So, if you’re like me, when you had visions of starting your business from home you had fantasies of you smashing work out while your kidlet(s) played happily at your feet. Oh of course, there would be days that would test you but all in all, it would be the perfect mix of satisfying your desire to work while successfully juggling #mumlife.
Now those of you who actually run a full fledged business from home know unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Just the other week I had a skype meeting with a potential client complete with Oliver (my darling, almost 3) alternating between strangling me and shouting “HELLO!!!” to my gobsmacked client. This situation was far from ideal but what is a multi-tasking biz mum do? The answer is, just go with it my friend. Roll with the punches and keep your head held high…if you’re not currently being strangled.
Without further ado, here are my TOP 5 Tips for the WAHM
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Childcare, grandparents, fathers, friends
I know this isn’t what you envisioned, the whole plan was to have your kids close by at all times right? Well sometimes this is just not an option. For example, if I work while my son is home I literally have to stop every 5 minutes to meet his demands. “Cheese mamma, play trucks mumma, jump on trampoline mamma, read me story mamma, I did poos mamma” OMG! In order to be a present mamma, ready to play in the dirt at the drop of a hat, I NEED to have some kid free work time. Otherwise I’m just doing both poorly. So, beg, plead, pay – whatever you need to do – DO IT!
2. Nap Time
Oh nap time how I love thee. It is ASTOUNDING how much you can actually achieve while your little one sleeps soundly. Pre-plan your tasks, even if it’s a couple of half hour jobs, and smash those babies out!!! The same goes for nighttime, once your little pumpkin is down for the night get down to BIZNESS. You don’t need to work ALL NIGHT either. Us mums know that’s just not feasible. My kiddo still wakes throughout the night and is up by 5am every. bloody. day. If I work all night, I am one skip away from completely burning out so you need to be realistic about this.
Which brings me to my next point, say it with me now:
Ok, Ok, I know I shouldn’t be surviving on 3 hours sleep and 4 coffees daily but that’s the reality somedays. It’s an unavoidable part of being a mum. So, when you’ve had a particularly hard night at your unpaid job, brew yourself some of that sweet sweet coffee. Most days, I forget I’m tired by about 10am due to my old friend Mr. Nespresso Machine. If you’re one of those anti-coffee folk, we’ll probably never be friends, BUT I recommend lots of water and a workout. Get those endorphins going and you’ll be in beast mode quick smart!
So you know how some days, you smash things out in 3 hours that would have taken you the WHOLE day just a week earlier? That all comes down to mindset and mindset alone. So how can you get yourself ready to party? This is different for everyone but what works for me is:
Scheduling and planning tools: If you wake up to a pre-prepared to do list and have scheduled all of your work effectively you are more likely to start with a clear mind.
Hip Hop: Yeah I know, I’m a sad case but honestly, pumping that 90’s hip hop fires me up and centres my attention. So find some tunes and werk werk werk werk werk.
Gratitude: It sounds corny but starting each day with a grateful heart DOES impact your mood throughout the day. It’s as simple as thinking about 3 things you are thankful for that day. Filling your mind with positivity rather than negativity is a game changer.
Remember those pre-kid days when you had FOREVER to get ready, make dinner, chat on the phone and just cruise through life at a relaxed speed? Yeah, those days are gone. So gone. Now it’s about maximising the time you have to it’s full potential. The idea here is to work smarter in a shorter amount of time. HOW, you ask? Well I’m not an expert but this is what I do:
Productivity Pods: As a freelancer, my work changes weekly. For this reason, I need to be adaptable but also efficient. There have been studies that show your creativity starts fading after 90 minutes (true story). SO, I work like a crazy lady for 90 minutes, get up and stretch my legs, make a coffee THEN start another productivity pod. Creativity replenished. SWEET.
Distractions: When you’re in beast mode, turn off Facebook notifications, hide your phone, close your email and just GO like a banshee. Every little distraction ruins your concentration, steals your creative juices and can suck a day from you quick smart. Don’t let it happen!
Most of all though, be KIND to yourself. There will be days when work just flies out the window because your kid needs you. There will be days where you work like crazy and the mum guilt hits you hard. That’s just it, it’s not an easy gig. Some days you will feel like your head is in a vice and everyone wants a piece of you. That’s ok, acknowledge those feelings, get some chocolate into you and move forward.
Remember why you started and what your long term goal is. Write it down on a piece of paper and stick it right where you can see it. For me, it’s so I can be a present mum, work on projects that give me butterflies and live a life that’s true to me.
Stay strong #wahm