There are many benefits to being a work from home mom, including wearing yoga pants to virtual meetings and completing projects from the comfort of your bed. However, although the work from home mom life can be comfortable, it also has its challenges. Keep reading to learn what these challenges are and tips for navigating them.
I don’t know about you, but when I try to do work with my kids at home, it seems like every time I sit down to open my laptop, my son starts yelling, “Mama!” or asks for his favorite snack (it’s applesauce by the way) and my daughter starts crying because she’s ready to nurse again. These constant interruptions make it hard to get any work done. I often restart the same email about 15 times before I can hit send. It can feel overwhelming, especially when you think about all the tasks you need to complete for your clients and your business.
When you’re responsible for little humans who aren’t at the age where they can tend to their own needs, your time is limited (and, therefore, precious). Between the constant diaper changes, preparing every meal and snack, nursing your infant or preparing bottles, and setting aside to read and play with your kids, you have a limited number of windows to get work done. This doesn’t even include all the other tasks you must complete to keep your home a well-oiled machine, like laundry, vacuuming, cooking, etc.
The struggle is real, to say the least. We are often hit with mom guilt, and this is another form of it. When we get some downtime, we struggle between getting caught up on tasks for our business or something for the kids. If we decide to work on business-related tasks, we feel guilty because we leave the kids’ unfolded laundry in the basket for the fourth day. On the other hand, if we choose to fold the kids’ laundry, we question our ability to run and manage our online business successfully.
How do we get past these struggles and find a healthy balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship?
Take inventory of your days when the kids are home with you. During which times of the day are your kids the calmest? What times are your kids content playing independently? When are nap and meal times? These are all optimal times to get work done. For example, in the mornings, after I have nursed my daughter and my son is eating his breakfast, both kids are content and don’t require my full attention. During those times, I work on simple tasks that don’t take more than 20-30 minutes to complete.
I know everyone has their way of time blocking, but I’m going to share what has worked for me. I break up my day into 2-3 hour blocks. Each block I dedicate to specific tasks. For example, my morning block usually consists of getting everyone fed (myself included), getting everyone dressed, washing the morning dishes or loading them into the dishwasher, and doing a morning activity with the kids. My afternoon/mid-day block may consist of getting the kids down for a nap and completing my business tasks during their nap time.
If you are in a time block for working on tasks in your business, stick to it. For example, don’t use that time to do dishes or wash clothes. Instead, focus on completing the tasks meant for that time block. It also helps to list the tasks you can realistically complete within that time block. Also, put aside any and all distractions – cell phone, tablet, tv, etc. Again, it will help if you focus on the tasks meant to be completed during that time block.
Although we face many struggles as work from home moms, we can navigate them and develop a system that will allow us to balance motherhood and entrepreneurship. Utilizing strategies like time blocking your day can help prevent the overwhelming stress that work from home moms face regularly. If you are a mompreneur that is pregnant with a toddler at home, check out my blog on 5 Tips for Navigating Pregnancy as a Mompreneur.