Bottles, formula, clothes, bibs, strollers, high chairs, and toys-it is no secret that raising a child is a huge expense. To save money on costs like daycare and the price of commuting, many women are finding it more economical to stay at home with their children.
Thanks to technology and the growing number of telecommuting and home business opportunities, being a work at home mom is an opportunity that is available to any woman if she is willing.
There are many benefits to working at home. Working at home allows you to spend more time with your children and witness all of their developmental milestones. It also frees you from the worry that your child may not be getting proper care.
You might even find that you make more money at home because you don’t have the expenses of buying clothing for work, car maintenance, gas, buying lunch, or paying for daycare.
Being a work at home mom is not just sitting around in your pajamas all day and watching soap operas. You have the tough job of balancing meals, homework, nurturing your children, and completing work for your job.
You also have to deal with isolation from other adults and need to be able to work independently and stay self-motivated. The days can be long and tiring, sometimes without much acknowledgement for your efforts.
Despite the drawbacks, however, working from home is still a popular choice for women who want to stay at home with their children while still contributing to their family’s income.
With careful planning you can find a balance that allows you to work at home successfully and be happy. The following is a list of tips that will help you to be a successful work at home mom.
1. Get Dressed
Don’t just sit around in your pajamas and sweats all day. Set a routine of taking a shower and getting dressed in casual clothing every morning. Feel free to put on a little makeup if it makes you feel good.
Taking the time to get dressed will help you to feel like you are getting ready to do something. Being in your pajamas all day tends make you feel like just lounging around and you will find it hard to get things done.
Getting dressed and doing your hair or make-up will also make you feel good about yourself, just like when you were working outside of the home.
2. Set a list of Goals for Each Day
Each morning you should set a list of at least 6 things that you want to accomplish that day. These goals can deal with cleaning the house, or doing something for your children, but at least 3 of them should be work related. Setting goals for yourself will give you a focus for the day and keep you on track.
It will keep you from wandering from task to task without really getting anything done. Having a list of goals can also help you to refocus when you have unexpected interruptions in your day.
For example, you are in the middle of completing an assignment when your son lets the hamster out of the cage and you have to spend the next 30 minutes trying to hunt him down before the cat does.
Setting goals will make it much easier for you to deal with the situation, refocus, and get back to what you were doing.
3. Turn Off The TV
It is hard to focus when there are distractions around you. If you have ever tried to get something done while the television is on, you already know that it is easy to stop what you are doing and watch a few minutes of a show or commercial. Soon those few minutes can turn into watching an entire program.
As a work at home mom, you can use your time much more efficiently if you do not stop what you are doing to watch television every few minutes. If you feel like you need some type of background noise, try turning on the radio or listening to a CD.
4. Eat Healthy Food
You definitely need to be at your best to keep up with your children and stay on top of your work assignments. Eating healthy food will help you to stay energized and feel good.
Try to eat healthy snacks of fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the day. You should try to eat at least one salad a day. Avoid soda; drink tea instead. And be sure to stay away from sugary snacks because they will just drain all of your energy.
5. Get Organized
Having a place to put everything in your home makes it easier to clean up and keep your house clean. There are many books available at your local bookstore that offer advice on organizing your home.
When your space is in proper order it helps you to feel relaxed and allows you to focus on more important things. Keeping an organized home also allows you to spend more time playing with your children and completing your work, instead of cleaning your house.
6. Spend Time With Your Children
Don’t forget why you chose to stay at home. Your children are important and they require a lot of attention, especially when they are young. Make sure that you set aside time just to play with them everyday. Don’t get so boggled down in your work priorities that you begin to neglect your children.
Plan days where you can take them to the park or library for a few hours, or join a playgroup of other work at home moms. Have fun with your kids; this is a special time in both of your lives that will not last forever.
7. Take Breaks For Yourself
Working at home means that you don’t get any breaks away from your responsibilities. That’s why it’s important for you to take breaks for yourself. Find time to do something that is enjoyable daily. Try taking up a new hobby like knitting or painting.
Maybe you can make yourself a cup of tea at night after the kids are in bed or hire a babysitter so you can get out of the house for a few hours. It is important for you to do whatever helps you to feel relaxed and rejuvenated-and be sure to do it regularly.
8. Get Into A Routine
Having a routine is beneficial for both you and your children. Children need to have some type of predictability in their days. Knowing what comes next helps them to feel safe and helps for their day to run smoother.
Try to have set times for meals, snacks, naps, and outside time. Routines like these are also good for you because it puts your day into a rhythm that makes it easier for you to get things accomplished.
9. Be flexible With Your Work Schedule
When you have kids at home, you know that anything can happen at any time. Your baby can wake up extra fussy one morning, or your son can just want some extra attention. Being flexible allows you to handle these types of interruptions gracefully.
Remember that working at home with kids is nothing like working in an office-you may never get more than two solid hours of work done without an interruption of some kind. Know that you may not complete all of your work goals for any given day, and just do what you can.
10. Don’t Forget About Your Spouse
You and your spouse need to continue to nurture the relationship that exists outside of your children. Set aside a special time for the two of you daily, even if it is only for 30 minutes.
Spend time talking, playing board games, or sharing a glass of wine. If you can, hire a babysitter so that you and your spouse can get out one night a week for a date night.
Taking on the task of being a work at home mom is both challenging and rewarding. Remember that even though you may not be praised daily for what you do, your children show you their appreciation in their own way.
That includes smiles, hugs, and laughs. Try to bring balance to your new role, but most importantly…have fun.