When I became a parent over 4 years ago, I knew going back to the work place was not an option. This little human was so precious and perfect, and I couldn’t bear the thought of putting him in daycare at the tender age of 6 weeks. I’m sure many of you mamas can relate. It literally would have felt like I was ripping myself apart. Heck, I could barely let someone else hold him for more than a couple hours! #newmomproblems
So, working from home was the way to go. First I started a food blog, but as he became more active, I needed something a little less time consuming (and a little more lucrative), or that I could do while he was up and moving around. Thankfully, I was introduced to the amazing product that is now my business when he was only 4 months old. It’s been quite the journey since then, discovering all sorts of things about myself, and constantly adjusting my “money job” and schedule to fit around the ever changing needs and schedule of my mom job (the best job!). I now have 2 little ones, and can’t imagine life being any other way. Working from home, creating REAL and RESIDUAL income has been such a blessing already, and the pay just keeps going up every single month. (Monthly raises? Yes please.) I have learned so much about how to work at home, and can’t wait to share it with you all.
Can it be challenging to juggle it all?
Is it worth it?
I say absolutely.
10 Tips for Work at Home Moms
1. Set your hours and stick to them
This seems like a no-brainer, but is so easy to skip. I have certain hours of the day that I ALWAYS work. The beauty of working from home and for yourself is that you have complete control over your schedule. YOU are the one who decides when, how and what you work on. Make it fit your personality. If you are a social butterfly, work (in my business) can be meeting with different girl friends at a park, scheduling a play date, going out to coffee, etc. If you’re a morning person, you could devote several hours to work before the kids are up. A night owl? Schedule your work time after the kids are in bed. Even for those who WANT to work from home, but still have another 40 hour/week job to hold down until they get their business up and running, there are 37 hours left in the week that aren’t for working or sleeping. Use your time wisely, and the pay off will be huge.
2. Designate a work space
Having a place in your home that is peaceful, clean and clutter free can make a huge difference in your productivity. Since we are talking about working from HOME, the mess may never leave. There is always another toy to pick up, a book to put away, that load of laundry you should probably fold, etc. As moms, we need to compartmentalize our day, and providing a space where you can focus is key.
3. Choose your battles
Continuing on the topic above, there will probably be a time in your business where you really need to push. In my business, the pushing comes at the beginning, and the reward comes after you have built up momentum. Eventually, you can just enjoy the ride with as much or as little effort as you want. It’s like a car rolling downhill – you may need to steer it, but you are no longer pushing it up a hill. SO, in this time of pushing, there will be some things I need to neglect. And that’s ok. What do I REALLY want in my life?
A. Living paycheck to paycheck (or going into debt), but my house is constantly spotless, laundry is completely caught up, and I make gourmet, from-scratch dinners every night?
B. Giving up on being a work at home mom, and get a job in the work force, being tied down to someone else’s demands, and building their dream.
C. Building a massive, residual income that will enable our family to do, give, and live with so much freedom, energy, adventure and passion? With this option, things will be a little out of balance for a bit (not forever), but the end result will be so much better.
4. Help around the house
As we are in the phase of pushing hard and creating that massive momentum in our business, there may be a need for help around the house. Don’t be afraid to ask for it! While I am doing my best to ignore certain things around my home, I know that I work best when nothing is nagging my mom brain…like that pile of laundry. Ask for help from your spouse, or if you can, hire someone to come clean once a month. We eat out very rarely (for now), but have been getting Papa Murphy’s pizza once every week or every other week to take some of the pressure off.
5. Make time for play
This is so important. Sometimes as work at home moms, we are so focused on getting everything done so our homes and businesses don’t fall apart, we forget to schedule in play time. This fills your children up, fills you up, and makes the whole day go more smoothly. AND…
6. Take time for you
Another key thing. As work at home moms, our brains are always going. If we aren’t “mommying”, we are balancing the budget, thinking about what clothing items our children are growing out of, making a grocery list, making food and snacks, cleaning up, getting people where they need to go, etc. We so often don’t take any time for ourselves until we are so depleted we can barely function.
I was just talking about this with a good friend of mine. The whole idea of creating margin. CREATING margin. If we aren’t intentional about it, there is none. We need room to breathe. Room for our days to not go exactly as planned. Heck, even room enough for a whole random family day off.
7. Make time for your spouse
Another person who often gets the last of our energy – our spouse. A date night every now and then (weekly is amazing!) can do so much to make sure you are BOTH feeling connected, filled up, and able to tackle life together. Unity, soul connection – these are the goals in life. Don’t wait to enjoy this until you have complete financial freedom. You need this NOW. And so does your spouse.
8. Don’t skimp on sleep
Get a good 8 hours. Wind down a bit before bed. Put away the phone, turn off the TV, and read a book. With your spouse. In bed. Put some oils in your diffuser and drift off to dream land.
9. Consider a kid swap
My sister and I do a kid swap each week. My kids get quality cousin time, I get the enjoy my niece and nephew, and we each get a morning to do whatever we want – work, craft projects, going for a run in the mountains, rock climbing, etc. We usually pick the last 2 options, but if I need to schedule a meeting, record a webinar, write a blog post, etc, there is room for that as well. Self care first though!
10. Remember your why
There will be days when you want to throw in the towel. Maybe it was a hard day with the kids and you just WANT to send them off to daycare. Maybe it was a hard day, or week, or month, with your business, and you wonder if it’s even worth it. Remember WHY you started working from home in the first place. There WILL be challenges. But, my friend, there will be incredible rewards.