Moms are some of the busiest people on the planet. When they’re not tending to their kids, they’re building careers, fording the tricky waters of relationships, and just trying to get through days without falling apart from exhaustion. This year has been especially tricky for many moms, what with schools being closed and moms either needing to homeschool their kids or find alternative education solutions.
Although the situation around the world is improving, there are still many people who can’t return to their traditional work environments. In addition, if you’re a mom, you might simply want to work from home so you can spend more time with your kids. If that’s the case, you might be surprised at just how tricky being a work-from-home mom can be. Here are 10 of our best tips to help you navigate this crazy world.
Even if you’re working from home, it still pays massively to set boundaries. You need to know exactly when your working time begins and when it ends. Not only will your efficiency at work increase, but your family will also thank you when they have your undivided attention and you’re not constantly thinking about finishing that last assignment while you’re supposed to be enjoying quality time with them. This goes for your environment, too; designate a space as your office and don’t leave while you’re working.
You might feel tempted to simply order out after a particularly grueling working day at home, but this would be a mistake. Home-cooked food is nutritious, it has positive effects on your mental health, and it’s a great way to cultivate a healthier relationship with your diet. Since you’ll be spending more time at home, you may wish to invest in a custom kitchen, which could help you to feel more like you want to spend time in your kitchen cooking great food.
This might be more of a problem if you’re space-limited, but try not to use the bedroom or the lounge space as a home office. Those areas are intended for rest and relaxation, so turning them into high-stress environments is a bad idea. If you can, try to convert an entire room into your office. Of course, this may not be possible, and if it isn’t, then at the very least, try to set aside space in a bedroom rather than simply working on your laptop from your bed.
If your kids are old enough to understand, then it’s important to educate them about why you won’t come out of your office for extended periods of time. In general, it’s important to try and give your kids reasons for the things you do rather than blindly invoking authority, and nowhere is this more true than when you’re working from home. You don’t want your kids wandering into your office or trying to get your attention while working, so make sure they know the score.
One of the biggest issues with working from home – as we’ve already discussed – is how to divide your time between work and downtime. More than ever while working from home, you need to make sure you schedule time with your family. This doesn’t need to be expensive or demanding; you could simply make sure you go for regular walks with your kids, for example, or just sit with them on the sofa and ask them about their day. However you do it, family time is critical, and working from home can cut into it.
While it’s certainly true that wearing comfy clothing while working doesn’t detract from your productivity, it can help to give you a mental boost if you make sure to get dressed up in the morning. It can be tempting to work in whatever you slept in, and that’s definitely an option if you really can’t muster up the energy to put your formal clothes on, but getting dressed makes you more productive and helps to snap your mind into official work mode.
It’s easy to stay cooped up in the house all day when you’re working from home, but getting regular exercise is still vital. While you can follow YouTube workout tutorials or use home gym equipment, it’s also a good idea to try and spend some time outside every day, perhaps going for a walk or a run if you can. Exercise stimulates your mind, and staying fit can help you to maintain energy throughout the day. If you feel yourself start to flag, taking a walk can work wonders.
If a day rolls around where everything feels like it’s getting on top of you, then it’s okay to slow down and take a break. There are so many stereotypes out there of the “supermom” who can juggle non-stop work, raising kids, and everything else moms have to cope with, but you don’t have to be that person. Sometimes, it’s alright to step back from your responsibilities (to as much of a degree as you can, of course) and take some time for yourself.
It’s important to have people around you to help you when things threaten to overwhelm you. Your family, your friends, and even your colleagues and superiors should rally around you to provide support and assistance when you need it. When you start to feel overwhelmed, explain your situation to those around you and tell them what you need from them. If they love you, they’ll be there for you, and that support network is critical when you’re a working mom.
As things start to open back up again, your place of employment may offer you the chance to return to your office. If you’ve fallen in love with working from home and you don’t want to go back, then it’s worth having a conversation with your boss to see if this is feasible. It might be that the newfound time you’ve been able to have with your kids is too precious to forfeit, and there’s a good chance your boss will understand that. Either way, if you’re anxious, explain how you’re feeling and talk it through.
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