Many of us dream of working from home, as this seems ideal for a mom who wants to juggle work and family duties at the same time. You can work in your pajamas, you’re there for your children (and not miss out on any developmental milestones), you’re able to manage the home, and you earn money. It’s like it was made with moms in mind, specifically.
It does sound like the perfect game plan — except it isn’t.
As with any work setup — whether that be at home or in the office — unless you set some ground rules, it surely will not work.
For one, kids and work don’t mix—unless kids are part of your work. Kat, a mom of two, says from experience, “If you work from home at ikaw din ang yaya, you really need to set a time for work without distractions.” She adds, “And since you’re so comfy with the set-up at home, it can be hard to start your day right away.”
Mom of three May says the biggest challenge for her as a work-at-home mom is “to keep my sanity” while wearing two (three? seven?) different hats as a homeschooling mom and stage mom, too.
Mistakes moms commit that make working from home difficult
They don't have a dedicated workplace.
Ideally, your work area should be an enclosed space with a door (more of this below). Having a dedicated work space helps you be more organized and keep all your documents, supplies, and computer in one area. It's also a way to enforce discipline and remind yourself to be on work mode.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
They don't make an agreement with their kids.
Wena, who does freelance writing while taking care of her 7-year-old, knows it’s hard to resist her son Jacob when he asks her to play with him.
“I spoke to him and told him I have to work so I can earn money and buy our favorite food. He knows that I should not be disturbed when I’m inside the room working on the computer.”
Jeff, on the other hand, puts up a sign on his door so that his kids know he is working and needs to concentrate.
They don't plan the day ahead.
Use apps and make lists so that your work flows smoothly. Tasks that require you to go to establishments like banks or offices are best done in the morning before the traffic gets worse. Calls are ideally made after (not in the middle of) a task so you don’t lose your momentum, and many freelancers I know choose to check and answer e-mails at the end of the day.
Because you’re not in a hurry to get somewhere (as you would be if you were coming from the office and heading home), it may be tempting to keep working and try to be productive when you’re home. This, however, defeats the purpose of his set-up. Stop when you’re supposed to, and set clear boundaries between time for work and for your family.
They get distracted.
Sure, there’s the dishes that need to be washed, and the clothes that are waiting to be placed in the dryer. Before you know it, however, almost half of the day is gone and you haven’t accomplished anything. Put your priorities in order. Proper time management and, again, planning, is key.
CONTINUE READING BELOW
They neglect themselves.
One of the downsides of working from home is that you are by yourself (okay, you do have your kids there with you too), but this could eventually lead to boredom if you remain in the same environment each and every time. Give yourself a break. Take a leisurely walk, have lunch outside, schedule a day to work from a “coffice” (coffee shop/office). The new surroundings may be the refreshing change you need to keep yourself sane.