10 In Motherhood

Tips For Working From Home From A New WAHM

I never in a million years thought I would actually be able to work from home. And when that dream became a reality, there was quite the adjustment period. I’d gone from working in an agency setting, in my own office (with a door!), and Adeline in daycare 5 full days a week, to working from my living room and keeping Adeline home with me 1-2 days a week. I knew it would be a tough balancing act, but I also knew it would be worth it. I’ve learned quite a few things about working from home over the past few months and have finally gotten into a solid groove I think. I get asked often how I like working from home, how I function on the days I keep Adeline home with me, and what it’s like, etc. So, I thought I’d share my tips and insights!

tips for working from home as a mom

Get Ready For The Day

My first tip is to actually get ready for the day! Get your lazy butt out of those pajamas you’ve been wearing for five days, put on a cute-ish outfit, do your makeup (a little bit goes a long way!), and brush your hair. Getting ready for the day always makes me feel SO much more productive, and in the right state of mind to really focus on my day. Plus, if I’ve got any video meetings, it’s nice to sometimes not look like I just rolled out of bed. At least my top half!

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Coffee, Lots of Coffee

If you’re used to working from an office, and you need a cup of coffee to survive, then buy some coffee you’re excited about at home, and brew you a cup every morning. I’m always excited for my first cup of coffee – it’s like the official start to my day.

Fresh Flowers And Set The Scene

Making your workspace an inviting space, no matter how small, is so important! Working from home can be really distracting at times, btu having a designated space to focus and do your work is key. I’m definitely guilty of ending up on the couch with Netflix on quietly in the background, but most days I try to sit at my desk or at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee, my planner, and some fresh flowers. My most recent bouquet was from ProFlowers and out of their fall collection. There’s nothing more cheerful than adding a little color to your workspace! Especially when you feel like you’ve been staring at your messy house all day!

how to work from home tips

pro flowers fall collection

Take Advantage of Headphones

Even if you’re home alone, (like on the days when Adeline goes to daycare) I still like to use headphones sometimes to cancel out all the little noises. Things like dogs barking, the AC, the temptation to turn on the tv, are all much less distracting when you put on headphones, and turn on some music to concentrate to. Plus, if you’re doing a lot of video meetings or conference calls through your computer, headphones can be a lifesaver.

Find Your Organization…Early

I figured out very early on that I needed to figure out how I was going to keep myself organized. Working independently from others requires so much self-discipline! My main forms of organization are google calendar, and my color coordinated gmail. I would die without both! And my planner of course, but most of my day to day work tasks get jotten down on my computer, and more big picture things, and personal to-do’s end up in my planner. It is so important to figure out what works best for you, and figure that out as soon as possible so it’s not a nightmare trying to do it later!

Write Down Goals For The Day, Every Day

I have Stickies pulled up on my computer most days with a quick list of mental must do’s. Kind of like a brain dump. I flesh them out more in other places, but I like to consider this my goal list for the day. Every morning when I open my computer, the first thing I do is jot everything down that I know needs to get done before I forget.

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Set Only One House Related Goal a Day and Do It

I think everyone thinks that because I work from home, I can also do chores all day and my house should always be clean. WRONG! Some days I’m sitting at my computer from 8:00 AM straight to noon. Other days I have a few minutes here and there when I can hop up and throw a load of laundry on, vacuum the living room, or do a quick sink full of dishes. Either way, every day I try to make sure I accomplish at least ONE house related goal to keep myself from not feeling too guilty about being home all day and “not getting anything done.” After all, I am working from home, and if I were in an office, I wouldn’t have the chance to do these things anyways.

Playpen + Cheerios + Sesame Street = Do What You Gotta Do

On the days when I do keep Adeline home with me, I try not to feel so bad about doing what it takes to manage it all. It’s often times pretty chaotic, but a delicate balance of the playpen (more recently just sectioning off our living room), cheerios/puffs, and Sesame Street, have been the magical equation. I only keep A home with me on days when my work load isn’t quite as hectic, I don’t have a lot of meetings, and I know I’ll have enough brain capacity and attention to do both mom duty and work duty. I’ve been blessed with a pretty good napper, so that helps too! You just do what you gotta do, and even if that means letting her consume half a bottle of puffs so she’s quiet while I’m on a call, I’m still getting to spend an extra day with her and that far outweighs the guilt I feel about the puffs and a little extra Elmo time! Ha!

