Working from home is an increasingly popular way for women to balance motherhood with a career, but there are still sacrifices to be made. Here are some top tips for Working At Home Mums (WAHMs).
Plan your day in chunks, based around your child’s routine, then write down what you would like to achieve in each timeframe. Obviously, the more challenging tasks need to be scheduled during your child’s sleep times, but if you can easily tackle a work or domestic task – such as scanning documents or folding the washing – during baby’s awake time, then do so.
Technology is a working mum’s best friend
Use your smartphone calendar, set reminders, and use Skype or Facebook’s instant messengers to communicate when you have a rowdy baby in the background.
Work it out
If you can, dedicate a separate workspace – it will create a boundary between your work and home life and help you to stay focused.
Choose your chores
Set a realistic timeframe for doing housework each day, be it 20 minutes or an hour. Block this out in your schedule, then once your time is up, leave it and move on. You can come back to it later in the day if you have time, or ask your partner to do it when they have a moment.
It’s hard to feel professional when you’re Skyping in your slippers! Set yourself a morning start time and get ready as if you are going out – it will boost your confidence.
Maximise your time
Be honest about how you are using your time – perhaps you could cut back on your social media browsing or time spent chatting to your neighbour? Also consider other ways to get more out of your day, such as doing the grocery shop online, freezing meals in advance or hiring a cleaner.
Sometimes you just have to finish off that proposal or make an important call when baby is awake. Distraction is the key here – fill a drawer in your desk with toys for your little one, or chat on the phone while pushing the buggy around the block.
Time out together
Working from home can be isolating for you and your baby – lock in regular play dates with other parents so you can both get out of the house and socialise.
Kids get sick and sometimes your schedule will fall flat – have a plan B to cope with these situations, such as outside help from a family member.
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