For years, I dreamt about being a work-at-home mom. I was working 50 to 60 hours a week outside of the home and that time usually included nights and weekends. To make matters worse, I didn’t even love my job.
Fast forward to now, I am officially living my dream. I work part-time, mostly at home. I enjoy flexible work hours, I do work that I love, and I get to be with my kids all the time.
So, why am I so stressed all the time?!
Since I’m literally living my “dream life,” I sometimes don’t feel the right to be stressed. But the fact is — working at home with kids around is stressful!
Fortunately, I’ve found my groove and I’ve learned how to manage the inevitable stressors that being a work-at-home mom presents.
After the worldwide health crisis, more of us are working at home now than ever.
Here are some tips for keeping your stress levels manageable as a work-at-home mom, whether you’re a temporary WAHM and working at home is your normal gig.
Keep boundaries on your work
Working at home is an awesome privilege but it has a serious downside: Work can seep into every aspect of your life, including family time. We WAHMs have to be intentional about maintaining boundaries, just as we would if we worked out of the home. Set work hours for yourself and stick to them!
Do as much as you can when your kids aren’t around
You can keep your stress levels down by getting some of your work done when the kids are either sleeping or busy. I wake up at 5 am to get an early start on my workload. By the time the kids are awake (usually around 8), I have gotten a few precious hours of work completed without interruptions. This routine reduces the amount of time that my kids see me on the computer and frees me up to spend my late afternoons with them.
Keep your routine simple on workdays
On my full workdays, I try to keep my life as simple as possible. I don’t make extra plans, I make low-effort meals, and I only do basic housekeeping tasks (like laundry and dishes).
If you’re a to-do list person, make your list but keep it light on workdays. And don’t be afraid to delegate what you can or get extra help when things get a little too crazy. For example, I like to order groceries on weeks that are extra busy for me.
Take care of yourself
The more unhealthy we are, the more stressed we will be. So, taking care of yourself needs to be a part of your routine, no matter how crazy your schedule seems. Eat nourishing meals, drink plenty of water, and get full nights of sleep. It’s also extremely beneficial to create a workout routine if you don’t already have one. You could run, do home workouts, or go to the gym — it doesn’t really matter! Just do something to get yourself moving every day, so you can be healthy and take advantage of those wonderful endorphins!
Include some fun in each day
Lastly, do your best to include some fun into each day! Even if it’s as quick as a 5-minute living room dance party, including fun in your days reduces stress, helps you to bond with your kids, and prevents that yucky mom guilt feeling that we all struggle with. You don’t have to go all out, but do what you can to make your kids feel grateful that their mom works at home!
Following these tips won’t guarantee that you’re never stressed as a work-at-home mom, but they will help to keep your stress levels more manageable. Remember, just like everything else, some days will be better than others. Just do your best and take it one day at a time.