The spread of Covid-19 has demanded the majority of working moms to work from home. To some it seems like a breeze, but in reality it can be extremely stressful. I have been working from home for the past two years, and it has definitely been a love/hate relationship. Children demand around-the-clock attention, and being a mom while juggling conference calls, never-ending emails, and tight deadlines is no piece of cake. A lot of moms are struggling to stay productive while working from home. These tips from full-time work-from-home moms may help you moms out there feeling overwhelmed:
Tip one: Make sure your children are entertained and busy. Planning ahead is key. Making a list of activities the night before or during the weekend will help you in the long-run. Some examples include: allowing a special movie viewing only during “Mommy’s work time” (2 hours), having them do crafts like coloring, painting or drawing (1 hour), scheduling playtime in the backyard (1 hour), a 30 minute lunch, (pre-made from the night before) etc. Your work day will fly by if you have pre-planned activities to keep your children occupied — and you will be able to get so much work done!
Tip two: Always plan for interruptions. From accidents to falls, every working-from-home mom has her fair share of “horror” stories. Imagine being on an important call while your toddler wants to watch Cocomelon or is suddenly hungry, and your boss is left listening to a whining child and your apologies instead of your bright ideas. My advice? Hit the mute button during conference calls to avoid any unexpected yells of “Moooomm” in the background. Give your child a nonverbal “do not disturb” signal when you need quiet time. If your kids are old enough, you can also close the door and leave a note on the outside saying you are not to be bothered. All in all, there is no such thing as a work day without interference from your children. You should always be one step ahead.
Tip three: There is no such thing as balance (read that again). This is the last and most important tip for you working-from-home moms. It is very simple, and if you accept this truth it will help you keep your sanity. My co-worker, Tricia Figueroa, a working-from-home mom of two says, “It is ok to choose work over your baby, and it is ok to choose your baby over work.” Each day will be different, and in order to keep our sanity we have to be okay with ditching the word “balance.” By accepting that there is no such thing as balance for working-from-home moms, you will be able to free your mind of guilt and stress.
If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to having more manageable, more productive, and less stressful work days!