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I'm a former corporate employee who decided to ditch the 9-5 and start my own business.
Now, with a lukewarm cup of coffee in one hand and a toddler on my hip, I'm sharing all my best business, branding and website tips.
educator. designer. mama + wife
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Being a mom is the easiest job – said no one ever.
When you add in working from home while taking care of children, it’s can be pretty easy to lose your mind. I’ve been working from home since I had my first child almost six years ago.
Any work from home parent will tell you there are incredibly good days where you feel like a rockstar, but there can be some rough days where you feel like a total failure.
I’m sharing my best tips for creating habits to help you keep your sanity while working from home with kids.
Having a schedule when working from home is good for you and your family. Children thrive on schedules, although it can be hard to get them to adhere to one! I say create a “loose” schedule that’s consistent every day of your work week. Your schedule will always be changing depending on your families needs, but that’s one of the biggest perks of working from home.
If your kids are old enough to have playdates, they can be a great way to trade off time with a friend so you can get some work done without your children around.
Kids can be overwhelmed by having a lot of toys. One trick I learned is to store many of their toys and take them out every once in a while for a special occasion (mainly when I really need to get some work done). Kids get so excited when they get to play with a toy they haven’t seen in a while, it’s almost as good as getting a new toy!
A while back I started planning out our dinners for the week in advance. Knowing ahead of time what I’ll be making for dinner all week helped take the pressure off each day – no more struggling to make dinner at the last minute.
Finding time to work in a quite setting can be challenging when you work from home. I like to wake up before everyone in my home and get a little work done while it’s quite. Waking up before your children typically get up can help you get a head start on your day.
Learning to be flexible while working from home with kids will help keep you from losing your mind. Sometimes your day just doesn’t work out how you planned – and being flexible will help you to better deal with these unexpected changes. I’ve had many days when my baby was sick, I was sick, my baby didn’t sleep well (which meant I didn’t sleep well) or I’m just not feeling like I have the energy to work that day. This happens to all work from home parents. Tell yourself, “this too shall pass” and start over fresh the next day.
Being a mom in general means it can be hard to find time for yourself. All day long you’re tending to everyone else’s needs while ignoring your own. Working from home makes it even easier to ignore your needs. If you can find at least 15-30 minutes a day to do something for just YOURSELF, you’ll feel more refreshed and less burnt out at the end of the day.
They don’t call it #naptimehustle for nothing! If you’re lucky enough that your child still takes naps you can utilize some of that time to work, schedule meetings or get a head start on chores so that you have more free time at night. Try to establish consistent naptimes for your child and you’ll be able to count on that time to work. I’ve even been so desperate to bring my laptop with me in the car and get my child to fall asleep during a ride so I can work. Sometimes you just have to do what you need to do!
Not everyone has family or friends that can help them with their kids consistently. Another option is to hire help. In the past I’ve hired a sitter to watch my child while I’m at home so I can get a few hours of work done, and not feel guilty for sticking my child in front of the TV. If hiring someone to clean your home for you helps you out, then do that! Sometimes it’s hard to justify paying someone for something you can do yourself, but if you can figure out how it will save you time in the end, then it’s well worth the expense.
Early on with my business, I used to send PDF invoices I manually created for clients. This was time consuming for me and then I eventually invested in 17Hats to manage my client projects. Investing in applications to help you save time can work miracles for your business. There are programs to automate emails, pins on Pinterest, social media posts and even automate your client invoices so you get paid on-time.
When you establish a clear work area in your home, it’s easier to stick to a consistent work schedule. Also it will be clear to your family that you have a private workspace which should be respected. Over the years I’ve worked everywhere from our kitchen table to my own shared office space. My office has always been kid-friendly so that I can do a little work while my kids play with each other within view. I found that when I worked at the kitchen table I took my business less seriously and it made it easier to be interrupted or distracted by household duties.
Being a work from home mom takes a lot of commitment and patience. There will be days you want to quit it all because you feel so defeated. I promise if you still with it and follow these tips to help you maintain your sanity as a work from home mom, you can pull this off!
What do you think of this article? Do you have any questions for me? Ask me in the comments box below!
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