Work-at-Home Mom: Embracing Today’s Stay-at-Home Mom
I still can’t believe that I get to work two of my dream jobs at the same time. I get to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) and own my own company. But I won’t sugar coat it. It’s hard. They are the hardest jobs I’ve ever had to do and both require insane amounts of multitasking. However, these jobs fulfill every part of me. I’m a better mom for it, and I’ve officially claimed the title, work-at-home-mom (WAHM).
The Work-at-Home Mom
This new-age SAHM is a strong woman who also blogs, own her own company, gets involved in activism, or the like. These jobs allow her to work from home while attending to her babies. It can be a little hectic and crazy at times, but it’s such a rewarding experience. Being a WAHM allows you to be there for your children like you would as a SAHM, gives you an extra outlet of interest outside of motherhood, and it brings in some extra income to help support your family.
We live in such an amazing time for entrepreneurial parents. We’re more connected than ever, thanks to the Internet, and with the use of computers, we are able to bring more jobs home. For the extra brave, this means juggling the children and home life all while working out of the house.
Four Ways to Make Working From Home Work for You
Any parent will agree that every day is different and comes with different challenges, none of which are predictable. Children require a lot of attention and have needs that come at random times throughout the day and night. With three-and-a-half years of experience being a WAHM, here is what has worked for me:
1. Think ahead
You’ll likely have oodles of deadlines, but children don’t understand that. You need to be available for them when they need you, so sometimes you won’t be able to put the necessary time and thought into a task that you would need to during the daylight hours.
I plan far in advance for tasks and give myself more time than I would have ever needed prior to having children. You will need it. The bonus is that if you plan ahead and get things done before your deadlines, then you’ve just set yourself up for even more quality time with your family.
2. Maintain a schedule
My family works well with routines. When I began incorporating working at home while taking care of the children, I knew if I didn’t establish a routine, we would all be colliding, and I would feel like I was constantly working. While our schedules don’t always work out, it gives me a little peace of mind that tomorrow is a new day and another opportunity to get back on schedule.
For example, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, we make a giant effort to get out of the house and have a fun morning. These fun mornings are all about spending quality time away from work with the children in places like the park, a museum or the beach. The kids get my undivided attention for a few hours, which we all need. There’s nothing worse than feeling like I was on the computer all day and wasn’t there for my kids like I should have been.
“There’s nothing worse than feeling like I was on the computer all day
and wasn’t there for my kids like I should have been.”
Plus, I don’t want them to look back on their childhoods and remember that mom was on her computer all the time. Likewise, Monday mornings are for running errands, and every afternoon (usually while the kids are napping) is mommy’s undivided work time.
3. Be flexible
This means that you may get days where you work in three-minute increments before your children need something from you. You have to learn to quickly switch your brain from work mode back to mommy mode and right back to work mode again. Because of this, you will need to maintain thinking ahead (as stated above) to get the best quality of work in a non-rushed manner.
4. Always put family first
And might I add that this often requires putting sleep second. I have to constantly remind myself that being a SAHM is my first and foremost priority. If that means that I get absolutely no work done all day, but I was there for my children, then I can go to bed at night with a clear conscience. The time at which I get to go to bed is another story. This often means that I have to sacrifice sleep to get work done.
Whether you are already a WAHM or are contemplating making the switch, start slow and take on only as much as you can handle. There’s nothing worse than biting off more than you can chew and becoming a stressed mommy. So grab a cup of coffee, kiss your kids and get to work! You’ve got this, mama!