Being a mama is a job – and a hard one at that! It is quite possibly the hardest job we could ever do. What other job makes you feel guilty and sleep deprived and like your ready to tear your hair out on a daily basis? But for some, being a mama is not enough. Some will go back to work, and others will take it upon themselves to start a side hustle. If you are considering working from home whilst you have little kids, then this is the series for you! Over the next month myself and four other amazing bloggers are going to take you deep into the world of being a work at home mama. Make sure to go and subscribe to all of the blogs in the series so that you don’t miss a thing!
(Scroll down to the bottom of this post for links to the other episodes in this series)
Here are the blogs participating:
Episode One: How (And Why) You Should Create A WAHM Schedule
When I mention to people that I run a business from home as well as working outside the home AND being a wife and mother, people always look at me with widened eyes and ask how the heck I get it all done. Well the honest truth is, I don’t. I live off of coffee and concealer, I shuffle around my house all bleary eyed and zombie like, and all too often I will sacrifice the tidiness of my house in favour of laying down on the sofa for five minutes. However, despite the ever growing pile of laundry that I can just never seem to get round to tackling, I do – miraculously – manage to get all of my work done, even with baby in tow. How? I created a schedule.
If you’ve been with me for any time at all you’ll know that I LOVE schedules. I have written down routines and schedules for pretty much every area of my life. It just makes me feel less stressed. Make no mistake; having a schedule does not mean my life always goes to plan. Things always come up. Like the unexpected poo explosion or the knock on the door from a well meaning neighbour. Things don’t always go to schedule. And I’m not perfect. I have been known to let Peppa Pig babysit Élise while I get some work done. But you know what? The chaos in my life doesn’t bother me, because I know I’m doing it with an end goal in mind: quitting my day job so that I can stay home and be with my family.
So how can I create a WAHM schedule?
How much time can you honestly donate to your business? Are you going to work during nap times? If so, when will you get the chores done? And what about you-time? Take a long hard look at your current days and decide how much ‘free time’ you have. Then you can start assigning tasks to certain blocks of time.
Consider getting up earlier
My main time to get work done is before my daughter wakes up. I’ll get up at 6am most days, which is around two hours before she is awake. That means I can make my coffee and get a big old chunk of work done first thing, meaning I then don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day. As painful as it may be to wake up earlier, just think of those extra hours and what you could do with them.
Don’t compromise sleep
In complete contrast to the above advice, make sure you are getting enough sleep. From personal experience, working into the early hours of the morning because you just can’t tear yourself away is a BAD MOVE. You will hate yourself for it in the morning and you’ll be completely unproductive the following day because you’re so tired.
Once you’ve decided when your work time is, make sure that it is WORK time. Set yourself up in your designated work space, steer clear of Facebook and the TV and just work. Ideally you’ll have scheduled your work time for when the kids are napping or are at school, but if not, a babysitter is a great option. Maybe consider putting them in childcare for one day a week? If you’re kids are older, explain to them that mummy is working and they need to play on their own and only bother you if it’s something really important. Make sure to give them extra attention once you’re done!
Understand your restrictions
You’re not going to be able to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. If you do, you’ll end up having to sacrifice valuable time with your family, and spending time with them is the whole reason you’re working from home right? Learn that your calendar is sacred space and only reserve time for really important tasks.
Plan your days for the week
I plan my week on a Sunday. I sit down and look at any appointments I have, then I look at what I need to get done and slot it in the gaps. I make sure to include time with my daughter and my husband on my weekly plan, so that I can be sure I have made time for them. Having the whole week planned out means you know where you are each day and don’t have to wrack your brains when putting together your daily to-do list.
Get out of the house
When thinking about your WAHM routine, I’d strongly encourage adding in time to leave the house. It is very possible (and probable) that you will go completely crazy and end up rocking in a corner if you don’t. Even if it’s just taking a walk with the pram down the road, the fresh air will do you good, wake you up and give you a fresh new perspective. I love listening to business podcasts on my walks so that even when I’m out and about I’m still being productive and learning!
Fancy seeing what my WAHM schedule looks like? Check it at the end of the series. All five of us WAHMs will be doing a Day In The Life post!
Other episodes in this series:
A Day In The Life of 5 Work At Home Mamas – COMING SOON!