Image from Natalie Franke
Today’s post is one that has been weighing heavy on my mind lately. Mostly because I am still figuring things out when it comes to working from home with kids. When I started my own business I did so for two reasons…
1. I wanted my designs to be my own. I was not too keen on the idea of designing for someone else who would inevitably get credit since the business was under their name, not mine.
2. I needed my work schedule to work around my family. Yes that meant late nights and weekends but I was not willing to let go of all of the one on one time I have had with my kids the past 7 years.
I could chase my dreams and be with my family. Have my cake and eat it too, right? Ummm not exactly. Working from home with 3 little ones running around is no joke. Being able to focus is one thing, but switching my mind set from being a Stay at Home Mom to a Work from Home Mom is a whole different obstacle. Here are some tips and tricks I have picked up along the way.
Set a schedule and stick to it.
I know this sounds super obvious but its so easy to waiver here when you make your own hours. Have your work days and have your SAHM days… do not try to combine the two. You can not do it all and that is OK. Let me elaborate… M, W, F when all 3 kids are at school, I work. No exceptions. I have tried to squeeze in a few kid free errands or trips to the gym before work and it just leaves me overwhelmed and frazzled. It takes a little planning each week but when you set up your work days, set up your off days to get all the other things in your life done too. T/Th are now my gym, errand, cleaning, volunteer at school days. Do I always get it all done? Nope, but whatever I don’t gets done on the weekends.
Write EVERYTHING out.
Like everyyyyyything. Its so easy to forget a post or online appointment when you don’t have it written out where you can see it. I hate visual clutter so I had to bite the bullet here. I usually jot everything down in my agenda book, but when my OCD strikes and all the papers get put away, I easily forget what I just wrote down. When I asked a fellow designer how she juggles her business with 3 kids her answer was so simple…Write everything you need to get accomplished for the week out every Sunday. Then fill in the open space with all the personal things you need to get accomplished. Include all the kid activities, errands and chores, so no one misses a beat.
Ignore the Mess.
This one is probably my least favorite. Like I said I hate visual clutter, so its very hard for me to sit and concentrate when there are toys, shoes, and papers thrown all over the house. But when I try to clean it all up before I get to work I just cut my work time in half. Literally. It sucks to just ignore the mess, but I know its something that will get resolved, eventually. Plus there is a silver lining. The more you work, the more money you make and the more you make the more luxuries you can afford, right? One of my greatest luxuries in life is my cleaning lady… Nothing makes me happier than coming home to a sparkling house that did not require me to lift a finger. My weekends are spent with the kids instead of with the vacuum. My work days aren’t consumed with clutter. Its like Christmas morning every single time. I freaking love her.
Teach your Kids to Self Entertain
Even though I have my set work days there is always SOMETHING that throws a wrench in my plans. A sick kid, a day off, or the Pre-schooler who refuses to stay for nap time. There are more times than not when I have to get things done with the kids at home. These days get hard. Like I want to start drinking at lunch time hard, but I have picked up a few tricks to suck it up and get things done.
- It takes a Village. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I am so blessed to have amazing neighbors who will keep an eye on the kids when they are outside. I also have family who will drop anything to pick someone up when Im in a pinch. But don’t take these people for granted. Make sure you are able to return the favor.
- Teach your kids to take care of each other. One of my favorite games the kids play is family. My oldest is the Mommy, my son is the Daddy and my youngest is the baby who needs taking care of. Not only are they super entertained, but the “Mommy” always has to make everyone lunch.
- Create different play stations. My kids rarely play with their toys unless prompted. But once I rearrange the toy baskets, all the sudden playing with their toys is cool again. It also helps me de clutter on a weekly basis.
- Make screen time a privilege. Im one of those weirdos who won’t let my kids play with their iPads. Not only because I want them to be present, but because I know that there will be a point in the day when I really need them to be TV zombies. Save the screen time for when you are at your wits end. Or make it something that they earn when they have behaved all day. If the TV is something that you just turn on first thing every morning, not only are you kids missing out on critical independent play, but it loses its appeal when you really need it most. Yes I need my kids to watch TV sometimes, just like I need my wine at night. Go ahead and judge me. But I swear it works.
I’m all about empowering other working Moms out there. There’s not better way to spread your success than to lift each other up. I came across this quote on Instagram that really puts it all into perspective for me. The hustle is hard, but being able to create a beautiful life for the people I work with is really what I love most about this job. I hope these tricks help make your week run a little smoother and as always thanks for reading! xoxo Val