More and more mothers nowadays decide to work from home and raise their child at the same time. This is very demanding and requires good organisational skills so one can excel in both duties. Another problem you might encounter is creating enough space for a home office and separating it from your living area and personal life. Usually having an office at home is a bit of a challenge for anyone, not just the mothers, and hopefully these tips will help you fit it all together perfectly.
1. Make sure you are ready
When you decide to be a working mom, don’t rush into things, but sit down and talk to your partner about how to organise your home office. Try to balance the responsibilities at home with your work. If your kids are going to school, sit down with them, too, and explain the situation. The idea is to let them know about the home office and your schedule, as well as to explain to them that their support is important to you, but that you’ll still be there to see them off to school and prepare lunch. Lastly, make sure you can handle such a busy schedule and be successful in both areas.
2. Organize child care
A babysitter is a perfect solution for those days when you’re swamped with work. There are several solutions besides paying for babysitting services. You can ask their grandparents, a family member, friend or a neighbour to take care of your child for a few hours. This is good because the child is already familiar with them and you know that they’re in good hands. If your child is old enough for kindergarten, make sure you have their schedule in front of you and that you know about all the upcoming activities, so you don’t get lost in your work and forget.
3. Select your office space
The best place to have a working space is somewhere with lots of natural light and where you can have privacy, if possible. You can use some plaster boards or folding doors to separate your office from the rest of your home, even some shelves can serve as improvised walls. If you have an attic or basement, consider renovating it to become your office space since that will really give you almost all the necessary conditions to work undisturbed. In small apartments, it’s best to adjust to the space rather than try to create a separate office, for example use folding desks or place your office in the corner of the room.
4. Make room
Probably the hardest thing for you will be to prepare the space to create an office without usurping the household members’ spaces or disrupting the everyday routine you have as a mother. First things first, decide what stays and what goes. This is something you’ve probably already done when preparing to become parents but now it has to be repeated. You don’t have to throw anything out. You can give away old clothes and toys. As far as bigger stuff is concerned, you will probably have to place them in a mobile storage or a similar container. For example, you can use toy boxes and multipurpose furniture since that can save quite a bit of space.
5. Set the working hours
The most important thing with working at home is how you discipline yourself and organise your working hours. You have to shatter the image of being at home and possibility of leisure whenever the mood strikes you. So, for example, choose 9 am to 5pm for your working hours or even less, and stick to that schedule. In this way your clients will also know when to reach you, you will be done with your work and have the rest of the afternoon off to spend with your family, and still get that feeling of being a responsible employee.
6. Have technology at your disposal
Although landlines are becoming more obsolete every day, if you have one, consider separating it from your work phone number. Also, choose the best Internet package so you don’t fall behind with your tasks because of a slow connection. Be wise when it comes to printers, copiers and any other bulky devices which will take up too much space. If you don’t need to use them all the time, maybe the best choice is to go to the store and print or copy what you need. Also, having a one more cell phone number could be good for you, since you can turn it off after the workday is done, and go into after work mode.
It will be hard at first, but little by little you’ll get the hang of things and start juggling motherhood with work at home pretty successfully. The most important thing in anyone’s life is a supportive environment and persistence. Mix in some patience and soon enough you’ll be another accomplished woman in the world, ready to set a positive example for all future working mothers.
Do you have long term experience as a work at home mom? What are your tips? Leave them in the comments section below.
About the author:
Victoria is a lifestyle writer and a true home improvement and DIY fanatic in constant pursuit of trying something new. She’s in love with life, love, and self-love. Her fields of expertise include home decor, interior and exterior design, landscaping and walking a dog for miles and miles. Psychology is also a topic she likes to explore along with some nice cup of green tea, where she’s sometimes making a difficult decisions about which tea would be perfect for her next cup. You could say she’s an avid tea-drinker.