If you’re considering becoming a work at home mom you’re going to want to know these work-at-home mom tips to avoid a ton of headaches.
I’ve been a work at home mom for more than a decade, and I wish someone would have shared these tips with me before I started my work-at-home journey.
I won’t say being a work at home mom is easier than being a stay-at-home mom, but it definitely comes with its challenges. You may be saddled with the responsibilities of a stay-at-home mom while also being responsible for bringing in a part-time or full-time income without the proper expectations set.
Here are some tips to help you get started so you don’t feel like you never have enough hours in the day.
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Set a work schedule
In the media, being a work at home mom is often portrayed as being able to work in your PJs and work sporadically throughout the day.
This is definitely not the case, especially when you’re first starting your work at home mom journey.
Without a schedule, you’ll never get everything accomplished that you have to get done each day.
Before Ellie was born I used to work when the boys were at school. Now that she needs me during the day I do spend about 10 minutes every hour working, but my primary work schedule has had to switch to the night hours while she sleeps.
There is no set work at home mom schedule, you simply have to create a schedule that works for you and stick to it.
When you work from home, it’s easy to get distracted. Distractions can include kids, napping, unexpected guests, or even chores.
While distractions won’t necessarily make you miss your work deadlines they will cause you to have to work later or get up earlier.
Thankfully, now that I’m back on the night schedule I don’t have too many distractions. Everyone’s in bed, and the house is quiet, so it’s just me and my work.
The downside to the night shift is if you’ve been up all day and are burning the midnight oil, sleep could be a distraction. You may start feeling tired when doing tedious tasks or take a social media break as a way to “wake yourself up”, which results in an hour (or more) or mindless social media scrolling.
If being distracted in the online world is an issue for you consider downloading some sort of site blocking tool so during your work hours you cannot access sites that send you down the rabbit hole.
Have a dedicated work area
Having a dedicated work area will help you avoid being distracted by cleaning while you’re supposed to be working.
Yes, checking emails from the sofa, bed, or kitchen, is fine, but your work area needs to be clutter-free and organized so when you’re working that’s the only thing you’re focusing on.
As your business grows, you’ll find yourself having a hard time keeping up with deadlines unless you have some sort of organizational system in place.
I think that having a good organizational system is key to having a successful work at home mom journey.
In addition to staying organized with your work deadlines, you’ll also need to make sure your business and personal finances are separate so filing taxes go a lot smoother (regardless of if you’re using a company or doing them yourself). Personal finance apps can be beneficial too.
I personally utilize Trello for organizing work deadlines and general work to-dos to make sure everything is being completed in a timely manner.
Additionally, I use iCal to make sure my partner is aware of certain work obligations so we can plan things accordingly and I can also make sure the kid’s schedule’s don’t conflict with any work events.
Make time for your health
As a mom in general it’s easy to put your health on the back burner for your kids. But, when you’re a work at home mom, you’re adding work to the mix as well.
Working from home does come with perks, but sometimes it’s hard to get out of work mode to take care of your own health.
Since everything is taking place within the household (work, parenting, etc) it’s easy to always feel the need to be doing something when you’re not doing another aspect.
But, making time for your health is important.
Schedule time to exercise daily, schedule time to get out of your house, AND make time for routine health checks even if you use a virtual healthcare provider.
Another recommendation that I have for you is to invest in a Backpod.
Sitting hunched over a computer for multiple hours each day can do a number on your back. Going to the chiropractor is great, but you may not be able to fit a weekly session (or more) into your budget – nor do you need to.
Backpod was developed by a professional physiotherapist AND it is effective in treating all sorts of back pain and tension. It even reaches spots that yoga and stretching can’t release while improving your flexibility in the process.
Don’t be afraid to say “No”
Another work at home mom tip for success is not being afraid to say “No”.
Yes, even when you may feel like you could really use the money to take on an assignment if it’s going to cause you more harm than good don’t be afraid to say “No”.
The same goes for your personal mom life too. Just because you’re working from home it doesn’t mean you have to volunteer for every school event or allow your kids to join multiple activities.
You have to do what’s best for you on both fronts AND sometimes it’s going to mean saying “No”.
Make sure you’re passionate about your work
Understandably every mom decides to become a work at home mom for their own specific reason.
However, one main thing we all have in common is that working from home would be the most convenient for us.
When first starting your work-at-home mom journey, you have the option to choose your work. Whether it’s remote work where you’re a full-time employee or putting one of your skills to use such as writing, blogging, or completing virtual tasks.
To be successful it has to be work that you’re passionate about or you’re not going to be dedicated and determined to make it work for you. If you’re not passionate about your work that not-so-convenient job opportunity will start looking very appealing.
Plus, if you’re working a job that you hate it’s going to start to show in the quality of your work.
Outsource when possible
As your business starts to grow, dedicate some of your profits to hiring help.
I use virtual assistants for tasks that I find boring but have to get done while freeing up my time so I can focus on actually providing my clients with quality work.
By outsourcing certain tasks to keep expanding my business, I’m able to keep my passion for my work AND not get burned out from working so much.
Let your kids help
If your kids are older, you can let them help you out with your business.
It helps them build a good work ethic, start to understand the value of time and money better, AND allows you to spend some time together.
While they probably won’t be able to do any client work for you, they can help out with things such as organizing spreadsheets, helping you stay on top of your to-do list, taking photos, etc.
Closing Thoughts on Being a Work at Home Mom
Becoming a work-at-home mom probably won’t be easy in the beginning. However, as time goes on you will start to see the benefits of being one, especially if you implement the tips that I have shared today.
If you can balance multiple roles and have discipline you’re well on your way to being a successful work-at-home mom.