Many Moms have now become Work From Home Moms (WFH) with little to no time to prepare. On top of trying to work full-time, there are kids home who need to be schooled and fed (do they ever stop eating????). It’s no small feat. I came up with my best 5 tips for work from home moms.
I’ve been working from home for years. I don’t really remember when I switched from a hobby to consistent work every week, but let’s just say it’s been at least 5 years. And yes, the entire time I’ve had kids home with me or in school just part-time. My 4 kids are ages 3-10. I’ve learned some things & I hope they will help you too.
5 tips for work from home moms:
If at all possible, wake up before your kids and start the day with quiet. This isn’t something I always do well, but it makes such a difference. Experts all say that starting early and having time to journal, read or meditate is best.
I start with my Write the Word Journal from Cultivate What Matters. Writing Scripture is soothing for me in many ways. It clears my mind. Other ideas: gratitude journal, time log or life events journal, or positive thinking.
I know the idea of rolling out of bead and skipping everything required for going to a job outside your house sounds really appealing, especially if you literally will not go anywhere that day. PJ party anyone? You might even think you’ll have more time and get more work done.
Here’s what I know: when I get up, get dressed & spend 5-10 minutes on my hair & makeup I feel better. I feel ready. My attitude changes. Trust me on this one, getting “ready” for the day helps you stay in the mindset you need to tackle the day.
And by all means, if you don’t do this one or two days a week, you can still have a good week. After days of not getting dressed, you’ll feel it and wish you had. So find a balance that works for you, but friend, more often than not get dressed.
*Tip: Check out 7 Ways to Style Joggers that are extremely comfy & look like real pants.
Create A Schedule
Having a schedule will give you some structure and order. It will also give your kids some structure. Let them know when you plan to have work hours. Even my 3 year old knows that Mommy has to work sometimes and she has to play with her siblings.
Make sure your schedule is flexible and has a lot of grace. Everything you got done during a day at the office? Forget it. Now you might get half of that done, but you will also figure out what’s really important work and what can fall by the wayside for now.
Your kids will interrupt the schedule. You will have to adjust, but if you’ve already created wiggle room it’s easier to deal with the interruptions.
Our family is working on finding a new schedule that works for everyone too. Here’s what we are trying this week:
- 5:30 – 9:30 am – I work.
- 8:00 – 10:00 am – Kids wake up. Watch a cartoon. Get dressed. Eat breakfast. Some sleep much later than others.
- 10:00 – 12:00 pm – School.
- 12:00 – 1:00 pm – Lunch break.
- 1:00 – 2:00 pm – OUTSIDE. Walks, bikes, sidewalk chalk, etc.
- 2:00 – 3:30 pm – Chores: dishes, clean bathrooms, laundry, etc.
- 3:30 – 5:00 pm – Free time to play. Guitar practice. Vision therapy.
- 5:00 – 6:00 pm – Make dinner (I try to include one or two kids in cooking)
- 6:00 – 6:30 pm – Eat dinner
- 6:30 – 8:30 pm – Play, watch a TV show together, lego projects, showers, etc.
- 8:30 – 9:00 pm – Get everyone to bed
Make a To-Do List
This goes hand in hand with a schedule. I find it’s very important to write down all the things in my head. If I try to wing it I end up wasting time and forgetting something I was supposed to do.
On Sunday evenings I typically start filling my calendar for the week. Some things are already on there from the week before or things scheduled way in advance. Details may change each day, but at least I know all of the big things I need to get done.
Start each day with some easy wins! Things that take 5 minutes or less. Today I needed to print out calendars for my girls to track the weather, make a donation to a charity Sela Designs supports, pay a consultant and reply to a teacher’s email. I had those things done in twenty minutes and crossed 4 things off my list. It felt great and gave me momentum.
At the end of the day, I try to look over my list for the next day and jot down anything else on my mind. This doesn’t always happen, but it makes starting the next day easier when I do.
When the kids are in school, we spend 1-2 hours every Sunday prepping lunches and food for the week. We typically pack around 20 lunches each week between my husband and the kids! We prep a lot of pb&js, melons and fresh veggies.
Even if lunches don’t need to be packed, having snacks and a few easy grab & go lunches available will help the kids be more independent. It will help cut down on the number of times you have to stop what you are doing to get someone a snack.
I know people who have designated snack times for the kids like they typically do a school. I don’t like to be quite that structured, so we don’t do that, but at some point, it could happen because my kids seem to eat constantly.
This will also help you make healthy choices when you feel like you need to eat while you work. Perfect bars are heavy in my rotation.
- Grace, grace, grace – let some things go and lower your expectations
- Coffee and more coffee – my favorite small-batch roaster is The Preacher & His Wife
- Have a set workspace if possible & try to keep it tidy.
- Get outside for at least 10 minutes during the day. Clear your head.
- Do your best to exercise (walk outside & get two things done at once). Try a quick HIIT workout. There are a ton of free at-home workout options.
All of you moms who are home due to Covid-19, remember that we are living in an unprecedented time. No one really knows exactly how to handle this. Some of us have some experience, but not having parks available, play dates or scheduled activities is not our norm either. We are all in this together. Do your best.
Each day try to take a moment to think about how your kids will remember this time. Try to do one thing each day to bring joy to their memories. Even if it’s one 10 minute game or a walk around the block, we all need something good to think about right now.
I hope these 5 tips for Work From Home Moms are useful and helpful to you.