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Being a work at home mom is the most amazing blessing in my life, and I don’t know about you but it can be a bit chaotic. As a work at home mom, I always feel exponentially busy while simultaneously feeling like a slacker. I never seem to have enough time. So when it comes to running my business, taking care of my family, and having fun with them, it feels a bit hopeless. If chaotic, hopeless, and busy are NOT words that you’d use to describe being a work at home mom, read my 3 tips for work at home moms to make time for work and play.
3 Tips For Work At Home Moms To Make Time for Work And Play
No ever said it would be easy to be a work at home mom, but it doesn’t have to be so dang hard either. My 3 tips and tools for work at home moms to make time to at least feel a more productive and flexible start below.
1. Own Your Time
When people used to say stuff like this to me, I would literally roll my eyes. “What in the heck are they talking about?” I would think to myself. Then one day something clicked and I got it.
When you own your time, you no longer say things like,
“ugh! I have to go to work” or “ugh, I need to make dinner.”
You start saying and thinking,
“Ok, it’s time to make go to work. I choose to do this because, [fill in your reason]” or “It’s time to make dinner, I choose to do this because I want my family to be healthy and to save money.”
It’s a small shift, but it makes a huge difference. When you own your time, you don’t drag your feet. You don’t procrastinate because this is a choice you’ve made and not something being forced on you without your permission.
Now, I can tell my husband that I need 2-3 hours of work time over a weekend or I can plan out 20-25 minute work intervals throughout my day. And when I’m not working, I know what we’re having for dinner (when I need to start cooking), and I can hang out with my kiddos and play off and on every day. I no longer feel like a guilty work at home mom (most of the time).
Now, it’s worth noting that if you’re doing things in your life that you haven’t chosen, we need a little real talk.
If you’re doing something you’d rather not be doing, before you can change anything, you need to accept that even though you didn’t actively choose this thing, you chose it by default. It happened. You accepted it by not rejecting it.
The solution, own it.
So regardless of your life choices, own them. You may not like them or want them, but own them. You created this situation in your life. Now, you can choose to start changing the situation but you’ve got to own your present situation and then make a choice to actively start choosing something else.
Tools for Work At Home Moms
One of my big issues is that I always want to blame something for my inaction. It’s always something or someone else’s fault. If only the kids slept through the night or if only I had more energy, I’d go to the gym. My favorite is, “if only I had more money…”
Before I started owning my own stuff, those were my go-to scapegoats. Now that I’ve started owning my choices, I’ve started changing some stuff and making new choices.
My favorite tool is Trello. It’s a free project management tool that I use for everything from planning my blog posts to meal planning. I keep track of all of my to-dos, and I even jot down my daydreams in Trello. I’m a bit obsessed with Tello. I use it on my phone and on my laptop. It’s really allowed me to take great ownership of my life.
Now, I can take breaks to hang out with my kids and take them places without feeling like I’m going get behind in my work. I can work without feeling like I have a mountain of work to sort through. It’s been life-changing.
2. Remove Distraction
Ok, when you have little kids (or even big kids) distraction is a permanent member of your family. So, you’re always going to have some form of distraction, but you can manage it.
For me, as a work at home mom, I can give my kids an activity for 20-25 minutes or put in a movie for the same amount of time. I turn off the wifi on my phone and laptop, and I focus on one task at a time.
Focusing on one task at a time has been an amazing innovation in my life. Like so many work at home moms, I spent years trying to multi-task. Multi-tasking is miserable. It’s not helpful at all. Before my one task policy, I would spend hours “working” but have absolutely nothing to show for the work; nothing was complete.
Now, I work on one task at a time. It may take me all day to complete, but when it’s done, I can check something off my list of to-dos, and it’s a great feeling to know that I actually completed a task, no matter how small it is.
Tools For Work At Home Moms
My favorite focus tools are pretty simple. I keep a running list of indoor activities for my kids, and I choose one. This list of 10 indoor activities for preschoolers and toddlers is super easy. Once I start working, I have a no internet policy, and I only answer my phone for my husband when working. I have friends who use a few of the 10 Online Tools for Better Attention & Focus.
3. Wake Up Early
Not everyone is an early riser, and I get that. I’m not going to suggest you get up at 5 am (or earlier). I’ve done this, it’s not fun.
I’ve found I get the same productivity results when I get up 30 minutes before my kids. That allows me to shower, dress, and prepare their breakfasts before they stir in the morning.
And once I get them dressed and settled into breakfast mode, I have a few minutes to get a little work done before we start our first activity for the day.
So, ideally, I was much more productive with my work when I woke up at 4:30 am. I could get a TON done before my kiddos woke up. The problem was, I wasn’t a happy mama (or a happy wife for that matter). So, I’ve abandoned this craziness (for now).
Waking up consistently before my kids is rough because my littlest little is up by 6am. He likes mornings. So, what I do is get up at 5:30….everyday. To make sure my alarm goes off and I get up (without waking up my whole household), I wear my Fitbit and I set a silent alarm. At 5:30, my Fitbit vibrates on my arm gently waking ME up without disturbing my husband. Win!
These 3 tips have helped me be a more organized mama and by being more organized I’m able to have more fun with my family and work more consistently. Whoever says you can’t work and play as mom needs these 3 tips. Being a work at home mom doesn’t have to be chaotic, busy, or hopeless. Next time you see a work at home mom who looks like she has it all. You’ll know her secret. With these 3 tips and tools to help you tame the crazy, you can be one of those moms who “looks like” she has it all. HA!
Dish! Share your secrets. We know no one has it all completely figured out. So let’s help each other. What tools and tips do you use to keep your mom life together?