It may sound perfect at first. You’re at home with your kids and you don’t have to end your maternity leave too early, while they still need you. You don’t have to go to an office, but you’re still able to earn some money and contribute to the family budget. But then reality kicks in. You sit down, you know you need to focus because you have a deadline to meet, but your kids just won’t cooperate, they refuse to sleep, they want your undivided attention as if they knew your mind has to be elsewhere! Being a work-at-home mom isn’t as easy as it seems. However, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure you have enough time for both – your kids and your career.
Even if you’ve been managing everything on your own, now is the time to ask grandmas and grandpas for help or even a babysitter. Two or three hours a day will do if you have all the peace and quiet you need.
From time to time, take your laptop and go to the nearest coffee shop or coworking space, as if you were going to your office. Not only will it feel great to get out without the kids (it doesn’t make you a bad mom if you secretly wish for this, we all do!) and feel like yourself again, but it will also help you focus to not sit at home where all the housework is constantly staring at you.
List your priorities and daily tasks, make a schedule and stick to it. Planning meals, activities with kids and time for work will help you do everything on time and also focus on the task you’re doing without worrying about the next thing on the list.
Be rational and honest with yourself and your employer. Before you take on too many tasks, take a look at your weekly schedule. Who can take care of the kids and when? After you calculate the hours you can spend working this week, let your boss know what they can expect from you.
Do you usually cook while your kids are asleep? Try to do it while they’re awake and work while they’re sleeping. If they are old enough, they can help you with the housework – it will be a great lesson for them, too. If you have a small baby, there are amazing baby rockers and baby gyms that can keep them busy while you do the dishes or vacuum the floor.
Also, don’t forget NOT to feel guilty about not spending the whole day with your children. You’re setting a good example for them by working on your career. They need a happy mom who makes time for things she likes to do. If you try different approaches, accept help from others and stick to your schedule strictly, you’ll do great. After all, you’re a mom. You can do anything!