Being a work-at-home mom is a thankless job. You’ve got clients who count on you to hit deadlines, kids who count on you to kiss the boo-boos away, and an entire home to keep in ship shape. Often, work-at-home moms are asked the question, “How Do You Get It All Done?” Today, we’ll answer that question. Here’s how work-at-home moms get it all done.
Accept That You Can’t Get It All Done
The key to work-at-home moms who really have their lives together is an understanding that while it’s possible to get it all done, it’s not possible to get it all done without any help. The key is to figuring out which things you’re going to do yourself and which things you’re going to outsource.
Of course, you can’t outsource everything, nor would you want to. As a mom, part of what you need to teach your kids is how to take care of things yourself. But on a practical level, you also have to learn to let some things go. So how do you find that balance?
Start with what you like to do. If you enjoy cooking, then keep that on your task list. If you hate housework, maybe hire a cleaner so that you can limit the amount of time you have to do that task and increase the time you have for other tasks.
Have home improvement projects to take care of? Maybe you decide to install your own flooring, enlisting your kids’ help with that. Meanwhile, you might choose to hire someone like DDG Contracts to do your roof, especially if you hate getting on ladders.
Accepting that you can’t take care of everything yourself is key to looking like you manage to get everything done yourself. And as a work-at-home mom, that’s really the best you can hope for.
Enlist Your Kids’ Help
Work-at-home moms who look like they manage to get everything done have one distinct trait in common: They trust their kids. When you trust your kids and understand that they can do more than adults often give them credit for, you can find your task list being cut in half.
The idea here is not to steal childhood away from your kids by loading them up on chores, but to teach them responsibility and respect for your home by having expectations of them. Teaching your child life skills takes a little extra work once, and then they can do things—like dress themselves and clean up their own toys—and you don’t have to.
Always Give Yourself Cushion Time
Tight deadlines are a work-at-home mom’s enemy. If you know a project should take you two days to complete, tell the client to expect the word done in three or four days. This gives you cushion time in case your kids get sick or have a rough day and just need you more than they usually do. In turn, when those life events come up, you don’t feel derailed, and can respond to them calmly, ensuring that your kids always feel like a priority even when you have work to do.
Play and Walk Away
Setting your kid in the living room and saying “I need you to be quiet for an hour—Mommy has a very important meeting” is a surefire way to guarantee your kid will scream for the next hour. Instead, set your kids up with a fun activity first. Let them know that you have a meeting—don’t try to hide it—but under-emphasize the meeting and over-emphasize the fun they can have while you’re out of the room. Say something like, “Mommy has a meeting, but I thought you guys might like to put together a fort in the living room first! Let’s do that, and then you can watch this new movie I rented you from your fort and eat snacks. Won’t that be fun?” By staging it this way—and getting your kids involved in something that will take longer than you need to work for—you can get them to be quiet while you need to work without having to fight with them over it.
The reality is that no one can get everything done by themselves. What successful work-at-home moms can do is learn to juggle their priorities to create the illusion of getting everything done. As long as your kids are happy and healthy and your job is completed, the other stuff is secondary.