One of the challenges that a lot of us face as Mamas is whether or not to continue with our careers or take time away with the baby. Whether it’s from the cost of daycare, not being ready to be away from your kids, or simply not wanting to give up your career and income, working from home with the littles has become more normal than not.
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For a lot parents, it started after COVID-19, but for me it started 8 1/2 years ago when I became a Mama. With a passion for helping others in my career as insurance agent, I worked hard and wasn’t ready to give it up; but as a new Mama, I didn’t want to lose out on the time I knew I’d never get back. Work will always be there, but our babies get big very quick. If I’m being honest, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done but one that I’m the most proud of. Through out the years I’ve learned plenty of Do’s and plenty of Don’ts for juggling work and Mom life. Learning how to balance it all can seem like a lot but there are ways to conquer it– to be a good Mom and still have a career. Here are 10 tips I’ve found the most helpful while working from home with my 4 babes!
Be Flexible: First of all, I think it’s important to know going into it that there will be good days & there will be hard days. It’s life- even in the office you’d probably experience this but the little ones of course have their own mindsets, needs and wants so be FLEXIBLE! Having a job where you can schedule your time is important. Also, most jobs require phones but having a job with back to back phone calls without help is going to be a challenge! You will have to be able to rotate activities, make lunch, you know the typical Mama things!
Keep them busy: Speaking of activities, those are AWESOME & truly life savors- or phone call savors! Finding age appropriate crafts and activities that your child is into is a must! Plan to sit at the table with them so you can be there doing your “activity.” Help them come with ideas and have plans set for them. I usually come up with some things at night for the next day. Projects like writing stories for my oldest, writing comics for my son, coloring shapes and letters for my toddler. Activities like sticking numbers and letters to the wall & Having the oldest help and even come up with words… Pinterest is great for easy, educational activities but be prepared to have to switch things out in between.
Outside time: Grab you a comfy chair, a good backyard table, some shade if you are in Austin and let them PLAY! Water toys are fabulous, chalk, and of course the back yard playscapes definitely entertain long enough to do the work behind the email! Be sure to include some outdoor Activities like painting rocks and washing toy cars, using water and paint brushes on the fence will help get that energy out and those emails!
Quiet time: It’s wonderful for scheduling meetings. The littles nap, and the bigs can read and then unwind with some screen time. This is the time where TV, tablets, and even video games are OK to utilize. Also, Independent play is encouraged for littles so give them time to use those imaginations while you use your thinking cap! Whether it be in their baby proof / monitored room, the living room, or an area in your office dedicated to them, this is the time those toys and laptops come in handy!
Food: Preparing lunch and snacks before the day starts helps the processes go quicker & snacks keep them entertained for you to sit at the kitchen bar beside them knocking some stuff out! Andddd I mean, since we’re being honest here, a popsicle, yummy treat, Nutella and apples, or even a sucker helps with those unexpected calls during those trying moments. Although, I don’t encourage those treats be used as a daily go to- they are great for back up situations!
Get out of the house: Don’t forget about your phone’s hotspot! Working from home doesn’t mean you have to STAY home. That’s right, load up the littles and get out for the day! Find a safe, kid friendly spot that you are able to easily keep eyes on them. They will run and get energy out enabling you to get that work load out.
Utilize Help: They say it takes a village, so lean on yours. It’s ok to ask for help!! Take advantage of your parents or in-laws who want to babysit, your cousins, siblings, etc! Mother’s Day out programs are also great if you aren’t totally ready for the full day care! If I have unfinished business I handle it after hours (because who actually needs sleep right?!) or lean on my hubby when he gets home.
Office Space: Finding a peaceful place to work at home is a must! One that the kids can’t mess with is important. Even if you have a play area near, your work space should be somewhere they can’t easily access. Trust me, we love their pics but the customers probably don’t enjoy scribbles! Set up an actual work space, no deep couch- netflix chilling.
Be intentional: Speaking of messes and scrolling, set cleaning times (outside of your work times) and don’t mix the two. If you were at work you wouldn’t be able to clean! Eliminate distractions and be focused on your time. If you are sitting to do a quick follow up while the kids are occupied- DO IT! Put your phone up, don’t turn on the tv and be intentional with your time
Mindset: Knowing that kids will still be kids is crucial. They still need your attention. They still require full care, they will have tantrums and most importantly not everything will go exactly to plan.
No one said it would be easy, but It is possible to work at home with the kids. Moms are capable of all things and learning how to juggle is what we’re best at! I’m proud to be a work at home Mama and to show my kids what having a career looks like, even if I constantly remind myself, “this too shall pass”
If you are in the heat of juggling it, remember this time will quickly pass, they will start school and you’ll find yourself excelling in your career, soon watching your babies become adults starting their own careers.