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Tips For Work at Home Moms

Hampton Roads Moms’ contributor, Jessa shares tips on how she balances work and her two children being a Work from Home Mom.

Becoming a Work at Home Mom

I remember being interviewed when my daughter was only four weeks old.

I had found a job soon after it was listed, and jumped on the opportunity. I was hired soon after, and was thrilled to work full time. My husband and I found a sitter close to where I worked, and there were other little ones that she could grow with — everything was falling into place. I loved my new job, but soon a big part of me needed more time at home with my daughter.

A few months into my new job, I got pregnant with my son. My husband and I decided that after he was born it would be a good time for me to transition to fewer hours in the office, and more hours at home.

I am blessed to work at a job that prioritizes family time. I submitted my proposal to work in the office two days a week, and work from home twice a week. But with that proposal came a huge adjustment!

How do you juggle being a stay-at-home AND a work-from-home mom?

My first day working from home was a MEGA disaster. I sat down at my desk, computer open and ready to go, and looked over to my 17 month old daughter and 3 month old son. How in the world was I going to log an eight hour day while entertaining these two??

Let me assure you, it was a bumpy road. But I can confidently say that we have found our rhythm now and enjoy the dynamic very much. So, how do I do it?

Create a Schedule

Set aside clear “work” times and “home” times.

What does that even mean, right? When my lap top is out, whether we’re inside or outside, I’ve communicated to my kids that this means mommy is working and they need to entertain themselves for a few minutes.

No, that doesn’t mean mommy-mode switches off and they play completely unsupervised.

It does mean don’t come to me screaming just because your brother touched you. We’ve talked about how important it is for Mommy to have some time un-bothered to work. It’s not going to work every time without fail, but by communicating my expectations to them, I’ve seen a noticeable difference.

Reward your Kids

Entice your kids to let you work by rewarding them.

Do your kids have a favorite type of toy that they don’t get to use much?  Do they love to watch Moana on repeat, but you beat yourself up for letting them have any screen time?

How about this: I give you permission to let your kids watch Moana while you get some work done! Better? Moms, it’s okay. It’s okay to bring out that tablet or game system for an hour while you meet that deadline. If you prefer your kids not watch cartoons for that hour, I recommend the GoNoodleKids app or GoNoodleKids.com.

It turns screen time into active time, and even has videos to help with transitions throughout the day (fussy kids at nap time anybody?).

Stay organized.

This one might be a no-brainer for some of us perfectionists, but I have to stress the importance of this one.

It’s hard trying to keep your deadlines straight, along with bill payments, the grocery list, meal plan, and upcoming playdates.

Download one of these free planners to help you keep those balanced, and BOLD your priorities so you don’t lose track!

If staying organized means you need some more hands on deck, then don’t hesitate to ask for help! Find a sitter to watch your kids while you wrap your mind around things. Ask another SAHM to watch your kids today, and promise to watch all the kids when she needs some time away. There’s no shame in using your tribe.

Make “Me” Time

Find a way to level your work time with “me” time.

This tends to fall through the cracks with us moms. We come last, almost always.

We’re the last to eat, the last to shower, the last to make it out the door on time. Don’t let that be the case when it comes to taking some time for you. Spend some time with friends.

Go get coffee by yourself. Join a moms group (Hampton Roads Moms — cough cough). Search your area online or via Facebook for more clubs in your area.

Kudos to you, mama, for not only being a stay-at-home mom but for being a work-from-home mom too. We’re in this together!

Meet Jessa

Jessa Hillmann is a native of Hampton Roads. She and her husband have lived in Newport News for five years, where they also had their two children –ages two and three.  Her husband works in Law Enforcement, which gives Jessa unique insight into the challenges of being a mother of two, a wife, and working part time. Jessa has a Bachelors of English with a concentration in Writing from Christopher Newport University. Besides being a mom, Jessa enjoys gardening, crafting, and organizing. You can follow her playful tweets about Motherhood on Twitter at @jessacorinne.  

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