I'm writing this not long after Mother's Day. Greetings fellow moms! You all rock! Mother's Day will always be a sentimental, warm & fuzzy holiday. But it's also big business. Businesses that cater to women love it. So do florists, stationery stores and spas. Restaurants too, good luck getting a table if you show up for brunch sans reservation (talk about a rookie move!). If TV ads are to be believed, there's probably even a surge of sales on breakfast trays so dads and kids can have a special moment in the kitchen flipping pancakes while making breakfast in bed for mom. Aww. Online, I saw ads, articles, special offers — reminders everywhere that moms mean profit. Now I'm adding my two cents to the mom discussion... kinda, sorta. Not about Mother's Day, but I'm talking about a certain niche of mothers in the workforce: the work from home mom.
You may know one, you might employ one, you might be one. Maybe it's a gig you'd like to have. With more people than ever before working remotely, you'd be in good company if you joined their ranks. Whether sales, project management, tech support or marketing, this is definitely a work situation made possible by technology. Have laptop, will work (anywhere!). But what is it about being a work from home mom that's different from other work at home job descriptions? Why do we have to add the "mom" part? To make it sound extra sexy and hip... because that's totally what people associate with mom-ness, right? I mean, think about it. Mom haircut, you go girl! Mom van, ooohh sexy ride! Mom jeans, sssizzle! Is it just me or is it getting hot in here?!! Wait, don't answer that! You'll probably go straight to some mom-of-a-certain age joke!
Separation Of Work & Play, Lights & Darks, Church & State!
So yeah, I guess we've established that adding the word “mom” to anything pretty much knocks the sexy down a notch or two. No biggie. Most of us can handle that. I do think that describing a job this way implies a few things. Yes, exact terms and conditions may vary, but allow me to generalize who a work from home mom is. She has: young-ish kids; a flexible schedule; a variety of comfy athleisure wear; possibly a minivan (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Does this sound like anyone you know? If you've got school-age kids who need to be shuttled to sports and other stuff after school, working from home, setting your own hours can be the ideal setup. To keep it an ideal situation, here are some tips that will help you not go crazy as you juggle your life.
One of the biggest temptations while working at home is to mingle home and work tasks. I'll throw in a load of laundry before I answer my emails. I can unload the dishwasher while I brainstorm. Sure, you try that and see how well it goes. Before you know it, you're focusing on the peanut butter schmutz that didn't come off the knives (does it ever?). And you're hanging out next to the dryer so you don't leave your 'line dry only' stuff in too long and ruin it. (Oh look, another crop top. Perfect.) Your home to-do list might have a lot of things crossed off at the end of the day, but how much work will you have accomplished? You can't do both at the same time. Multitasking is great, but not when you're crossing party lines, so to speak. Or mixing lights and darks.
The Work From Home Mom Commandments!
Here are a few more tried and true tips to keep you on task while working at home and help you feel like you're not being pulled in every direction at once. I like to think of these as the commandments for a work at home mom. It's not a list of 10 because I left out the super sinful “Thou shalt nots” (what would those even be in this scenario anyway?), but you'll get the idea.
Business casual, not bedroom casual (wow, that sounds way more saucy than I mean!)
Thou shalt get dressed. Basic, yet solid advice. PJs are comfy, but not exactly motivation-inspiring attire. Switch to leggings if you want, but don't stay in your jammies all day. (And put on a bra.)
Thou shalt have a workspace (that's not your bed). If you have a dedicated office to work in, yeah for you! But even if it's your dining room, working in the same space every day — preferably one with, you know, a chair, tabletop, no pillows — will help put you in work mode rather than Game of Thrones mode. Trust me, you'll be more productive. You don't live in a dorm anymore, so remember: chair, yes; bed, no.
Workin’ 9 to 5 — or whatever hours you decide!
Thou shalt set a schedule. “Clock in” at the same time each day, take pre-determined breaks and ignore the chaos/unwashed dishes/dust bunnies around you while you're working. You can schedule time in your day to deal with that, if you must. Personally, I'll take any excuse to ignore all of that housework sh**! Same goes for clocking out... learn to turn it off when you're done for the day.
Thou shalt pretend you're not home. When someone come's a knocking... hide! Even if it's the cute FedEx guy. Although he could be the motivation you need to make yourself look presentable. (Add "Thou shalt not covet the cute FedEx guy" to the list of thou shalt nots.) If you still have a landline — some people do — and it rings, don't answer it. Same for other calls that can wait. And when your kids are home, teach them to respect your work time and boundaries. While you're at it, teach them to make a sandwich for themselves. It's the mom version of give a man a fish versus teach him to fish — a win-win for everyone.
Thou shalt focus, focus! Just say no to the internet. And the fridge. And the dog. If you're working, work! You'll have a break coming up soon because of that schedule thing we talked about, right? That'll be your chance to read the Game of Thrones recap and browse for a new pair of jeans that don't scream mom! (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Be Oh So Quotable This Week!
This week, you should put “Workin’ 9 to 5” on your playlist and channel Dolly Parton. It's not coffee, it's a cup of ambition! Like many a work from home mom, do you feel like you're too busy? Or like you're always working but not much is getting done? Your solution is right here and it's FREE!
I always say running a business means the work never ends! Ain't that the truth? I bet your to-do list is a mile long! Make sure that the items at the top of your list are the things that relate to being more profitable. Everyone is so proud of being so "busy"...But Are You Making Any Money? Don't be too busy to focus!
Check out the summary of last week's business tips and motivational quotes from my Instagram page which you hopefully got to see in real time! If not, let's make sure we're following each other on Instagram!! So...here is this week's roundup of Instagram images of My Top Business Tips and Motivational Quotes.
Work From Home Mom – Tip #1:
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." – Aristotle
Work From Home Mom – Tip #2:
"If your home environment is good and peaceful and easy, your life is better and easier." – Lori Greiner
Work From Home Mom – Tip #3:
"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." – Michael Altshuler
Work From Home Mom – Tip #4:
"In any business, it is impossible to do it half-heartedly and succeed." – Millie Leung
Work From Home Mom – Tip #5:
"I love working for myself from home: I get along with everyone in the office; I can show up in pajamas, and I always win Employee of the Month." – Missy Mwac
Let's talk! I'd love to hear about your time as a work from home mom!
Do you have any advice for a work from home mom? I would LOVE to hear from you! Anyhoo...I publish these business tips and motivational quotes to get you fired up for your work week!
Oh by the way, in case you're looking for something to help with time management, we've got this fun little quiz to test your productivity. Are you a Vodka & Red Bull? A Dirty Dirty? Or a plucky Blue Sapphire? Find out which cocktail you are by taking our quiz right now!
P.S. Of course that's not all we've got! Searching for more tips about running a business?
Then definitely take a look at these:
I'd love to hear your ideas! So please comment below and then SHARE!
Disclosure: The Party Goddess! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through an amazon.com link. However, these are all products I highly recommend and support!