When I found my first work at home position, I thought it would be the best in the world! I would be able to stay home with my son and make some money. Win-win!
However, after a few months, I discovered life as a work at home mom can be very overwhelming. I actually quit for quite some time, because I did not think I could do it anymore. But, after awhile I found myself back in the WAHM gig. After an accumulation of three years working at home, I have found some tricks that are super helpful and can make your dream of becoming a WAHM successful.
Have a separate phone for work.
This trick has been my biggest change for success. Our phones are always strapped to us. When I was using my personal phone for work, I would receive an email and respond, just because it was there. Most of the time it could wait, but I responded anyway. I found myself in constant work mode and never turned it off. I started to hate my phone. This is an exhausting way to live and you really are not paying attention to the world when living this way. Now, when I am with family I do not bring my work phone at all. I can turn off my work mode and enjoy myself. Ask your boss to cover this cost, or find a cheap phone and plan for execution. I promise this method will give you peace of mind. If there is an emergency, my boss has my personal number to reach me.
Make sure your work email is separate.
Much like your phone, make sure your work email is separate as well. The goal in these changes is to keep your work and personal life separate. I understand that can be difficult, but it is worth it.
Give yourself a workspace.
Working from home appeals to many, because we dream of sitting on the couch and doing our work. While this may be possible for you, I have found creating a workspace makes me 1000 times more productive. Okay, I did not do the math, but I did notice an increase in work when I moved to our dining room. I do not have an entire room to myself, but I have a dedicated location. My kids know when I am here, I am working. This means they will usually leave me alone.
Find a good sitter.
I know for many the purpose of working from home is to avoid child care, but every now and then you may have meetings outside the home. Knowing you have a good sitter, or nanny agency to use during these times will be less stressful. You may even find every now and then heading to your local coffee joint helps with productivity and gives you a break from the kids. I do this at least once a month. Just for my sanity. I recommend a company that does all the work for you such as College Nannies + Tutors + Sitters. They have locations nationwide.
Understand there will be chaos.
Trying to call clients and speak with applicants while the kids are screaming may happen. If you have dedicated hours you must work, you might want to call that sitter more often, if possible. Do not be ashamed to ask for help. It is overwhelming to work and be a mom at the same time. If it works better for you, stay up late and do your work. I love working at night. It is quiet, I can think and get some time to myself. If your kiddos nap, take advantage of this time as well.
Give yourself regular breaks. Get outside.
Work for an hour or two, then dedicate some time to your kids. I work an hour then my son and I go to the park, sometimes only for fifteen minutes, then we head home and I work again. He looks forward to this break as do I. Take some time each day to make sure you go outside. Working from home can get lonely and daunting. It is easy to forget the outside world exists. Take time to meet up with friends, or meet your significant other for lunch. This will save your sanity as well.
Being a WAHM is not an easy task. It takes time and dedication to both positions, but you can do it! If you instill these methods you will find your sanity will be intact; most days.