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People think that being a work from home mom is easy. I’ve had people telling me (or other work from home mom friends) that I am enjoying a carefree life just because I chose to work at home or that I’m basically doing “nothing” just because I don’t get up and drive or commute to work. While it’s true that I am enjoying life, staying sane as a work from home mom can be a challenge.
Just imagine having to attend to your home-based job while some little guy keeps on bugging you, crying the moment you fail to give him attention for even just a minute. Or having to hurry up just to submit work on time, but then as you do your job, this little one keeps asking you for this and that. Or concentrating on your work because you’re so fired up and you’re on a roll but then your train of thought gets disrupted because someone wanted you to go with him to get some water, or go peepee, or get some chocolates from the fridge.
And for moms who don’t get some help around, they need to think about chores on top of the kids and their job. And don’t get me started with the partners, who would also request the moms to do other things as well. All this can really be overwhelming, especially for first-time moms.
Staying sane as a work from home mom can be done.
I now have a four-year-old and I think it’s now a bit easier than before because he can do stuff on his own, such as go pee, take food from the fridge, drink water. See? I knew everything will pass. But at the moment, I still do get distracted from time to time because Kai kept asking for my attention, especially when he’s doing something and he wants me to take a look at it.
With all that distraction and the need to balance work, family and self-care, it is pretty understandable why there are moms who fall into depression. I must say this not only applies to work from home moms; it applies to full-time stay-at-home moms as well. Yes, motherhood is not easy despite you seeing seemingly perfect lives on social media.
But for me, I’ve always embraced working from home. I’ve been working from home since before Kai was born. I know I feel disconnected – it comes with being a home-based employee – but I realized now as I get older, it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to connect with other people, especially with those who matter. You can beat the work from home mom blues and I will share some tips on how to keep it together.
#1. Wake up early
I cannot emphasize more why waking up early and waking up before everyone does is very important in staying sane as a work from home mom. For me, I know the time when Kai usually wakes up so I try my best to wake up three hours before he does. Three hours is a lot of time for you to accomplish work. Even an hour makes a big difference. By waking up early, you dedicate yourself to your work and you can focus on the things in front of you.
When you’re done with those first few hours, you also have the time to spend with your kids. You shouldn’t be working when they are awake or you’ll just get frustrated with the distractions.
#2. List down your daily tasks
I’m not usually a to-do lister but I believe this works, especially if you know you have so many things to do within the day.) I wasn’t a to-do lister but I discovered bullet journaling and I have been doing it since. I get inspired by the beautiful layouts on social media, but your list doesn’t have to be all fancy; what’s important is that you have something to write your tasks on to help you remember and stay on track.
I keep a schedule of my work tasks, which include two writing gigs, maintaining my blog and social media promotions and it definitely helped. At times, I’d stop journaling and my mind can be everywhere (not saying that my mind doesn’t usually wander lol), but the point is, journaling can help you stay focused on your daily tasks.
#3. If possible, get some help
I’ve told a friend that as a work from home mom, we cannot do everything. We can do a lot – but not everything. If it’s too much to handle, get some help. Ask your partner to cook for the family from time to time. For partners, it is important to share the responsibilities at home. After all, the two of you made the family together so it’s basically a together-thing.
You can also hire someone to help with the chores. A cleaning lady would be a good idea – I know, because we have one and it makes things easier for us. If you have the means, then go for it. There’s also the grandparents. They’ll be more than excited to look out for your child.
If your kids are older, let them help. Check this list of age-appropriate chores for your kids. Kai can be of great help because I can ask him to bring this and that, or help me take out the vegetables from the crisper whenever I cook. Even the tiny bit of help is good and should be appreciated
Having someone around to help, even just a little, would ease your burden and would, at least, maintain your sanity. Sure you’re proud that you can do a lot of things, but you have to take a breather. It’s your right. And it’s never a bad thing to admit you need help.
#4. Get out of the house
Many first-time moms would find this difficult to do. But you don’t even have to think about grand trips or the like – even the simplest outing, like going out for a stroll outside your house, would really be helpful in staying sane as a work from home mom. It’s not fun when all you get to see are the walls of your house.
#5. Do fun stuff
We all have different definitions of “fun.” Mine is playing an online computer game. Whatever fun activity you have in mind, do it, just to shake off the tension you have. Go shopping, read a book, play with your kids or the dogs, watch movies or do some arts and crafts – whatever it is that will take your mind off being busy.
Ironically, taking care of pets, which is additional work, is some sort of fun for me. Seeing my fluffy Bunny or watching the guinea pigs eat can be therapeutic. Who knows? It works for me, it might work for you.
#6. Have a Social Circle
Yes, I am that socially awkward person. I am that awkward and so self-conscious that I feel shy just talking to the neighbor. So it’s usually just a hi! I know if I’m a chit-chatty person I would have a lot of stories to tell them, but no, I am not.
But as a person who doesn’t regularly interact with people other than those who are in my house, I felt that I lost my ability to connect. It is still important to have a social circle. It doesn’t matter if you have a small circle, as long as they’re composed of people who always have your back.
I have four people that I regularly talk to – on Messenger (lol), these are all work from home moms who also can’t leave their house because of mommy duties. We get to laugh, talk nonsense things, share each other’s heartaches and problems, and even share recipes and stuff. We rarely get to see each other but that talk over Messenger can be helpful.
#7. Disconnect to Connect
An in relation to #6, Messenger won’t be enough. At times, you should go out to hang out with your real mom friends. It’s different when you have a meaningful conversation in person. And who knows, your friend might be needing physical company but won’t just admit it. You might just be that person who can lighten a mom’s day.
As a work from home mom, you get to take care of your home while you get to be around as your kid reaches different milestones. It’s already a great opportunity to be able to earn, and at the same time, be with your family. But, don’t be hard on yourself. Take a break, once in a while and learn to look after yourself as well.