I am not sure what is harder, being a full time stay-at-home momma and working full time from home (aka SAHWM) or working as a full time preschool teacher and have your daughter with you? I definitely have not mastered either, but I do have a few tips that have really helped me stay less stressed and fully soak up moments with my daughter as well as follow my dreams in the passions that I have outside the home.
1. Create an office space
We are blessed with having a home office/guest room/play room and it’s a place where I can go at night and work without distraction. It’s nice to have an organized place where I can power through blog posts and lesson plans. I know that everyone can’t have an office, but even a little corner in the living room or in your bedroom, where you feel like you have somewhere to go and focus can help you feel more productive.
2. Create a routine
My daughter and I have a very flexible schedule, but we have a daily routine. I try and wake up at least 30-45 minutes before she does so I can spend some time reading my Bible, making our plan for the day, make a large cup/pot of coffee, catching up on a few emails and just spending some time getting my thoughts together before the begins. When my daughter is awake I am “on” as a Mom full time, yes I check my phone here and there for important messages, but I am really trying to put it away or turn it off when I am with her. Her nap time is when I get caught up on work and take a shower. Once she wakes up, it’s back to wearing my Mom shoes. After dinner,and once RJ goes down, I will catch up on a few more work things and then spend time with my husband.
3. Gym Membership
Joining the gym was one of the best things I could have done as a Mamma. Working out honestly makes me more energetic, happier, stronger so I can carry/chase/play with the little, and kills a ton of stress. Our gym has great childcare as well as kid programs that my daughter can be a part of as she gets a little older. I get my sweat on and she gets to play with all of her friends!
4. Set Work Hours
This is kind of like the routine piece, but just good to have written down. My hours have to be flexible of course, but having them written out is great accountability for yourself as well as for your family. Now that I work away from the home for a majority of the day, I have to set boundaries when at home so that I also get family time in there as well. I started turning my phone off at 8pm and it has helped me unplug from work. It’s always interesting for the hubby and I because he works a lot from home as well, so communication is HUGE for us! It took some tweaking when our daughter came into our lives, but now we have a pretty good rhythm.
5. Turn OFF Phone
This one is HUGE! I do a lot of work from my phone, answering clients texts, emails, social media…but often times I get sidetracked and start spiraling into the social media BLACK HOLE! Before I know it, I can’t even remember what I was looking at my phone. So I love the “do not disturb” setting, where you can turn off notifications on your phone during certain hours. You can even control who can still notify you even when that setting is on. I often time just leave my phone out of site. When I go out to dinner with friends, family, or the Hubby I leave my phone on silent in my purse. Being present is something that I am working on and it is easy to always “be on” as a blogger, entrepreneur and teacher.
6. Hire Someone to Help Clean
We hired someone to clean our house twice a month while I was in my busy season of work. It was our best YES! It did mean we had to cut some things out of our budget, but it was worth every penny. I would so rather play on the ground with my daughter than worry about our floors being spotless. I also know that this is not something every family can afford, but if you can figure out a way to budget for this DO IT! Maybe just once a quarter, it will keep your sane and create freedom you can’t even imagine.
Surround yourself with other Mom’s that are in the same boat as you. You can learn so much from each other! It’s also just nice to chat about what your are going through as a mother. To see that you are not alone. This may not be a live group of friends, this could also be an online community. No one has motherhood nailed down to a science, we are all learning together, it really does take a TRIBE!
Do you stay home, work from home, work outside the home? What are some of your tips for staying sane and enjoying your time?