If you have worked at home for any period of time, you know it comes with its set of challenges. One of the challenges I struggled with when starting out (and still occasionally struggle with) is actually finding the time to work. There is always something that needs to be done around the house. We also want to be sure that we are spending time with our families. I mean, that’s the whole point, right?
So how do we find the time to fit in the work that needs to be done around everything else that we need to do? I am going on my seventh year of working from home and I think I have found a few solutions that have made it easier to do.
Wake Up Early
Over the years, I have found that my favorite time to get work done is before my kids wake up. That way, I have the entire day to spend with them. However, there were definitely periods when this was just not something that was possible. If you are the mom of a newborn, this may not be an option for you. Two of my three kids did not sleep through the night until they were well over a year old. They were waking up every 2-3 hours. During this time, I valued the little sleep I was able to get more than getting my work in before the kids were up. Now that all my kids are sleeping through the night again, I am planning to get back into this habit.
If your kids have a regular nap time, use this to your advantage. My youngest takes a 3 hour nap in the afternoon and I am able to get a lot done during this time. In fact, she is napping right now as I am typing this.
While They Are Eating
All of my kids LOVE food. Once a plate is put in front of them they are completely focused on that. I love to work while they are eating breakfast because I know they are not getting up from the table. I can usually get in a good 30 minutes of work during this time. Better yet, my youngest (and the one that needs constant supervision) will sometimes take longer to eat. I will send the older kids to get dressed and ready for the day (which they can do independently) while I continue to work while the little one continues to eat.
Enlist The Help Of Family
I cannot say enough how important my family has been to my success as a work at home mom. There is at least one day a week that I like to get extra work done. I will usually ask my mother-in-law to come over on a day that is mutually beneficial to entertain the kids for a while. This has been a a true blessing. For us, it ends up being a win-win because I get to work while grandma gets to spend time with the kids. If you don’t have family nearby, find some friends that are willing to help or arrange a child care swap.
This is my least favorite time to work, but there are times when I have needed to do work after the kids go to bed. Usually, I use this time to relax and spend time with my husband. After a long day of taking care of the kids and managing the house, I am drained and the last thing I want to do is work. I am sure many of you feel the same, so I would suggest using this as a last resort only.
As moms, we are constantly being pulled in 10 different directions at once. Trying to fit work into our already packed days can seem overwhelming. Once we determine the times of day that work best for us, we can put together a work schedule that complements our family life.
I would love to hear how you organize your day! Please share in the comments below.