While a work at home arrangement seems like the most ideal situation for any mom, few are aware that this does come with its own set of challenges and complications. Yes, it is the biggest perk to be available and present to your children throughout the day, but having them around 24/7 is also incredibly distracting.
We’ve compiled a list of tips from Work at Home Moms who have been there and done that to help you get things done like a #BossMom.
1. Create routines for your children, and work around them. Every child, no matter what age, eventually follows a specific routine each day comprised of sleeping, eating, playing, school time, home work time, etc. When writing your to-do list, label your tasks according to the level of concentration you need for each one. It can be as simple as dividing your tasks into two categories–high levels of concentration, and low levels of concentration. High levels of concentration includes work that involves computations, analysis, critical thinking, creativity, etc. These are tasks you would like to do during the hours your children are either asleep or out of the house. On the other hand, tasks that require low levels of concentration include simple administrative work such as filing, responding to emails, posting on social media. This is work where stimulation (aka, distractions) may actually even encourage your productivity. You could be doing these tasks while your children are playing nearby, or doing their homework. That way, it won’t be such a nuisance for when they come over to chat or ask you questions.
2. If you can, hire help. If the time your children are sleeping simply is not enough and you do not have household help, considering bringing your small children to a daycare for a few hours a day, or asking a trusted relative to come over. This will provide you with peace of mind to work with concentration knowing that your children are safe and possibly even more productive.
3. Establish boundaries. Make it clear that mama’s home office is off-limits, by closing the door and gently reminding them that you are working and that you need silence. It helps to reassure your child that you will be done with work and out of the office at a time they can understand (for example, before dinner, or during playtime), so they know how long they need to wait. If you don’t have a home office, use or bedroom, or choose a corner on the dining table and declare it as your space.
4. Explain what it means when “mama is working.” One of the best things about work is setting a good example to your children. When they see you enjoying the work that you do, they are more likely to become inspired to excel in their own careers and enterprises when the time comes for them to enter the workforce. In the simplest terms, converse with your child and explain the nature of your work, and the reasons why you do it with much enthusiasm. What they see in your example will likely be the same attitude with which they will perceive their own work in the future.