Work-at-Home Moms: Tips for Managing Home and Family
Moms who work at home face different challenges than other stay-at-home or working moms.
A few simple tips can make both your jobs easier.
For moms who work from home, time is precious. You need to take care of your children and your homes, yet still manage to bring home the bacon.
Organization is the key to successfully managing this juggling act.
Routine is crucial
There is a sweet spot in the day when working from home is easiest. It may fluctuate over the years, depending on your family’s changing dynamic, but one needs to find a rhythm to the day. If you are an early riser, put in some time before the kids are out of bed. Night owls may like to work after the kids are tucked in for the night. If your job requires certain hours during the day, it’s important to find a way to accomplish other task before that time and keep the kids busy when you need to work. Whenever that is, plan the rest of your day around it.
Know your deadlines
If you are a freelancer like me, you have assignments to complete by a certain date. Since the younger members of your family can be quite unpredictable, it’s good to plan to have a buffer of time to complete each project. For example, I have weekly deadlines on Tuesday and Thursday, and ideally my projects should be completed by Monday and Wednesday. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s the goal, and it helps me plan when family appointments, errands and household tasks should be done.
Insist on quiet time or nap time
My oldest daughter was an excellent napper, and I was able to work diligently every afternoon while she snoozed. My toddler twins? Napping is their enemy. However, I still insist on “quiet time” and put them in their cribs almost daily, even if they just play for an hour in their rooms. An hour without them at my feet allows me uninterrupted time to work on a large portion of a project or make several phone calls.
TV is your friend
I know it’s not recommended, but anyone who works at home knows that a program or movie can entrance a child and keep them occupied. For my older daughter it was “Little Bear;” for my twins, it’s “Blue’s Clues.” I know one episode could give me 30 minutes of almost uninterrupted work time when I need it most. Keep a few DVDs on hand of favorite television shows or movies to pop in when necessary.
Create a “Mommy’s Working” box
Put a special group of toys in a plastic container or shoe box that is only taking out when Mom really needs to get some work done. The kids will be so thrilled to see something new and different and give you some time to finish up a project. Keep the box — or boxes — hidden in a closet so the children are surprised when they are taken out for the afternoon.
Separate home and work as much as possible
Although it’s convenient to do laundry while you are sitting working on something else, try to focus on your job and keep household tasks to a minimum. Don’t stop to unload the dishwasher or vaccuum during your designated work time or you might be distracted by the dust bunnies under the couch or a shirt that needs ironing. When you can work, just work; the other tasks will be waiting for you when you finish, unlike your boss.
Be proud of juggling two roles
Working from home and taking care of kids is not for everyone, so wear your badge with honor. Be thankful to keep up your resume, be happy to contribute to the family’s bank account, and be grateful to share in your children’s lives when they need you.
Many thanks to:
How to Start a Home Business for Work at Home Moms
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