These days it is more common than ever before to work from home, which comes with its own inherent benefits and challenges. But if you’re a mother working from home, then the most prominent challenge will be striking the delicate balance between being a hard-working employee and remaining a dedicated mom. Working from home can make this balance even more difficult to find as there won’t be any physical barriers to help you separate the two roles. Here are a few tips for mothers who are juggling their careers and the responsibilities of being a good parent.
Have a Consistent Morning Routine
The way you start your morning has a huge impact on your mood and productivity for the rest of the day, so it is important to nail down a consistent routine. Having a consistent morning routine will help you get into the right mindset for the day’s tasks and challenges. In addition to this, a consistent morning routine will give your day a sense of structure. This will enable you to wake up every morning prepared to start checking items off your to-do list.
Be Flexible With Your Daily Routine
While consistency is key, it is also important to remember that being a mother doesn’t always follow the same schedule. There will inevitably be some interruptions and you have to be able to adapt to the hand you are dealt on any given day. By having a consistent morning routine that promotes productivity, you can enable yourself to be flexible and tend to your children’s needs as they arise. Remember that it is okay that life gets in the way of work sometimes. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to be interrupted on occasion.
Utilize Your Child’s Nap Times and School Hours to the Fullest
Depending on the age of your kid(s) you can capitalize on either their nap time or school hours. These will be some of the only opportunities that you are guaranteed to have time to yourself without interruptions, making them prime time for productivity. Your child’s nap time should allow you to make progress on the tasks and projects that require your dedicated attention. If it is possible, you should also try to schedule meetings during these windows of opportunity because there won’t likely be any interruptions.
Separate Mom and Business Roles
The human mind isn’t very good at multitasking. If you don’t divide your time up between your career and being a mother, then you could end up feeling like your performance in both roles is lacking. This is why it is important to have a separation between the roles as best as possible. Dedicate time entirely to your work whenever possible and be entirely focused on being a mother whenever it is required. Bouncing back and forth between the two roles frequently will leave you exhausted and frustrated.
Keep Kids Entertained
On particularly busy days where work requires extra attention from you, it can be useful to keep your children entertained. Have activities planned for your child throughout the day that you can trust them to do alone and will keep them occupied. It is important to set screen time limits, but every so often they may need to be broken to allow you some time to be productive. If your children are focused on an activity or movie then they’ll be much less likely to interrupt you.
Set Aside a Designated Place For Work
Working from home may never provide you with the same interruption-free environment as an office, but there are steps you can take to make it a more productive space. For instance, having a door that you can close or working with a set of wireless headphones can make a big difference. It is important to have a separation between your workspace and your home, even if a home office isn’t in your budget.
If your kids are old enough to tend to themselves around the house, then speak to them and set boundaries for what is and isn’t allowed during work time. They’ll likely be able to understand that loud noises and frequent interruptions don’t allow you to finish work. Explain to them that you need a few quiet hours to finish some things. Give them specific rules about what isn’t allowed during those hours, so there is no confusion.
About the author:
Naomi Shaw is a freelance journalist residing in sunny Southern California with her husband and three children. She is a work-at-home mom that enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, jewelry, and everything weddings!