From a young age, I have always had the desire to be a mom. I also knew that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. When I had my oldest, I just didn’t see that luxury in my cards. Four years later, and here I am: full-time blogger, part-time social media evaluator, author, and getting ready to start a business! As you can imagine, my day-to-day life is pretty hectic. There is a lot of research involved in my day, along with being a caretaker to my littles, homeschooling, working, and also trying to make time for myself. One of the most common questions I get is, “How do you manage working from home with kids?”
Short answer: GOALS.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?”
“Where will this take you?”
“Will this even matter in a few years?”
While thinking long-term in the sense of goal setting is important, spending too much time trying to see the big picture may be the difference between success and failure. Now, I am not saying not to make long-term goals, just don’t let that be your main focus.
One of the most helpful things that I have found to help me is lists. I struggle with anxiety and OCD, so this is apart of that, but it helps me stay on track, too. Every night before bed I make a list of everything I need to accomplish the next day. This list is not just work related, but also contains basic housekeeping reminders! I order this list based on priority. As an example, this is what my “To Accomplish” list looked like for today:
I actually wasn’t able to fit in everything, but this just gives a brief example of what my work day looks like. I typically use a dry erase board for my schedule. There is such a gratifying feeling when I get to wipe an item off of the board each day.
Call me a bad mom, but…
Sometimes, if I want to get my job done effectively and in a timely manner, I have to ignore the craziness around me.
Now, obviously if they start fighting I step in. If someone is sick, I alter my schedule accordingly. That’s one of the best parts about being a work from home mom; I can take time off as needed.
[Disclaimer: My kids are not neglected or completely ignored, but when the nonsense (that typically comes in the toddler package deal) ensues, I have learned where to keep my focus.]
Working from home with kids: Tips
I have been working from home for five months now, and have picked up a few things along the way that I feel are beneficial to any mama who is/is thinking of working from home with their kiddos in tow.
Find a flexible company.
- It is extremely hard to find a WFH job that doesn’t involve phones, and thankfully I was able to find one of them! Appen is extremely convenient in that I choose my projects, work the hours I am able, and can take a day off whenever I need to. I work 5 hours per day currently, which I can change at any time. The biggest upside is that there are no phone calls involved; all of the work is done on my phone or computer!
Learn when to say NO
- It is SO exciting when you find companies that align with your needs, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Just because an opportunity presents itself doesn’t mean you have to jump on it! Take into account all of your current responsibilities and really think about if you need this new opportunity and how it will affect you and your family.
- This is also a good time to take a look at your long-term goals and see how this new opportunity could possibly play a part.
Don’t be afraid to take a chance
- As a mom, our focus is on being there for our babies and doing everything we can to provide the best possible life for them. However, if you are already a SAHM, then what is holding you back? There are tons of WFH opportunities that do not require you to pay a cent to get started.
- If I had kept doing what I was doing, and never taken a chance on myself I would not be able to contribute to my family on the scale that I am now. And let me tell y’all, it is a HUGE blessing!
Make a schedule and STICK TO IT
- One of the biggest problems with working from home is the flexibility. [But didn’t you just suggest finding a flexible company to work for???] YES! You want a flexible company, but when working from home you have to be able to hold YOURSELF accountable. It is so easy to become complacent and put off your work. So make a schedule for your days, and stick to it! Working from home means that you don’t have co-workers to hide behind when you slack off, so you have to stay on your A-game.
Find a friend who also works from home
- On the hard days, it can be helpful to talk to a friend who understands where you’re coming from. In this day and age, there is a Facebook group for EVERYTHING! So find a good group of other moms who work from home. These women will become some of your closest friends, will provide tons of tips to get you through your days, and will always be there to encourage you when you feel overwhelmed!
Take FULL ADVANTAGE of nap/bed times!
- I get the majority of my work done while my kids are sleeping! There is a lot less distraction, and I don’t have to wonder what the heck kind of craziness they will get into next. These can be some of the most productive work times in your entire day!
It’s all worth it, I promise.
At the end of the day, the reason that we, as moms, work so hard is for our kids. There is no one that will take care of your babies like you will, so don’t let income be the driving force behind having someone else watch your babies. You have options. The question is how bad do you want it and how hard are you willing to work for it?
If you work from home, what tips and tricks have you learned to help get you through the long days? How do you manage being a work from home mama to your littles?
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