Juggling work and motherhood is like juggling multiple full time jobs.
There are days in the week that I feel extremely productive and keep everything in order. I clean my house, run errands, keep my son happy and fed, walk the dog every morning and keep up with laundry. But some weeks I feel that my days are spent trying to get my son to take a longer nap, making sure everything is picked up on the floor before my little scrounger finds it and shoves it in his mouth, and getting barely one word typed for my blog before I am called away to something else. Those weeks, I feel extremely unproductive and sometimes disappointed that I didn’t have time to work on the things I want to do for our future.
I see these moms who juggle a career online and motherhood and honestly I have no idea how they do it. They are organized, efficient, take care of the kids and bring in an income. How do they do it?
I kept asking myself that question and finally I just decided to dive in and see what the trick was.
Here are top things I found on how to balance working from home:
- Set a scheduled time frame
- Make a list of what you want to accomplish within that time frame (and make sure to be realistic with how much you can get done in the amount of time you set)
- Be free of distractions (which may mean dad taking the kids for a walk or mom going to a coffee shop)
- Try to clear your mind of the list of to-do’s that’s going on in your head and make a space for focused work
Sometimes you need to leave the mess alone
I have found this statement to be true to the core. Because motherhood takes on a variety of roles, one of them is trying to keep the house from not looking like a tornado tore through it. Which is hard in general and then you add working to the mix and it gets that much more complicated. Trying to focus while the kids are napping is like trying to be calm when there is lighting two feet away from you. Maybe an exaggeration but pretty damn accurate. Because when I know the kitchen needs to be cleaned, bathroom picked up or the floor vacuumed, its hard to put those aside and just focus on the work I need to do.
- So seriously, leave the mess alone until later
- Hire a babysitter or ask a family member to come hang with the baby for a few hours
- Make a to-do list the night before for the tasks you need to complete the next day
- Make your space to work cozy and comfortable
- Stop looking at social media and put your phone on silent
- Grab a beverage and work away
The biggest thing is to use the time you have.
We, as moms, don’t have all the time in the world to devote to everything. So we need to use the time we are given and try to make the most out of those few hours.
For me, I have to structure my day in a certain way to make sure I get the time I need to get my work done.
These are the 2 main things that I need in order to be the most productive that day:
- I make sure I’m home half an hour to an hour before Trey’s nap time so that we don’t risk him falling asleep in the car, because then my to-do-list is shattered
- I try to limit social media/netflix at least an hour before I work so that my mind isn’t focused on that next episode and is getting in work mode.
(I say that because as a mom to only one little human, who mainly just likes to sit and play, it is easy to have netflix on and watch a few episodes of my favorite show while we play legos and then it just sucks me in to watch and rest while Trey naps, which means zero productivity for me. So no netflix until my work is done)
As always, work comes second to motherhood. So make sure those little humans are happy and healthy before diving into your work load. It is possible to do both work and motherhood, you just have to practice, be patient and be disciplined.