Almost two years ago, I became a mom to twins and, subsequently, felt like my work from home writing business was one day away from complete and total destruction.
I’m not trying to be dramatic. I still find it hard to believe that my business made it through those early days after my twins’ birth. There I was trying to turn in posts on time, talk to clients, and answer emails all while cleaning up the never-ending baby vomit and being up at all hours of the night.
Slowly but surely, though, the clouds parted, and I started finding my way. I learned how to allocate my time, outsourced what I didn’t want to do, and got more organized.
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Over time, I’ve connected with other successful work-from-home moms, and I noticed all of them shared some of the same tips for success. Here they are below:
Pay for Someone to Clean Your House
This is going to be a tough one for many moms. For some reason, many of us feel as though this is “our territory.” So to pay someone else to do this feels like admitting failure or acknowledging that we can’t “do it all.”
I used to be one of those moms who did not want to shell out cash for a housekeeper, and every time my husband made a comment about the “cluttered house,” it would lead to an argument. Finally, I decided to hire someone, and after the first day of coming home to a sparkling clean house, I was hooked.
I’m not alone. Lauren Greutman, mother of four and blogger at I Am That Lady, writes, “Every week I have a housecleaner come and scrub my entire house, and at first I felt guilty, but now I consider it part of my business plan … I consider that one decision, one of the best investments I can make.”
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Don’t Work While Watching Your Kids
I’ve learned over time that while working from home is great for flexibility, it doesn’t mean you should work and watch your kids at the same time.
Think about it. If you have to really focus on a task, no one is watching your kids. If you’re enjoying your kids and having a dance party, no one is working.
If you try to do both simultaneously, something is not going to be done well, and I don’t know about you, but I love doing both my work and my parenting to the best of my ability.
Stop trying to answer emails while bouncing a baby on your lap. Do one or the other. It took me way too long to realize this, so I hope it helps you!
Preparation Is Everything
My day starts the night before. I know what I’m going to wear. I have the diapers, wipes, and fresh clothes set out for my kids. I even set out what I want to make for breakfast.
So, if I’m going to be having eggs with avocados, I line the avocados up on the counter. If I’m going to be making waffles, I line up the baking soda, sugar, and flour.
I also do my best to pick up the house, start a load of laundry, and wipe down the counters before bed. My husband is great about cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes at night. I also set the coffee pot up so it automatically brews in the morning.
It’s very important for you to know that I was not always this way! Before I developed my current efficient routine, I did spent many mornings stumbling around looking for a pack of wipes for the babies at five in the morning, wearing pajamas all day long, and stepping on tiny toys in the middle of the night.
On the days I let something slip, it’s extremely noticeable the next day. It takes me about 15-30 minutes each night to make sure I’m set up for success the following day. This helps me to at least wake up, change, and trudge my way to the coffee pot.
After two years of trial and error, balancing being a mom with being a work from home entrepreneur, I feel confident that if you incorporate the above three tips into your life, you’ll start to feel more successful and more in control of your day and less stressed — and by extension, in control of your personal and professional future.