Being a mom is already a tough job. Add in your responsibilities as an employee, however, and it can sometimes feel like it never ends. The Job Crystal crew is made up of many moms from all different walks of life who have had to adjust to working and raising their little ones at the same time. Here are our top 13 tips for keeping sane while working from home, by moms, for moms.
1. Lock your doors
It’s the easiest way to make sure that you don’t get interrupted in the middle of a meeting by kids, pets, or partners.
2. Set up a video background
House in chaos? Have a designated spot in the house with a neat or neutral background so you don’t have to worry about what others are seeing. Failing that, most video conferencing platforms have options to add digital backgrounds to hide whatever you don’t want to show.
3. Mute your mic
If you’re worried your kids might be noisy in the next room, mute your mic when you’re not speaking. It might not be an ideal solution, but it will make you feel less anxious if it does get noisy.
4. Create charts
Your kids are still learning boundaries and to think beyond their own wants and needs, so creating charts to remind them of your working rules and to communicate when you need to work without interruptions can be helpful.
5. Prepare snacks and drink stations
Tired of getting interrupted for snacks and drinks? Prep some simple snacks the night before and have them pre-packaged and nearby for when your kids are hungry. Also set up a station where your kids can help themselves to water if they’re thirsty.
6. Drop them off at school as early as possible
Not only will your kids be able to get extra time to play with their friends, but you’ll get extra time to work in peace and quiet.
7. Send your kids to a playcentre for a few hours
If there is something you need to get done urgently, it’s a great way to give yourself a gap to work uninterrupted. And the kids will have fun (and get tired out!) too.
8. Talk to your employer about flexitime
Are there certain times in your day that are crazy? Talk to your employer about your hours. Most remote employers will be willing to accommodate you and let you work the hours you are available.
9. Have activities planned
There are so many resources for colouring pages, spot the difference pictures, crosswords, word searches, and any number of other fun activities out there online. Have a few printed out and ready to go when you need to give your kids something fun to do.
10. Network with other moms
Get to know other moms in the area or through your kid’s school. Not only will you be able to share advice and support, but it could be helpful to set up a playdate system where one mom takes the kids one day, another takes them the next day, and so on.
11. Make special time for them
Take some time in your day to focus completely on your kids without work interrupting. They need the reassurance that they are still priority. Giving them your undivided attention when you can, also makes them less likely to demand it when you’re trying to concentrate later.
12. It takes a village
Know your support system. Do you have sisters, brothers, parents, or friends who can help you out for a few hours every now and then? Whether it’s somewhere to vent, advice, or just to create a few hours of time where you can work uninterrupted, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
13. Take a break!
It’s also important to make time for yourself. It’s so easy to become so consumed by work and making sure that everyone else is taken care of, that you can forget to take care of yourself. Burnout is a very real danger and often happens without us realising it. You can’t pour from an empty tank, so find time in your day to do something that fills you. Whether it’s crafting, watching series, exercising, reading, or just taking a long bubble bath, you need time to unwind and focus on yourself.
You’re doing the hardest job in the world while holding down another job and that’s a huge feat! It’s always a learning process and no one gets it 100% perfect. Be kind to yourself and take stock of your achievements. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and help you, and always be honest with yourself when you can’t do it alone. You’re doing a great job. Now, go put your feet up for a while – you’ve earned it! 😊
Happy Mothers’ Day!