So, now you’re a mom, you found a way to work from home, but you’re not sure how to make it work with the demands of motherhood. Here are some pointers from someone in the trenches:
- Get an assignment book. Yeah, that silly little spiral thing that you had to have in high school. It will save you a lot of headache keeping track of everything. Use the calendar app on your phone and make to-do lists, too! It is not physically possible to keep all your work duties, mom duties, and household duties straight in your head.
- Have a set place to work. It doesn’t need to be a desk although that would be ideal. The perfect situation would be to have your own office where you can have a desk and close the door. But realistically, it can be an end of the couch or the dining room table. Wherever you can have your space to dedicate yourself to your work.
- Take help wherever you can get it. You will need to have some time away from your child from time to time. Working from home does not always completely eliminate the need for baby-sitting, although it does cut down on it substantially. Check out our articles on how to find affordable day care options.
- Utilize bedtimes and nap times. And when they are really little, learn to type with one hand while they use you as a pillow.
- Make sure your child is busy or napping during teleconferences. One pointer I’ve seen is to have walking teleconferences: Just stick the baby in the stroller and talk on the phone while you both get some fresh air!
- Prioritize your work. Keeping open communication with your boss or client is important in any job, but it is even more so when you have a little person depending on you. Make sure what is important to them is also important to you so what time you have is used efficiently.
- Plan ahead. If you have the fridge space, make meals and snacks ahead of time.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin. When working from home, it is important to learn how to say “no.” You won’t be able to do everything for everyone at all times. It’s OK to look out for yourself sometimes, too.
- Be flexible and patient. What works one day won’t necessarily work the next as your child changes and grows. Your routine this week might not look like your routine next week, and that’s OK. That is part of being a parent, especially a parent who works from home.
By Bethanie Ryan