Hi, my name is Kathleen and I’m a work-at-home mom.
I have been trying to write this intro for almost a month now…and life just keeps getting in the way. It’s funny because this post is about trying to find balance as a work-at-home mom, but I, the person giving the advice, still have yet to achieve perfection in this area.
I have read many, many blog posts about the unique challenges facing stay-at-home moms and working moms, but the work-at-home mom doesn’t always get added to the mix.
So here I am. Hello!
I work at home and, as mentioned above, I struggle too.
A Mish-Mashed Life
I thought that being a work-at-home mom was going to be a kind of a “best of both worlds” situation. You get to work, and you get to do it at home…with all of the children. 🙂 Let’s just say there are some days that I get more work done than others.
Working at home and being a mom presents challenges are a combination of those of stay-at-home moms and moms who go to work outside the home. The challenge to get house work done, care for your children and get in all of your work hours is difficult. When spending time with your husband and quiet time by yourself are added to that, it can really feel like your plate is overflowing.
I know there are moments when every mom feels this way, but when you are working at home your attention is continually being pulled in these two directions: work and kids. Giving equal time to each endeavor while being an admirable goal, isn’t always achievable.
When you have a deadline at work and you have to work with your baby on your lap, or if she won’t sleep and you have to work with her fussing and crying on the floor it’s easy to feel like a horrible mom. But when you shift your attention to you baby and let your work responsibilities fall to the way side for a bit you feel like you’re failing as an employee.
Some Honesty About Finding Balance
A lot of people talk about balance when it comes to work and family life. How do you balance spending time with your kids when you’re at work all day? How do you balance spending time on your hobbies and the things you enjoy doing away from the kids when you stay at home?
For the work-at-home mom it boils down to balancing work life and family life when your work is right there all the time. There is always an excuse to do some extra work instead of hanging out with the babes, spending time with my husband or working on my hobbies. I often find myself trying to split my focus between all these areas and it’s exhausting.
If you have mastered this please tell me your secrets!
Moving Towards Balance
After talking to a few of my friends who are also work-at-home moms, I have come up with a few things that I am going to try and enact in my day to hopefully create some balance with my work and family life. A lot of these tips would also work for all moms no matter what your work situation is, especially #5!
- Bring the Baby With Me: This might not always work, but for right now while Luce is immobile I can bring her around the apartment on her blanket or in her seat. This way I can get things done like eating and chores but she doesn’t feel lonely.
- Work or Play: I’m sure you’ve been here: You’re in your groove working and the baby wakes up from her nap an hour sooner than you were expecting, so you go get her and try to entertain her with one hand while working with the other….how does that usually turn out? I don’t know about you, but for me it usually ends with an upset baby and a frustrated mom. Allowing myself to focus only on the baby while she is awake takes away the stress of trying to do everything at once. I am definitely still working on this step myself, but I’ve found that going into a different room where my computer isn’t helps immensely.
- Put the Phone Away: Because I only have short periods of time to devote to working I want to make the most of that time. If my phone is next to me I am horrible at avoiding the temptation to check it. On days that I leave my phone charging in the bedroom I find that I am better focused and less tempted to check what’s going on on social media. Especially because I’d have to risk waking the baby up to do so.
- Front Load The Week: This works for me because I have a set number of hours that I need to work each week. I try to work as much as possible in the beginning of the week so that as the end of the week comes around I don’t have to be stressed about finishing my work, or end up pushing my work to the weekend.
- Prevent The Burn Out: Wearing so many hats at once is challenging. To be the best wife and mom that I can be I need to make sure that I’m taking care of myself. For me this means that I go somewhere outside the house for an hour to recuperate away from people (introvert here!). Recently I’ve gone to a coffee shop to write, but anywhere that allows you to feel relaxed is good!
I hope these ideas have been as helpful for you as they were for me to come up with! And to all you work-at-home moms out there, you are AMAZING! <3
Are you a work-at-home mom? Share any tips that you have for balancing the many hats that you wear each day!