Through this article, I am addressing all work-from-home mothers. I hope that at least some of this information will help them. After a considerably long period in which both, me and my husband were busy taking care of our toddler, meeting the deadlines at work, and getting out of the house each hot summer weekend, I finally decided to make some time for myself and continue with our little project – this blog.
A few days ago I realized that writing an article here, from time to time, gives me the opportunity to think about, research and share interesting `parenting related stuff` I learn about or experience everyday as a mother. This brings me a lot of joy, as well.
With this in mind, I’ll (re)start by writing a few words about working moms.
One of the reasons I stopped writing on this blog was the fact that I got hired. So, I started working part-time. Doing all my work from home, sitting in front of my computer (and maybe attending a couple of meetings per month), sounds very convenient.
In reality it is not always as simple as it sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining nor am I a feminist pointing out her difficult and important super busy daily schedule. But there are days when things just don’t go as they were planned. Having a baby or toddler around, who needs all your attention, creates a struggle between you – the mother, and you – the working person. You usually start based on the idea that you can do it all (great parenting, quality work, cooking, housework, checking the house for repairs etc. But in the end, in most cases, the opposite happens and this gets you all depressed, worried, frustrated or even angry.
As you can notice, this is a more personal article, especially because it comes only from my own experience. I, too, faced the anger and disappointment given by the sense of loosing control. Fortunately, at a point, it all settled, although there are still unexpected situations from time to time. (They do have their own charm, you know!?… as routine becomes annoying, eventually.)
Well, I started working since my daughter was 1yo (for 8 months). I actually managed to create a list of things which helped me as a ‘work-from-home mom’.
Here are the ones I consider being of great importance
- Try to create and maintain a daily routine (for you, but especially for your baby). The routine will definitely change once in awhile, as your baby grows he will have different needs. Then, you’ll have to adapt to the new routine.
- Work during the day, while your baby is napping. Even if your baby doesn’t sleep a lot, try to be productive.
- Work in the evening, after you put your baby to sleep, or early in the morning, before your baby wakes up.
- Set up a comfortable working space. This will help you focus only on your work.
- Try to concentrate only on your tasks and be as productive as possible during working hours. Organize your working time in advance. Make to-do lists – this way you’ll be able to get directly to work, without wasting time planning.
- Give your baby your undivided attention and spend quality time together. He will be happier and more receptive to your own needs.
- Don’t aim to be a superwoman and try to do it all. This is one of the most common mistakes you can do. So, be realistic and don’t be discouraged if it`s not working out as you planned.
- Ask for assistance. Not all mothers afford or want a babysitter to take care of their babies. This doesn’t mean you don’t have other alternatives. A supportive husband or family member who is willing to help you is, by far, a better solution. In this case, the baby will be pleased to strengthen the bond with his father, grandparents, aunt or uncle. So, leave pride aside and ask for help.
- Be ready for changes. Some days won’t go as planned, your baby routine won’t remain the same for a long time. You need to be flexible and adapt to the new circumstances and recreate your baby’s daily routine.
Below are some resources and tools for work-from-home mothers which helped me organize my time and work
- How to Survive Working From Home with Preschool Children, by Angeline Trevena – a nicely written book which offers up practical solutions, a whole heap of encouragement, and just enough humor to help you realize what you could achieve.
- Todoist – a simple, yet powerful online tool which can help you keep things organized.
- Physical Planner – for those of you who prefer a physical agenda, notebook or calendar over an electronic one. This is what I ordered for myself to use in 2017: The Big Picture: An Essential Planner for Studio and Personal Success 2017.
- Productivity for Work at Home Moms: How to Be More Productive When Working from Home, by Brandy Morrow – the book is going to help you learn how you can become more productive not only in your job or business but in your life as a work at home mother. This book covers every area of your life, from getting more done around the house to getting more done with your business. It will not only help you to make more money but it is going to help you to help you reduce the stress in your life. You will learn how to enjoy life more.
- Toys which encourage problem-solving and fine motor skills – these can keep your happy and enthusiastic. They can keep your child busy long enough to let you solve a work emergency or to organize your tasks for the next day.
These are the guidelines, tools and resources that work for me.
How about you? Do you you think work is compatible with early motherhood?
As a working mother, what are your guidelines? Please share them with us!