With more and more people working from home with the current climate, moms are having to juggle it all – but how can you balance mom life with work?
I’m about to give you some tips and tricks that I’ve learned in the past year whilst working at home with my baby.
Let’s get started…
1) Get crystal clear
Mom brain fog is a thing. Is it any wonder when these little creatures suck the brain cells out of us all day with their never ending questions and requests?
If you’re not clear on what you need to get done, when you do have a free moment scheduled, you’ll be scratching your head wondering what to do next.
So, before you make any moves, write out your goals, every last detail then break them down into actionable steps.
It’s one thing to set goals, it’s another to know how to achieve them!
This productivity planner is amazing for getting clear on your goals, then dividing them into months, weeks and days.
It includes a section to create your vision board, and blank pages in the back to brain dump with.
2) Plan out your days
Figure out when you’ll be most needed to do mom things, and when you’ll get a chance to work.
For example, I know that in hte mornings I can get away with a bit of work whilst watching the kids because it’s the time of the day that they’re most likely to play on their own.
If you think about it, most kids get up with an incredible amount of energy – so much so it takes endless cups of coffee to keep up with – so make the most of it! Let them pick what they’d like to play with and let them know that you’re working.
Whereas dinner time is a complete no-go for me. Kids are getting tired, asking for dinner and I’m multi-tasking everything.
3) Determine how long each task takes
Otherwise known as time blocking, figuring out how each task takes you to complete in the day can give you more control over how your day pans out.
I used to really struggle with the dinner-bath-bed routine until I realized it takes me 2 hours or more to complete it – then I planned accordingly!
I also used to think I could write a blog post in a couple of hours – and maybe I could if I were interrupted! But I learned that the big tasks need breaking down.
Obviously this doesn’t apply to everything – I’m not expecting you to write out in what order you want to do the laundry, but
4) Do the prep work
You know what they say – failing to prepare is…you guessed it, preparing to fail.
If you have a zoom meeting or a client call, know what you need to get ready beforehand so you’re not fumbling last minute with kids at your feet.
Having a list when you go to do the food shopping according to what you will cook for the week, having set days for mass laundry and other cleaning tasks – all will help you get into tthe mindset of work when you have to work.
In the same way, ask your kids how they would like to spend time with you when you’re not working – they will learn to differenciate ‘work time’ from ‘mommy play time’ and ultimately develop a better relationship with you.
5) Independent play
If there is one thing that has helped me actually get anything done for more than a few minutes at a time, it’s independent play.
All this means is that given some interesting materials and toys, your kids can learn to occupy themselves for a little while!
You can start from when they’re babies – the sooner the better! I’m not saying start leaving your newborn on their own, always be within reach but allow them to explore, roll and play around on their mat without always laying down with them.
To do this, you’ll obviously need toys that actually stimulate them, not just amuse them for 10 minutes before they toss them aside.
The best kind of toys are Montessori as they encourage the child to think for themselves and solve problems.
For example, sensory toys are a great way to spark children’s imagination and help them develop practical skills:
That said, even cups and a water bowl can do as a great activity – my daughter (18 months at time of writing) LOVES this! But you’ll have to be prepared by putting a plastic mat and towels down, etc.
Be prepared for mess! It’s how they learn best, by exploring. Help them learn how to do something then leave them to do it on their own.
This book is a great place to start for some more ideas:
8) Allocate break times
Brain fog accumulates when you’ve been concentrating (or trying to) on one thing for a good amount of time. You might feel exasperated because you just can’t get your thoughts together or your head clear.
Give yourself mini breaks during the day to mentally unwind before starting again.
I know, I know, I can hear you screaming – ‘what break with my kids?’
Listen up, if you put a little show on for them so they’ll be quiet for ten minutes, it’s not going to ruin their life. Neither is giving them a snack so they’ll leave you in peace.
Ignore the temptation to clear up the mess.
I believe that one really important takeaway is to choose your battles! Which do you prefer, using what’s left of your energy to argue it out with them or letting it go and living in peace?
I vote for the latter.
9) Get up early
Admittedly, this is not for everyone. Personally at the moment I’m going through a phase where I’m finding it harder than ever – then again I am pregnant with a toddler.
BUT the days and weeks in which I did get up even just an hour before everyone else, I felt way more accomplished.
You don’t have to jump in and do work right away, I like to start with a bit of stretching or meditation (quiet time).
Use this time to plan out what you need to get done during the day, any thoughts you may have swimming round in your head – anything goes.
10) Get rid of energy draining chores
If there’s one thing that all us moms are tired of, it’s consistently knowing what the heck to feed our children day in, day out – am I right?
Brainstorm on a piece of paper, how you can make this any easier. I know that when I want to get some work down and my toddler goes down for an early nap, I’m kicking myself when I don’t have something ready to go.
Instead I have to use my precious work time to cook.
Think how you can solve what I call ‘energy drainers’ like this – can your partner chip in a few days a week? Can you make them in the evening?
Energy drainers is something we look at in the first training in my Restore and Re-awaken Wellness Program, where we work on taking you from overwhelmed to thriving in your role as a mother and a woman.
11) Focus on the positives
Last but not least – give yourself grace. Juggling home and work life all in one go is no easy feat!
Celebrate the small wins.
Pat yourself on the back if you made it through the day without losing your patience.
Pat yourself on the back anyway even if you didn’t.
We need to stop being so hard on ourselves and hold kindness for ourselves as we would a friend,so even when you didn’t get through everything you wanted to on your list, you still did a great job.