Working from home is one of the best case scenarios I could have dreamed up for myself as a mom of two. Sure, there is a learning curve when figuring out how to balance work and family and how to separate the two. Have you ever seen stock photos of work-from-home moms sitting happily with their infant in their lap while typing on the computer and a hot cup of coffee next to them?
Working from home is nothing like that! Do I try to type and breastfeed Evy sometimes? Sure. But the sentences end up looking like this:
“In the event ofbdFjkfkfo5enGa6bdk…”
Overall, I’m extremely blessed to be able to have Josh stay home with the kids during the day. he gets the quality time that he’s always wanted with them, we don’t spend money on a babysitter, and the kids get to be with their daddy! How great is that?? Since I work from home full-time, there’s absolutely no way that could happen without a babysitter or some form of child care. If I was only working part-time, it might be a different story.
That said, here are a few of my best tips of advice for work-at-home moms:
Use your resources!
Like I said, we’re super blessed to be able to have Josh home with the kids. If that weren’t the case, we would do our best to find another family member watch them, put them in a childcare program, or hire a mother’s helper. Working from home is great because you get to be around your family, but in some ways working from home is more difficult than going to an office to work. The multitasking is real. I tell myself all the time, I could spend it 2 hours trying to get this project done while in the same room with the kids, or I could separate myself and take only 1 hour to get it done. Overall, you’ll be the best judge at knowing how much you can get done while around the family. If you’ll do your best work and be more efficient away from everyone, do your best to find someone you trust to watch the kids while you get your work done.
Know when you work best
Lots of times I try to convince myself that I’ll finish up my work after the kids go to bed. But guess what happens as we put the kids to bed? I get sleepy too! And do I feel like sitting down and starting more work at that point? Na ah. All I want to do after 8 p.m. is Netflix and chill with Josh. That being the case, I often force myself to get up a couple hours before the rest of the family wakes up. Getting that first cup of coffee and starting work before the chaos begins really really helps to jump start my day!
Get out of the house!
Working from home is awesome! It’s basically the introverts dream (sorry, extraverts ☹️). But whether you’re introverted or extroverted, anyone would go stir crazy both working and living in the same place. Do yourself a favor and allow yourself to go out to a coffee shop to work. I often find that I’m way more productive and better at staying on task when I’m sitting in a coffee shop with nothing else to distract me. Or, after you’ve finished your work for the morning, take the kids to a park or on a walk. Feeling like you’ve gone out even for just a little while can help you to break up your day and feel refreshed when it’s time to get back to work again.
Get to know your team!
Working from home has tons of benefits! But it does have some cons too. For example, you might feel like you’re missing out on an office life. Since I work remotely, I video into my office a few times a week and am basically only a floating head to an office where most of the team is pretty close-knit and familiar with each other. That being the case, I do my best to stay very involved on our Slack channel and chat with my team members when I can. I’m also super excited at the opportunity to visit my office in NYC this fall! If you have the chance to meet up with the people you work with, do it! Even if your job doesn’t have a physical office, try to arrange a meeting with the other people you work with and have a fun time and getting to know each other!
Take control of the mom-guilt
I’m not going to lie to you, working from home but not always being able to be with my kids is hard sometimes! I do feel mom guilt from time to time but I suppose I would feel that no matter what I was doing- working in an office, traveling, or working from home. I think the key is to separate work time and family time. If your family understands that 8 to 3 (or however many hours you plan to work during the day) is work time, then you won’t have to try to multitask so much. For example, my kids know that in the mornings I am upstairs and at my desk working. However, they know that I come down every afternoon ready to spend time with them until their bedtime. The times that I’ve tried to multitask and work downstairs with them in the mornings are the times when both me and the kids end up getting frustrated. I’ll have to say things like, “I’m sorry Sweetie, I can’t right now” or, “David, I have to get this done” and that’s when the mom guilt is at its worst. When I’m able to be 100% at work and then 100% a mommy, everyone ends up happier.
I might not get to attend the office parties or get the same pat on the back that my in-office co-workers might get, so I do my best to reward myself when I accomplish my goals. Little rewards are great for keeping momentum throughout the day. That’s why I gift myself a little treat of Dunkin’ Donuts Extra Extra coffee creamer in my morning an afternoon pick-me-up. Giving myself that nummy boost during my day keeps me going strong and feeling like I haven’t neglected myself all day! It’s made of real cream and sugar and has a super rich and smooth taste that helps me make my coffee just the way I like it- light and sweet like me!
Whether you’re up early for a big meeting, chasing after the kids and all their activities, or just need a little “me time”, treat yo’ self to a little Dunkin’ Donuts Extra Extra!
Are you a work from home mom? What are your best tips for balancing work life and mom life? What’s your favorite pick-me-up to get you through the lulls in the day? Remember to look for Dunkin’ Donuts Extra Extra the next time you shop for your favorite coffee creamer!
Yes, this is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own! I grew up drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee and would recommend them to any of my friends!