In today’s digital age, many stay-at-home moms are now able to be work-at-home moms, allowing them to be with their kids while also running a business out of their home. However, one of the most difficult aspects of working from home that many moms face is trying to juggle both a business and parenting—at the same time.
While it might be challenging, it is not impossible. If you are ready to be a work-at-home mom, here are 6 tips on how to master it:
Scheduling Your Time
Because both working and parenting are full-time jobs, creating a schedule is one of the most important aspects to finding success with working from home. Consider scheduling out “office hours,” as in setting a goal for how many hours you would like to dedicate to your business during the day. Additionally, schedule when you can return calls, return emails, network, and meet your deadlines. Schedules help to organize everything, making work much less overwhelming.
Finding Tools You Can Use
Another important aspect to success is having the right tools at your disposal. For instance, since you are working from home, most of your communication is done over email or through an online program, thus it is important your home has high-speed Internet. Moreover, because you may have client information on your personal computer, for their security, as well as your own, it is important you have an Internet security system.
The Importance of Nap Time
The most productive time of day is often nap time. When your children are asleep in the next room, you have a solid chunk of time at your fingertips to get as much work done as possible without interruptions, which many moms know is a rarity.
However, because nap time can vary in terms of how long a child will stay asleep, it is important to prioritize your work and stay focused. It can be easy to try to do too many things at once, which can leave you with a bunch of half-finished tasks.
One of the best ways to achieve business success as a work-at-home mom is to set up boundaries. As much as possible, keep your roles as a businesswoman and a mother separate. For instance, if possible, set up an area that is strictly dedicated to your office space. Whether that is turning a spare room into an office, converting a large closet to your office, or even turning the garage into your office, you will find you are far more productive when you have a set space for work.
Kid-free zones can help you stay focused on the task at hand, whereas working where your kids play can lead to distractions and leave you disengaged from work and parenting, as you are trying to do too many things at once.
Planning for Interruptions
There will be interruptions when working from home—it is a fact. The best way to handle interruptions is to plan ahead for them. If on a conference call when an interruption happens, try hitting the ‘mute’ button on the phone in order to keep whomever you are speaking to from hearing the chaos. Once the situation is under control, if possible, reschedule the phone call to a time when your children are occupied.
Moreover, even though many moms do not want to let their co-workers are clients know that they are working from home, more often than not, clients and other business partners are more compassionate if they know the interruption is due to a child, otherwise they might mistake the interruption for rudeness or being unprepared.
Asking for Help
While working at home does have its benefits, giving you the chance to have both your family and career, you may find you want or need someone to help out with your children. Hiring a nanny for a couple hours each day or having a friend or family member watch the kids a couple days a week so you can focus on work is a great way to stay focused and get the important business tasks done.