Before having R I was such a high performer. I worked multiple jobs at a time and clocked in more hours than I probably should have. But I loved it. I loved feeling accomplished at the end of my days.
Around the end of my pregnancy I started to slow down due to physical limits. I couldn’t be on my feet for too long, and walking and moving around caused a lot of discomfort. It was one of the most difficult things to accept during my pregnancy.
It is SO challenging trying to get anything done when you are the sole caregiver of your children. Yes, I know that statement should have been an obvious one, but I was naive. I thought I’d be running around like I was pre-baby and getting everything done while caring for R.
Little did I know that R adores being the center of attention…Should have seen that coming. I mean, he is my son!
When he is awake, he requires constant attention. His independent play at this stage is non-existent so that severely limit my ability to multitask. Plus, I try to be as present as I can while I’m with him so awake times are (attempted) work free zones. So, this means that what most people get done in 8 hours throughout the day, I do in about 4 during naps and after baby goes to bed (and with a glass of wine, or three).
Talk about fun, amirite?!
With all that being said, I still strive towards building a business that I can run from home while raising children. The older R gets, the more creative I have to be with my time and the better I have to be at staying focused and on task in order to get everything done. I talked about my time blocking and batch working methods on Instagram Stories last week and had lots of people ask me to share my schedule with them!
I can’t promise that it will work perfectly, or that it is the schedule that I will stick to forever, because lets be honest, we moms are never running on our own time schedule. No, we are prisoners to the tiny humans daily schedule which means, if they don’t want to nap one day, we don’t get our work done! C’est la vie 🙂 It’s a damn good thing they’re cute.
So here it is.
My tips for working from home as a mom by using time blocking and other techniques.
When Baby Sleeps, You work
This is the most important method I follow when trying to get work done. Almost anytime R is asleep, I am working. This allows me 1-2 hours at a time, sometimes more, when I can sit down and work uninterrupted. Anything I think of while he’s awake I will jot down and work on during the next nap. The best way to make this work is to batch work and plan ahead (talked about below).
This was something I learned about from Jenna Kutchers Podcast. Honestly, once I started implementing this my whole working life changed. I went from spending 40+ hours a week on blog and social media stuff, to maybe 25 hours a week. And I was actually getting more stuff done than I was before, in less time.
I batch my daily tasks into three categories where I know I need to be putting my energy into: Blog, Instagram, and Pinterest. I have a set of daily tasks which I will complete each day during the scheduled batching time.
By focusing on one area at a time, you are allowing your brain to fully commit to the tasks at hand. Your goal with batching is to create the least amount of bouncing around as possible.
When it comes down to my weekly tasks, I will batch them accordingly: All blog writing for the week will be completed during one scheduled blog time, Instagram photos and editing get done during the scheduled Instagram time, and any pin creations and new boards gets made during the pinterest time.
Leave nothing up to chance.
The biggest improvement I’ve made to working with a baby is time blocking and planning everything out. Everything I do in a day has been scheduled, otherwise I get distracted and when you are working with a limited amount of time you want to make sure you are taking full advantage of the time you have.
I have a chalkboard on the wall in our kitchen which I write my weekly tasks out on and plan when they’ll get done. Not only does this help keep me on track, it’ll also give me a visual of how much I’ve accomplished throughout the week. It is a huge motivator to see all the things that’ve done in a day!
Just remember, set realistic and attainable goals for yourself each day otherwise it’ll end up having the opposite effect.
If you are still in the newborn phase and your baby doesn’t ever want to be put down, baby wearing is going to be your saving grace. I wore R in the Ergo Baby carrier for the first month, at least, which would allow me to get stuff done around the apartment while still holding him. There are a ton of different baby carriers and wraps available so it’s worth testing some out to find which one you and your baby are most comfortable with.
Use Your Support System
I’m very lucky because I live very close (like, 5 minutes away, close) to my family. When my sister has days off, she will often come over to spend the day with me and R. This allows me a couple of hours where I can be with R but not have to tend to his every need. It is really a win-win situation. My sister gets her baby fix and I get some work done!
If you have anyone who is willing to come over for a little while so you can go out and get stuff done or spend sometime working from home, take them up on it. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in an hour when your only focusing on one task.
With these tips, some determination, and a lot of creativity, I’m able to end my days feeling so incredibly accomplished! I also love that I don’t have to sacrifice my time with R to get it all done. It is totally possible to work from home while taking care of a family. It’s all about how you balance it.
Good luck and happy working!
Talk soon xoxo