Make Nap Times Your Best Mom Boss Times

Speaking of being blessed with a good napper (most days), making nap times your most productive times of the day will be a lifesaver. Don’t be tempted to turn on the TV and catch up on a show in the background, turn it off, and get stuff done! Lately, Adeline has been taking a two hour late morning nap, and at least an hour late afternoon nap. As soon as she goes down, I make sure I get as much done as I possibly can. Total mom boss mode.

Lose The Mom Guilt

Going back to the mom guilt thing, it can definitely make you feel guilty working ony our computer AND trying to pay attention to a needy 13 month (almost 14 month!) old. But just keeping in mind the big picture – that you’re working to help provide for your family, you’re showing your kid what hard work looks like, and you’re being a total boss babe by being an amazing kick butt mom at the same time.

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Set Strict Hours

Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean you can’t have office hours! (Depending on the day’s needs of course!) Try to make sure when you’re husband gets home from work, or you pick up your kiddo from daycare/school, that you’re “clocking out”. You don’t want to start feeling like your home is ONLY your office!

Workout At Night To Sweat Off The Day

If you can, save a little gas in the tank to put in a good workout at the end of day. Or at the beginning of the day if you’re an early riser. I have really found that making myself go to the gym 3 nights a week after Adeline goes to bed, makes me feel SO much better after sitting on my butt all day on the couch or in a not so comfortable chair.

Embrace The Chaos

Lastly, embrace the chaos on the days when it’s you and baby. If getting a project done means letting Adeline pull all of the cups out of the cupboard, then so be it. Try not to panic when your living room looks like a hurricane swept through it and instead embrace it, focus on your work, and pick up before you go to bed.

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What would you add to the list? How do you manage your day working from home with a little one? Would you even want to?

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Heather @Lunging Through Life
    December 6, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Love all these things! She’s lucky to stay home with you, playpen, cheerios and Seseme Street and all! 🙂
    Heather @Lunging Through Life recently posted…Compound Moves Full Body Workout {30 Minutes}My Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 19, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      Haha it really isn’t that bad of a setup, as chaotic and hectic as it can be!

  • Reply
    Jana @ Happy Wife Healthy Life
    December 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Such great tips Sarah!! Where I struggle the most really is getting ready for the day – I am SO bad at this! I go to the gym at around noon so it’s hard for me to get dressed before, and then by the time I get home I sometimes don’t see the point of getting ready in late afternoon! This is such a hard subject for me lol! I do feel so much better though when I get ready and feel put-together. I get a lot more done!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 19, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      So true! That would be a tough struggle for sure!! I have a hard time getting ready when I know I’m going to work out at some point during the day as well! And just knowing I won’t SEE anyone during the day, always makes it really tempting to not wash my hair for like 3 days, hahaha!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Live Half Full
    December 6, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    These are great tips! I keep Buel home with me occasionally and honestly I’m lucky that I can prioritize my deadline so Friday is a bit of a “coast” day. But yesterday I had to work from home because he’s sick and it worked out! Nap time, kids’ Netlfix (he’s obsessed with Word Party) and snacks helped!
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    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 19, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      Ohh what is Word Party?! I need to look that up!! And yes yes yes, LOTS of snacks, ha!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot
    December 7, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Great tips! I hope to be able to stay home and work when I have children so these tips will come in handy!
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    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 19, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks Heather!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    December 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Wow, these are great tips! While I “work from home” for my photography stuff, I still don’t truly count that as my real job and it’s really only a part time thing. These are great tips even for moms who stay home though. I am so guilty of not getting ready for the day and just staying in PJs for the whole morning. Oops!
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    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 19, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks! And yes! Staying in pjs all morning is sooooo tempting, and I’m guilty of it too, but then I always end up feeling so unproductive!

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