing daily chores so that the weekend isn’t always a time for catching up!
8. If all else fails…hire help!
It’s not bad to admit that you need help! For example, the summer months my daughter isn’t in preschool, so nap time for my son (that usually lands the same time as preschool) isn’t available for work. Therefore, one day a week I had to hire a sitter so that I don’t get behind. Maybe it’s a housecleaner you need or someone to mow your lawn. Whatever help you can afford and take off your plate, do it! And don’t feel guilty!
Work-from-home mamas, give us YOUR best tips in the comments!