The idea of being a work at home mom always sounded really cool to me. Before I had kids that is. I left my job as a PTA about a year and a half before my daughter was born. I wanted to build something I could do at home with kids. It has always been a important thing for me to be able to stay home with my kids. I did really well selling wallets up until I had her. I would crank out 8-10 wallets a day sometimes. It was fun, and I absolutely loved it.
Having my daughter changed everything. I was a sleep deprived hormonal mess after she came. She didn’t nurse and screamed all the time. I didn’t have the energy to take care of myself and her, let alone a business. So I let the wallets go. In all honesty, a desire to do them completely died. It was a good run, but I needed a break to get back on my feet. After a few months passed, life calmed down a little. I really got into sewing clothes. Today my business is more of a hobby at the moment. A hobby sometimes I wonder if I should quit because I have the luxury of being able to be a stay at home mom and nothing more. But I just can’t quit. I love sewing too much, and being a Christian, I feel God is leading me to continue doing it. I don’t exactly know where the road leads, but I know I am supposed to be on it.
Right now, I am at the point of wanting to maintain this thing because I don’t know where it will lead me. Even though I don’t have this huge business, I have found a few ways that have helped me be both a stay at home mom, blogger, pattern designer, and seamstress. I want to share a few tips with you and share a day in the life for me, but I want everyone to know that we are all different. What works for me, may not work for you and vice versa. I love reading other people’s thoughts, and tips, but I think it is an accumulation of everything combined that makes us who we are and what we do. There is no one tip fits all. If you are a work at home mom, I hope these tips can help you, but please don’t get caught up on the thought that they are the only way.
Work At Home Mom Tips:
Do it for the Lord: First of all, as a christian, I really hang onto the verse in Colossians 3:23- “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” It is easy for me to want to please people around me. I can get caught up in the comparison game and become discouraged with what I am doing. I have to remind myself of this verse and know I am working for the Lord. Everyday I try to put this attitude on and it helps me through the tougher times.
Be Fully Where you Are: It was a lot easier to do this before I had a kiddo running around. Nevertheless, there are still Facebook notifications, emails, UPS drop offs, laundry, etc that can interrupt a work at home person. It is easy to get distracted in our high tech world. Add a kid to the mix and it is nearly impossible to stay on one task more than 5 minutes. To remedy this, I have blocked out a time each day where I can fully work on something without interruptions, AKA nap time! Maybe your kiddo doesn’t do nap time anymore, I also get up before she wakes up and have about 1 hour of work time then too. While I am working, I try really hard to avoid all distractions and focus on writing a blog post, or working on my pattern, etc. The laundry can wait. On the other hand, I have set play times with my daughter where she has my full attention. No email checking, social media updates, etc. I leave the phone and play with her. The rest of the time is a balance of working/interruptions. I sew while my daughter is awake, but I know there will be distractions. During the times where there are possible distractions, I schedule work that can easily be distracted. If I tried writing a blog post while my daughter was up, I would go crazy!
Plan your day/week: At the beginning of the week I try to write out what I need to work on. I will categorize my day as blog day, sewing day, etc and schedule out what my day looks like based on what day it is. That way when I get a chunk of un-inturuped time, I can dive right into it without wasting time trying to figure out what to do.
Balanced Isn’t Always Balanced: I don’t know if there is such a thing as work/life balance when working from home. Sometimes there may be deadlines that require a lot of work from you. Go ahead and work. But when the deadlines are past, rest as hard as you worked! Some periods of time may be more balanced than others, but often it may look like work then rest, then repeat.
Do The Next Right Thing: When the dishes, messy house, long to do list, work deadlines seem to completely overwhelm you, just do the next right thing. Prioritize your to do list. Pick the most important thing and do it. Don’t lose focus on the incredible amount of things that need done, rather focus fully on doing the next thing. I struggle with thinking about the next thing even though I am not there. When I can take my brain off the the upcoming things, and focus on the task in front of me, I can enjoy it more and be fully present in the moment.
The Best Yes. We are not super women and we can’t do it all. No is an ok thing to say sometimes. Life seems to be full of amazing opportunities and great things to say yes to, but if it stretches us to the point of snapping good opportunities aren’t so good. Life stages bring different abilities, don’t feel bad saying no if you know you wont be able to follow through. Maybe in the next stage of life you can do it. Or if an amazing opportunity comes your way, but you know it will be barely feasible, know that there is more where that came from. In saying no, you may come across something even better in the future :).
Be flexible. When you find a balance that works for your family, know that you may need to tweak it as you go. For example for awhile I found a balance that included exercising with my husband in the morning, and working in the evenings. It worked for awhile…until it didn’t. I was feeling a little overwhelmed so my husband suggested working during my exercise time and exercise in the afternoon with my daughter. We then picked one work night a week and decided to take the other nights as they came. This is working for us now. Whatever works for you, be open to change it as life changes.
Progress Over Perfection. Know that no matter what you do, it wont be perfect. The point is to keep working at it and give yourself some grace. Do I have it all figured out? Not hardly. Do my days always go smoothly and perfectly planned. Not at all. But what I do have is a work in progress. I am slowly learning and tweaking on this journey toward progress, not perfection.
Now that I shared a few tips that I hang onto as a work at home mom, I want to share what a typical day in the life looks like. My days are far from perfect and do not always look like this, but this is what I strive for:
5:30- wake up, pray and read the bible then work on my pattern.
7:00-Get the mini up and have breakfast. Get us both ready for the day. Read her some books, do a little housework.
9:00-Play time. We either go on a walk and play outside, or do some sort of activity inside together.
10:00- Sewing time
12:00 Get ready for a nap, sing some songs together.
12:30-Work time (Blog posts, Sewing, Working on a Pattern, Etc.)
2-3:00 (depending on when mini wakes)- Sewing time
3:30- Exercise then play time (again outside swimming, playing, other activities together).
5:15-Supper (many times I throw supper in the crockpot in the morning so I don’t have to make it in the evening!)
Now that I have shared with you some tips for being a work at home mom, I would love to hear yours! How do you balance work and kiddos?! Comment below and share your tips.