I’ve been a work from home mom for 5 years and in this time I’ve birthed not one but 2 children. Working from home has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life because I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to raise Joel who is now 5, and Elle who is now 3. But girllll let me tell you, as blessed as I am to be able to work from home it can have its challenges. I’ve learned a lot along the way and if you are thinking about becoming a work from home mom or if you currently are a work from home mom my tips will support you in making it work best for you and your family.
Even if it’s your couch, you need to have that space. When I first started working from home, I was pregnant with Joel and my husband and I lived in small apartment in Brooklyn, NY. The only place I could sit and work for hours at a time was our chocolate brown L shaped sectional sofa because it was very comfortable. I’d lay back, put my feet up and put my laptop on my belly. If you were subscribed to my YouTube channel back in 2011 I’m sure you remember this infamous couch, don’t you. My couch was my working area for a while and it worked for me because Joel could play on the floor by my feet while I did everything I needed to do.
4 years ago when we became pregnant with Elle we knew our little Brooklyn apartment wouldn’t be enough for 2 children and my home business. We bought a home out in Long Island with 4 bedrooms. The smallest room is now my home office and has been for 3 years.
If you don’t have a full room to dedicate to your work be creative. Your work space could be the kitchen table, the dining room table, in the basement or even on your bed. You need an area that you know you can set up and get work done. Your area should be clutter free so you can lay out your materials easily.
Not literally, but you’re only as good as your wifi connection. About 80% of what I do requires internet connection-emailing, publishing on social media, replying to comments on social media, publishing blog posts, research and development of topics for my blog posts, uploading youtube videos, replying to comments on youtube, transferring files from my camera to my computer or from my phone to computer or from my camera to phone. I could do none of this without internet connection and if my wifi is sloooooow all of this can take days!
Who has a full day to upload a YT video? It used to take me that long back before I knew better. Most people don’t know how slow their wifi connection is until they need to do something that requires a better connection. I also hated having to stay close to my modem in order to get the best connection. If you I’m in my office the connection would be perfect, but sometimes I set up my laptop in the dining room or the bedroom when I’m working after hours and the connection would completely suck.
To combat all of these issues you need to get the Deco M5 Wi-Fi system by TP Link. It covers your whole home with uninterrupted internet access, allowing you to surf, stream, and download all on a safe, reliable connection. It comes with 3 router units that are very easy to install. I have one in my basement, one in my home office which is on the main level of my home and one is upstairs in my bedroom. It creates a unified Wi-Fi network so you I enjoy one seamless connection as you move around your home. Thank you wifi Gods!
Now That You’ve Got Your Life, Time to Get Things In Order
What’s the point of working from home if you’re going to work from 9-5? That’s dumb.
Like really dumb.
I prefer to work all throughout the day. An example of my day looks something like this:
6am – wake up, pray, brush my teeth and face, drink kombucha green tea.
6:15-7:30am – Reply to emails. Check all twitter, FB, and IG notifications
7:30am – Get Joel ready for school, Breakfast for Elle and I then she and I get dressed
8:30am – Put Joel on the school bus stop
8:45am Gym (Elle goes to the gym nursery)
10 am – Give Elle a snack, Shower
10:30-12pm – Write 1-2 blog posts. Schedule blog posts in social media scheduler to share on FB. (All of this is happening While Elle plays in her kitchen making me breakfast and tea)
12pm – Pick up Joel from bus stop. Lunch (for me and my babies)
12:30pm – Work with Joel in his work books while Elle works in her coloring books
1-3pm – Nap time for my babies/Work for me. They nap for 2 hours – YES! I usually take my phone calls and meetings during this time and record and edit youtube videos because theirs no background noise from my little ones. This is also a great time for me to take product photos and flat lays because the sunlight is amazing in my house during this time.
4-8pm – Mommy mode in full effect. The kids have extracurricular activities, then it’s dinner, then bath time, then me and hubby time while the kids watch TV or use the computer/tablet. Thankfully my wifi is on point so everyone can use their electronic devices at the same damn time!
8:30pm bed time for the kids and hubby, he has to wake up very early for work.
9-11pm – DVR time! I catch up on ALL my ratchet TV Shows while doing more work. I usually write or edit articles, updated my social media, tweet etc.
This is just a sample of my work from home schedule. On days when I don’t work out I get more work done during that time. My husband and I share the responsibility of taking our children to their extracurricular activities so when it’s his day I get more work done during that time as well. Some days I work non stop and some days I work very little. There is no day that I don’t work because posting pictures on IG and FB is actually my work. Who would have seen that coming for my life?
Regardless of what your schedule actually looks like the important thing is that you actually have a schedule put in place so that you’re not working all day or spending the whole day on social media and calling that work.
I put all meetings and all social deadlines in my calendar. When I was in college I would use a physical calendar to keep track of everything but that was before the iPhone. Now I put all dates right in my calendar or my reminders app. I set my alerts to remind me a few days before something is due especially if it requires filming a video or taking photos. For phone meetings I set my alert to remain me about 30 minutes to an hour before the call. If it weren’t for my iPhone calendar I would most likely over book myself, miss tons of calls and miss deadlines. All of this would cause me to appear unprofessional and ultimately would loose me money – and I need all my coins!
On most days I set a to do list. When you have kids at home they interrupt you-ALOT. Sometimes it’s something important but most of the time it’s for something so minor. My to do list keeps me on track after each interruption and it also helps me prioritize the must do items for the day and things I need to follow up on.
I wouldn’t trade working from home to working in an office, but I do believe that working from home is not for everyone. If you’re thinking that it may be for you do let me know which of my tips do you feel will be most helpful to you.