If you’re just barely surviving as a work-at-home mom, then this post is for you. Trust me, I totally get it. I’ve been there and done that. It’s taken us a long time to adjust to our new lifestyle, but I wouldn’t trade this time with the little guy for anything. And if I can do this, then you definitely can too. Once you figure out how to make it work for you, being a work-at-home mama is all kinds of awesome.
The one thing that’s always on a work-at-home mama’s mind is exactly how to get work done at home, especially when you have little kids. There’s like this unwritten rule that as soon as you start doing something productive, your three year old suddenly wants your attention. And even if they don’t need anything right away, give it five minutes and they’ll inevitably think of something.
And don’t even get me started on all the things. There are the things you need to do just to get through the day. You know, like cooking. I’m sure that’s something most of us dread doing. Imagine me raising my hand right now. More about that later, though. Of course there are also the things that if you don’t do, you can say so long and farewell to your business. Those are things like creating content, writing emails, and scheduling social media. Because without those things, there is no business.
It’s enough to make even the most organized work-at-home mama a little overwhelmed. Blogging has a lot of moving parts. I used to look at my planner and then just walk away. I told myself that I’d deal with it later. That’s the easy way out, my friends. Side note: It accomplishes nothing. The work is still there when you finally do decide to tackle it. Oh, and did I mention that your to-do list multiplies exponentially when you avoid it. Yep! It’s not worth it.
You’ve totally got this, mama. While it’s difficult, it’s definitely not impossible to win at this work-at-home thing. Sometimes it takes a while to figure things out, though. I’ve been doing it for over a year now. And if I’m working, the little guy is mostly likely in the studio too.
Are you curious how I do it? You know, how I manage to work full-time and blog and still have at least somewhat of a life? I’ll give you a hint, we made a lot of changes to our lives when we started staying at home, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Here are ten tips that you can’t live without for surviving as a work-at-home mama when you have little kids.
- Keep your expectations realistic. At this point, I know what I can and can’t do in the course of a day. For example, photographing three posts or writing two is my limit. Anything more than that means working literally all day. I also batch things. What that means is that I’ll photograph a handful of posts one day, edit pictures and create pins the next, etc.
- Spend time with your little kids before you do anything else. We do our preschool homeschool stuff early in the day before I start doing anything blogging or work-related. After that hour or so of one-on-one time, the little guy’s usually content to just sort of hang out while I work.
- Make your workspace kid-friendly. I work in the studio, which is our creative space + learning place. There are lots of things for the little guy to do. He has educational games, art supplies, and even sensory materials in here. For the most part, he can get things out and put them away without my help and he obviously knows the rules.
- Stick to a schedule. While we don’t really follow a strict schedule, our days do have a sort of rhythm or routine to them. Get up, eat breakfast, and check social media. Do our preschool homeschool stuff. Write a post or two. Make lunch. Work for a while in the evening. Schedule Pinterest. You get the idea. My point is that although I don’t have specific times, we still do basically the same things in the same order every day.
- Include your little kids as much as possible. This one kind of comes naturally in my niche because I’m mostly blogging about homeschooling and kids activities, which are things that we’re already doing together. I shared a few pictures of one of our activities yesterday on Facebook and a friend mentioned that I always do such fun stuff with him. The life of a blogger’s kid, right? But it’s totally the truth. The little guy definitely benefits from what I’m doing. I mean, we’d be making stuff together regardless, but I do enjoy sharing what we’re up to for other creative mamas to try with their little kids as well.
- Set up at least a few activities just for while you’re working. We found this awesome table at Ikea with two bins that fit inside of it and I usually put together a few sensory activities. Sometimes I switch them out weekly and sometimes monthly, but they’re always there for when he’s looking for something to do.
- Find some help. Seriously. I couldn’t do this without my husband. More often than not, he cooks. That one thing alone makes a world of difference. Have you ever really stopped to think about how much time you spend in the kitchen on an average day? Maybe it’s housework that’s an issue. Or maybe you need some help with childcare. Whatever it is, find someone who’s willing to help.
- Make your little kids their own workspace beside you. Sometimes, we move the little guy’s table over beside my desk and while I work, so does he. He has a few sensory activities and some art supplies that are always accessible and he usually picks a few things to do while I’m editing pictures and/or writing.
- Adjust your priorities. If you truly want to make this work, you have to prioritize. For me, TV was the first thing to go. And you know what? It really doesn’t bother me to live without it. One way or another, find some time and get things done.
- Use voice typing to get your ideas down quickly. It wasn’t all that long ago that I discovered voice typing via Google Docs. Like hello. Where has this been all my life? Needless to say, it saves so much time and I use it constantly. After all, sometimes sitting down to actually write a blog post just isn’t the easiest thing to do.
What do you think? Leave a comment and share your tips for surviving as a work-at-home mama when you have little kids.
Are you ready to finally get your creative space organized once and for all? Join thousands of other creative mamas who are doing just that with this free 52 Weeks to an Organized Workspace challenge.
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