Are you taking care of your kids while trying to run a business from your home? Do you feel a little overwhelmed? You need to create a work from home schedule that actually works.
I feel you! Being a work at home mom is HARD. Not only are you juggling your career, but you’re also trying to make time for your kids and their needs, taking care of your home, AND spending time with your partner!
What I found helped me the most was creating a schedule. I know it sounds so silly and basic, but the truth is knowing each day what my time looks like has been a huge help. Schedules are not one size fits all, and can look vastly different from person to person! The most important thing to remember as you work to create yours: you need to create something that works for you AND your family.
Whether you work best with a firm schedule that is the same day to day, or with something that gives you a little more flexibility, creating a WAHM schedule will help! Having dedicated time that you’ve set aside for your business will not only help you feel less stressed, but will also help you set boundaries to protect not only your work time, but also the time you spend with your family.
So how do you actually go about doing this?
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Here are 5 Steps to Creating a Work From Home Schedule that Works!
Step 1: Map Out What Your Business Needs
Every business is different, but if yours brings in money for your family then you need to take a hard look at exactly how much time you need to dedicate to it, regardless of what your day might look like.
For some of us this might mean looking at an average workload. For others you might start by figuring out how much money you need to make each month to make ends meet. Some moms might need to work a ton to begin with if they’re just starting their business, while others might be able to take a little bit more of a backseat if it’s more established.
I’ve been lucky enough to work from home at least part time for much of my career, which means I’ve been able to figure out that I work best when I have carved out time to focus (also known as “time blocking”). Basically what this means is that I have dedicated time at the SAME time every day for work.
I’ve also learned the hard way that I work best when my hubby is not at home! So if I actually want to be productive and he happens to be at home that day, I need to lock myself in our bedroom or go work at a café.
Step 2: Figure Out What YOU Need
What do you need for yourself each week? No, not the kids: YOU. And don’t say you don’t need anytime, because if you’re not taking care of yourself you risk getting burned out. Burn out is a real thing, and can cause so many issues.
So spend a little time thinking about what self-care means to you. For me a big piece is having a dedicated day to myself, so every Thursday is “Mommy’s Work Day.” If I have outside meetings, I book them on this day. If I want to get my hair or nails done, I do it on a Thursday. If I just plain want to go to get Starbucks and go to Target by myself and wander aimlessly, you guessed it: I can do that on Thursday!
Step 3: Examine What Your Kids and Partner Need
Part of creating a work from home schedule that actually works is understanding what your family needs from you.
For many of us as moms, our days sometimes revolve around our kids’ needs and activities, especially when they’re young. In order to create a work from home schedule, it’s important to take some time thinking through what your children need from you each day.
My little guy is still pretty young, which means he basically needs me all the time! The biggest thing that has helped me be successful working from home is getting him on a fantastic daytime schedule. It’s been a huge help for my mental health!
I schedule my blocked work time around his nap time. Because Archer is on such a reliable schedule, I know that I have between 1.5-2 hours twice a day for uninterrupted work, in addition to being able to work after he goes to bed.
If you have older children, their needs might include driving them to and from school, or to different activities and helping with homework. You might be able to work while they’re at school, but know that when they come home you need to focus on them.
Also: don’t forget about your partner! Making sure you build time into your schedule each day for dedicated time with your person is unbelievably important. In this season of our lives our “together” time most days happens after the little guy goes to bed. We have dinner together and then spend the rest of the night hanging out.
Step 4: Write Up a Few Versions of Your Schedule
Write up what a daily and weekly schedule would look like. Carve out time for your business, your children, your partner and yourself.
Feel like there’s just not enough hours in the day? You’re not alone! Even though there might be days where your schedule goes perfectly, there are also going to be those days where it feels like everything goes to hell in a hand basket. Which leads me to the last step.
Step 5: Give Yourself Grace
Moms everywhere, regardless of whether they work from home or not, have rough days. When it feels like everything is going wrong, pause and give yourself a little bit of a break. Remember that you’re doing the best that you can, and that creating a schedule that really works for your family is going to be a process!
Need a little extra help? Here are a few suggestions for finding a few more hours in your day:
*Hire a babysitter, take part in a nanny share, or see if you and another mom can trade off watching each other’s kids 1 day a week! I get that spending money while you’re trying to make money might sound silly, but think about how much more productive you are able to be during that time.
*Are your kids old enough to help with chores? Find creative ways to get them involved with taking care of the home too. Having them help even a little bit with the laundry, dinner plans or cleaning gives you back time to use for your business.
*Struggling to focus? Get out of the house! See if there’s a co-working space in your area, or even a great café or restaurant with Wi-Fi that you can post up at for a few hours. I am a big fan of going to our local coffee house for an hour or two when I really need to knock something out.
*Work out shifts with your partner. This is a tactic that actually works great for my family, and gives me my dedicated Thursday to focus! Even if your spouse isn’t able to be home for a full day during the week, if they are willing to take over on the weekends or when they come home from work it will give you a little extra time.
*Find a program to enroll your child in, like preschool, Mothers Morning Out, afterschool sports and clubs. Be sure it’s something that you think your child will genuinely enjoy, and an activity that you don’t have to take part in (so that you can utilize this time for work).
Remember that being a work from home mom is hard work. It takes organization and planning to help with the juggling act. Using these 5 easy steps to create a work from home schedule can make a huge difference!