It’s officially the end of August, which means it’s back-to-school time! For all you working moms out there, you might be breathing a sigh of relief. It’s tricky enough staying focused while working from home, but adding one or more kids into the mix can make it feel next to impossible. Whether you’re a new mom juggling an infant and a day job or a seasoned mom of multiple little ones, it takes some serious effort and planning! We’ve rounded up some tips from our favorite work-at-home mamas to help you plan your day and make life a little easier!
1. Set up Play Stations to Entertain Young Babies.
“When the baby is small (before they start crawling), set up play stations around the room before you start working. Then, you can move them from spot to spot every 15 minutes when they get bored, without having to completely walk away from your work and lose your train of focus. We had a bouncer station, a rainforest jungle gym station, a mini “fort” with a colorful blanket to stare at and a 4moms Rocker to rotate between! When the rotation was done, we’d take a break to walk outside, eat or nap, then start again.” —Katherine Oyer, AislePlanner
2. Set a Schedule That Works for You.
“I have learned that a structured work schedule and routine is crucial for me and our family. When realizing this was how I work best, I created a weekly schedule breaking down each and every hour of my day. This has now become the holy grail in my life and has elevated all the unneeded stress and guilt of ‘working too much.’ I pack the kids’ lunches the night before during the week and dedicate my weekends to meal planning and grocery shopping. I’m hoping to add in meal prepping to my Sundays soon. Before starting this routine, I would get so stressed about what to make for dinner and then realize what sounded good was going to take eight hours to cook instead of one. This has also helped us save money and eat out less.” —Brittani Rose, Brittani Rose Paper
3. Separate “Work” Time from “Mom” Time.
“One of the most important things you can do as a work-from-home mom is to give yourself dedicated ‘work’ time and dedicated ‘mom’ time. During the week, I have a part-time babysitter who helps me so that I can have a few hours to focus on work. On Fridays, I am 100 percent on ‘mom’ time. I might check my emails in the morning, but other than that, I plan a fun outing with my kiddos and focus on just being with them. Giving myself these designated times helps me fight away the mom/entrepreneur guilt where I feel like I’m failing at both jobs.” —Julia Wheeler, Gunn & Swain
4. Take Advantage of Naps.
“During nap time, I power through the things I feel are hardest to do while my baby is awake and save the things I can come back to for when he’s awake that are easier to handle like emails and short phone calls.” —Regina Moomjean, Pigment
5. Lean on Other Moms.
“Playdates! On light works days, we watch friends’ kids and get crazy, and on days I need help, I lean on other mothers to take mine for the day. Also, get passes to fun places for older kids with lots have Wi-Fi, so you can sit in a chair and watch them get all their energy out while you work—it’s brilliant!” —Jill Fausner, Layered Vintage
6. Get Creative with Entertainment.
“I normally try to get my daughter working on an activity that she can do independently—coloring, Play-Doh or water colors paired with lots and lots of snacks and juice. I set up my laptop so she feels like I’m still playing alongside her.” —Tiffany Garcia, Witty Rentals
7. Create a Designated “Mama” Workspace.
“Build yourself a beautiful space that you love to be in to work. Make sure it’s free and clear of kid stuff and clutter. As they get older, teach your kids that this is “mom’s workspace” and it’s off limits to sticky hands. Pick out your favorite chair, organize your desk with cute accessories and add fresh flowers. Having a designated space will make getting work done feel that much more productive.” —Samantha Welker, Glitter Guide
8. If All Else Fails, Get a Nanny.
Some kids, some living situations just make it impossible to get work done. If your kids aren’t off to school this season and you’re unable to remove the distractions, it’s time to bring in the big guns. Sometimes, sending the kids to daycare or bringing in house help really is the best option for your family.
Being a mama is busy enough, but adding a part-time or full-time job into the mix can be chaos. Find what works best for you and stick with it!