I know that the idea of being a stay-at-home mom with a full-time remote job might sound like a dream (if you're reading this, it may well be yours!), but juggling so many distinct responsibilities with no physical barriers to help you establish boundaries is hard. Like really hard.
Just because you're near your kids doesn't mean you're always able to be present.
As a stay-at-home mom and a full-time remote worker, I know all too well how true this is.
I started working remotely part-time back in 2008 and now I work from home full-time as the Director of Product Management at SAP Litmos. While I'm extremely grateful to be able to be pursuing two of my life goals (raising another human and chasing my dream career!), I've certainly encountered my fair share of challenges.
Since having my daughter, I've learned a thing or two about managing remote work and motherhood. I've found that the following tip and tricks allow me to be the professional, wife, and mother I want to be.
Whether you're already working from home and thinking about starting a family or you're a mom looking for a remote job, I hope these tips will help you maintain your sanity and enjoy the flexibility and freedom that comes with working from home!
Five Tips For Moms Who Work From Home: What I've Learned Along the Way
1. Have a consistent morning routine.
About a year ago, I started journaling every morning before my daughter wakes up. It's been vital to getting myself into the right mindset for the day.
I journal about my everyday feelings, along with what I'm grateful for and who I am (along with who I want to be). For example, I'm grateful for the income that my jobs provide, I am a loving wife and mother, and I'd like to be a published best-selling author.
The other part of my routine is writing out a to-do list. I try to tackle the hardest task first while my mind is the sharpest and most focused in the morning.
2. Be flexible with your daily routine.
I know this may sound like I am contradicting myself, but if you are able to be consistent with your morning routine, you can afford to be flexible with your daily routine. In all likelihood, you'll have to be - especially if your kids are home with you all day. It also depends upon the age of your kid(s).
Just know, it's okay that life gets in the way of work. My four-year-old Clara (when she's home from preschool some days) will have a meltdown during a corporate meeting, or she will want to snuggle on the couch when all I want is to start writing my next blog post. That's okay. Just accept the fact that even though you try to set a routine with work and kids, it's not going to be perfect everyday. Show yourself some kindness! On these types of days, I've also had to resort to more cartoons… sometimes strict screen time rules have to be broken for your own sake!
3. Buy a new toy or have a different type of activity/craft for your kid(s) to do while you are working.
This has been a life saver for me. My daughter and I were at a toy store the other day and picked up a "Melissa and Doug" reusable sticker set. She used this on one of the days I was working and she was at home, and it kept her entertained for hours.
Simple things like balloons are awesome too. Don't underestimate how a small activity, new toy, or craft can keep kids occupied!
4. Speaking of kids, make sure you set expectations with them for when they are home.
This will be easier or harder depending on how old your kid(s) are. I have told my four-year-old daughter several times, "When Mom is in her office, she needs to work — especially if I have my headphones in."
When she needs something, I tell her to ask the babysitters or Dad if they're home. Given that she's four, this often fails and she'll come running into my office at the most "ideal" times... but I'm confident that laying this groundwork early will pay dividends once she's older.
My sister-in-law works for Wells Fargo and also works remotely. Her kids are five and seven, and they know these rules. When she has her headset on, she is working — and they are not to disturb mom.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
This may be the most important tip on this list, but the hardest to follow through with. Ask friends, trusted neighbors, family members, or babysitters to help when you really need to hit a deadline or be in a lot of meetings.
I am usually in a lot of meetings in my day job, so when my husband is not home and I need to work late (which is not too often lately) I ask a babysitter to come by. Yes, there can be challenges as you may not live near family or have trusted neighbors/friends, but believe me babysitters are a lifesaver! Just remember, don't be afraid to ask for help. No woman can successfully play all the roles we do without help from others!
No matter what your situation, if you're trying to work from home (part or full time) and take care of your kids, you're sure to find yourself feeling the pains of excessive multi-tasking.
It has its fair share of perks, but don't let anyone tell you you've got it easy because you work from home! Test out the tips and tricks above, and remember above all else to be kind to yourself - you have a lot to be proud of!
Interested in finding a remote job that's conducive to being a stay-at-home mom? Check out our list of favorites here.
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