Working from home while taking care of your kids sounds like a great idea, right? You have all day to spend with your kiddos and still get to have a career. And if you’re really rocking it, you can squeeze in a workout and make home-cooked meals from scratch.
But if you’re like me, the reality of being a WAHM often is a lot different than the dream. There are days when trying to do #allthethings means you are running around putting out fires everywhere and getting nothing done. Not only is this not the way you want to raise your kids, it’s also a tough way to try to grow a business!
Start planning like a boss… a #momboss
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
If you’re trying to run your home and your business without having a plan, you’re working so much harder than you need to be! Set aside an hour once a week and write down your plans for the next week.
Using a planner will help you keep everything straight. I love my Ink & Volt planner for its open format. I can use it basically any way that I want. Bullet journals are also great because they can be customized to your needs.
Meal plan for life
Trying to make meals on the fly is just a recipe for disaster for me (get it?). These little people running around just want to be fed all.the.time. Having to think about what to feed them while they are losing their minds with hunger just raises the stress level for everyone.
Take 20 to 30 minutes and write down every meal you’ll make that week. Plan on having a few lunches from the night before’s leftovers. I love to use a Pinterest board to keep all of that week’s recipes in so I’m not scrambling to find a recipe when dinner is already supposed to be in the oven.
Pro tip: write up your grocery list as you make your meal plan. You’ll never have to wander aimlessly around the grocery store again… or make a trip every day because you forgot something.
Set yourself free with time blocking
Working from home often feels like being pulled in a thousand different directions. That’s a recipe for stress and overwhelm, mama!
Time blocking has seriously changed my life! I literally block out parts of my day for all the different hats I wear. It frees me to concentrate on one thing at a time without feeling guilty about.
My time blocks include time for family, personal (a.k.a. self-care), marketing, client work, and ministry. I write my to do lists for each item inside its block. I also color code my planner so I can tell with a quick glance what area I am supposed to be focusing on.
When it’s date night with my husband, I don’t feel guilty for not checking my email or responding to Facebook posts. I know that time is reserved for him.
Pro tip: make sure to write down your self-care and personal development activities, too. It will keep you from constantly putting yourself on the back burner…
Get your kids in a routine
I know, it’s so much more fun when your kids can just run free and do whatever they want, whenever they want. But keeping a balance between your business and home life means that everyone needs some boundaries.
A routine doesn’t mean you have to do the same things every day at the same time. It just means that you have a flow to your days. For us (my kids are 1 & 2), we get up, have breakfast, and my kids play while I do the dishes, drink my coffee, and check my email. I don’t have to tell them that’s what we’re doing because everyone just knows. It lets me get things done… and drink coffee while it’s still hot!
If you’re a fly by the seat of your pants kind of a mom, take some time to think about how you’d like your days to go. What do you need to do every day? What do you want to do every day? How much do you want to work? How much do you want to hang out with your kids and husband?
Then wake up tomorrow and stick to your flow. Listen, I know as moms our days rarely go exactly as we planned them. That would be a miracle. So think of this more of a framework for your day than an exact schedule.
Just do it!
If you aren’t a planner at all, this will take some time to get used to. But stick with it for a couple of weeks. Give everyone some time to adjust. And then watch the stress slowly disappear!