One of the questions I get asked most often about being a work at home mom is: “how do you get it all done?”. I have always been a type A personality. I like being organized and having a plan of attack for my day. When I decided to become at work at home mom, my entire routine was in disarray for months. I woke up not really knowing how to tackle the day or how to stay organized or be productive because, let’s face it: babies don’t care about your plan or your schedule. I survived by just going with the flow and praying it would all get done somehow. After having little routine and organization for a few months, I decided I needed to work on my plan and work smarter, not harder. Now that I have been a work at home mom for over a year, I feel like I have a good handle on how to be productive and how to keep my day, work and life manageable.
Repeat after me: “It Can Wait”.
The laundry, dishes or even that e-mail…learn to prioritize your work. I always have a million things I could be doing: dusting, dishes, and responding to e-mails. However, sometimes my little one needs me more than those things do. There are days almost every other week where I say “sorry honey, can you pick up dinner?”. If it was a crazy day or my little one wouldn’t nap and I was busy with work-I’ve learned it’s ok to pick up dinner sometimes.
Planning ahead can be difficult with a newborn. Our little guy didn’t have a great routine until really about 4 months ago. Thankfully, I was able to plan ahead for the ‘small things’ and that helped save time. I planned slow cooker dinners, worked ahead as much as possible, wrote blog posts and scheduled those out as far in advance as possible, ordered our groceries online and picked them up curbside…any ‘small thing’ that I could plan ahead really helped to relieve some of that stress so I could focus on being both a good mom and being good at my job.
Get and Stay Organized.
At first, I wasn’t really sure how to organize my life and work. I had lists everywhere and pieces of paper with reminders all over my desk. I was overwhelmed. I decided that I needed a great planner and organizer, but I wasn’t really sure what that looked like for me.
I personally live and die by my Google calendar. I schedule everything on there from work tasks to homeschool time. It has truly helped to balance our days.
Ask for Help.
Some nights, I have to ask my husband to take our little one in the living room and play for an hour while I get caught on work. While I know not every mom has this luxury, it has certainly helped me. I try not to work too much when my husband is home but some days it helps me to get caught up just to have an hour or two of quiet time to crank out some work.