Time’s are changing and while mothers still choose to stay at home with their children, many are choosing to work from home as well.
Working from home seems like a dream job. However, it’s not as easy as simply picking out the pajamas you’ll be wearing at your desk as you work away – or sitting the kids in front of the TV until you are done for the day.
For some reason, when any human being is in the comfort of their own home, they can become the most counterproductive people out there.
I speak from experience. I used to think that not wanting to do anything on my two days off (this is while I worked full time outside the home) was only because I was tired from working all week.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days where it feels like my kids wake up as villains and their only objective is to purposely sabotage your day. After having a few of these days, I figured out a way to not let these days totally set me back on my weekly agenda.
These tips will be helpful for stay at home moms (yes, there are a million and one things to get done just being a mom) and those moms who work from home.
1. Plan Ahead
One thing you should know about me is that I’m a list person. I like to start off by writing a list of tasks I need to get done during the week. Anything from tasks that I need to accomplish for my business, to doing laundry, activities with my girls, and taking a day to relax.
By creating this list, I can make a more realistic productive schedule. Which brings me to my next tip.
2. Set a Weekly Schedule
I learned the hard way that completing a couple of tasks throughout the week is better than trying to complete all the tasks in one day.
Maybe before kids you would’ve been able to pull this off but the quicker you accept that times have changed and start implementing workarounds, the more you’ll be able to accomplish and the less stressed you will be.
3. Be Flexible
If there’s something that took me a while to accept was to be flexible. It’s important that you keep an open mind and be flexible.
There were many times when I tried setting a schedule to be more productive but I created it based on time – waking up at a certain time, eating breakfast at a certain time, etc. However, when you have little kids, keeping them on a time schedule is going to be a task on its own.
I ended up being frustrated all day long because I was always “behind schedule”.
Stick to just accomplishing all the tasks by the end of the day but also being open to switching tasks around throughout the week.
4. Wake Up Before the Kids
This one is probably the one that I struggle with the most because I’ve always been a night owl. Since having kids, I use this time to be by myself. It’s crazy what 30 minutes of quiet time does to a mom.
I’ve NEVER been a morning person. Which means I need real motivation to get me out of bed early.
(Side note: I don’t know if this happens to other moms, but my breastfed toddler will somehow smell me get out of bed, which means it doesn’t matter how early I wake up she will wake up 5 minutes after me if not instantly.)
However, the days she doesn’t wake up and I get even a 30-minute head start on my day, I can start getting things done that are typically harder to do with kids.
If I can’t get a head start and there are things I want to get done that day I’ll leave them for after my kids go to bed.
5. Pick a Day of the Week to Clean the House
I cannot express how helpful this is!
I have self-diagnosed myself with OCD – I like my house to stay clean and organized. Which means it’s hard for me to stay focused on certain tasks when all I can think about is cleaning.
My husband and I chose Sunday’s as our cleaning days. This makes me 100% have a better week.
I, of course, clean up every day such as toys, dishes, etc., but it only takes me 10-20 minutes tops out of my day.
6. Let the Kids Help
I’m the type of person that asks for help and then end up doing it myself just because I like how I do things.
But one day I was folding all the clothes after cleaning the entire house and was so exhausted and my daughter saw that and jumped in to help. To my surprise all I had to do was show her one time and she did a great job.
Obviously not the EXACT same way I would’ve done it, but it got the job done which is what matters. This opened my eyes and let’s just say that I throw a lot more chores to her list.
7. Ask for Help
For some reason, when you become a mom, you feel you have to do everything. Otherwise, you’re not doing your job or you’re a bad mom.
You think, “Mom’s shouldn’t need help”. But then again have you heard the saying “It takes a Village to raise a Child”.
I have learned that stretching yourself thin doesn’t do anybody any good. Nine times out of ten, you’re left exhausted, unmotivated and very irritable.
And let’s be 100% honest…the kids get the worst of it.
So my mom made me promise her when my first daughter was one that, no matter what, I would ask her for help. And not a day goes by that she doesn’t remind me of that promise.
So today I ask you to promise yourself to forget what people might say. Find that one person that is always there for you and:
Let. Them. Help.
8. Keep Notes
With everything that I do every day, I can easily forget one or two things. This helps when things come up that you didn’t expect and aren’t in your schedule. You can squeeze them in or write them down to add them to next week’s schedule.
9. Get the Kids Out of the House
My daughters love to be home but they also love to go out. They just don’t like too much of both.
I figured out that my daughters are less likely to interrupt me while I work if I divide the days I spend at home.
I’ll give you an example: On my schedule I do one day of work, one day of going out and make that our routine. On the “going out” day I usually take them to the park or the library. This will help them release all that energy that they have.
10. Set a Consistent and Easy Bedtime Routine
My daughters typically adapt pretty good with bedtime routines. I say routines in the plural because as kids grow we constantly adapt with them and make changes to our everyday routine.
I remember when I started setting a bedtime for my oldest, I read somewhere (I wish I remembered where) that kids have a better attitude during the day when they have a consistent bedtime. If you put them to bed at different times every day their body is not getting a consistent amount of rest.
I put it to the test and let me say: I noticed the difference. With kids, consistency is key and less is more.
I like to do a bath, book and bed kind of routine. Night light on, door open. Now as usual my little one is pickier, so I’ll rock her and put music on for a little while.
Why does this matter? Better attitude, less melt downs and tantrums, more work done during the day.
11. Take Time for Yourself and Family
I know I mentioned before that I take time after my girls go to bed to be by myself but I also pick one day out of the week to do nothing.
I obviously have to take care of my girls but I call them “Lazy Days”. It’s a day just to watch TV, lay on the couch and play with the girls without feeling guilty for being lazy.
I also pick a day to do something as a family. This is usually during the weekend, since my husband works during the week. We go to the local drive in movie theater and spend less than $25 for the 4 of us to watch 2 movies and buy snacks.
12. Pick One Day to Run Errands
I know lots of people that practically go out every day to run 1-2 errands, do groceries, pay bills, etc. I prefer to get it all done one day out of the week – and usually on pay days. By doing this you don’t have to interrupt your workdays to leave the house.
By implementing these 12 tips I have saved myself so many headaches and have simplified my week and made it easier to complete the tasks I have. Try them out and I promise you will notice a difference.
Don’t forget to check out what my weekly schedule typically looks like here!