The Secret To Being A Successful Work From Home Mom

We all have an idea of what working from home looks like. Whether you are a mom, spouse, or living solo; it’s often considered a more relaxed environment.

When you think of working from home, you may think of lugging around the house in sweatpants as you browse the internet, eating a bag of potato chips.

Any mom who works from home knows this mental image is far from reality. The picture looks closer to a scene from Saving Private Ryan, but with toys flying instead of bullets as you seek shelter behind your laptop.

The good news is, there are many moms who have made the working from home gig successful.

Looking at how some of the best in the business do it can help us pack our tool belt with some tips to pull out when things get chaotic.

Priscilla Blossom, writer for Romper, talked about her experience of juggling working from home while being a mom:

Working from home is no walk in the park. It’s not a vacation. It’s not “pretending” to work and actually taking multiple naps and watching The Price Is Right.

I try to have some kind of activity planned for the mornings so he gets some energy out. I also try to have some puzzles handy, in case he’s somehow actually feeling like playing alone, which is a rarity these days. Naps work from time to time, but he’s starting to lose interest in them (which is, frankly, terrifying). In other words, it’s not easy.”

It’s important for a stay at home, working mother to set realistic expectations on her workload, and on the demands of her role as mother.

Be prepared ahead of time with needs your child may have, such as prepared snacks, some activities planned, and quality time set aside they can spend with you.

Ruth, 34, from Romper, gets creative with the activity she sets aside:

I have an 8-year-old and have to keep working from home during the holidays (it’s our long summer holidays in Australia just now). I’ve put together a boredom box for him for the times when I really can’t be disturbed.”

A boredom box can have unique things in it that your child does not get often. You can use a metal lunch box with a small figure, finger puppets, an activity book and crayons.

Another useful tactic is taking advantage of every moment. When the kids are getting along well, and deeply involved in a game of “house”, check your emails or outline your next assignment.

Sarah, in an excerpt from Romper, explained how she takes advantage of the unexpected moments in a day while working at home:

In addition to using times like nap and after bedtime, I look for the spontaneous work moments. Like when my 2-year-old gets involved in an activity, and then I tackle tasks that could easily stop, like answering emails or dealing with social media. I save tasks that need more time or focus, like writing for when they’re asleep. I also work a lot when my husband is off, because working at home with kids is unpredictable. [I also] get out of the house when I can (such as heading to Starbucks after bedtime) because I find my productivity goes up when I work away from home.”

Finding a haven to go to when you are able to leave the house helps many moms narrow in their focus on the task ahead of them.

While at home it is easy to get distracted with the dirty dishes in the sink, or your child yelling down the stairwell, “Are you done, mommy?”

If you don’t have a nice little café around the corner to hunker down in, try creating a designated workspace in your home.

A full office isn’t even necessary, you can decorate a corner of the master bedroom like a home office, equipped with a play center nearby that has things your little ones can get into while you finish up a project.

One mom, Jessica, featured on Romper, brought up the sneaky tactic of breastfeeding when you have to do a conference call; pointing out how it’s hard for a baby to wail while her mouth is full.

Remember you can’t be everywhere at once, and you can’t do two things fully at the same time, so set clear boundaries of where you are “employee”, and where you are “mommy.”

Lauren Kohl, an attorney, and mom of two, imparted her learned wisdom to Parents:

If you don’t learn to keep your roles as mom and businesswoman separate, giving each your full concentration for a set amount of time, you’ll never feel like you’re doing either well.”

Make sure your child knows they are more important than your professional tasks. If they are crying out for attention, take 15 minutes to sit down with them and make eye contact.

The events we choose to participate in life should compliment each other to create an enriching journey.

Let your work be an outlet for creative expression, or intellectual endeavors, not a chore that strips away meaningful encounters with your family.

This can be done successfully with the right planning that is optimal for your requirements.

Please let us know if you are a stay at home mom, and what you have tried successfully, or unsuccessfully.

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