7 Ways a Mom Working From Home Can Keep Her Sanity

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Yes, it IS possible to be a mom working from home without losing your mind.

Because it sounds like such a great idea, right!? “I can totally balance being a mom working from home! The kids will play while I get work done, and then we’ll eat lunch and spend some time at the park. Remote jobs are the future!”

Then reality sets in.

At least, my reality, and I’m assuming yours, as well: the moment my laptop opens, the kids clamber onto my lap to Skype with Grandma. They want to click the mouse. To see what happens when they push the power button. They need my phone. They need a snack. I have to wipe a butt. They start fighting. Crying. Whining. Spilling things.

My attention is divided into 52 places at once, and simple projects that should take 10 minutes wind up taking an hour.

I’ve been a mom working from home since I got pregnant with my daughter in 2013.

Over the years, I’ve tried a number of tactics, all to varying degrees of success, to figure out how to continue to make a living without getting a 9-5 outside of the house.

My mom friends with out-of-the-house jobs occasionally try the mom working from home thing, and often I’ll get a text message from them halfway through the day: “How do you DO THIS!? I’m going crazy over here!”

The short answer is: babysitters. If you’re making a living from home, it’s impossible to get everything done without them, which is the painful truth. My kids go to a babysitter a few days a week for a few hours a day and it is a lifesaver.

But if I’m being honest, I don’t only work when my kids are out of the house. The fact of the matter is, I work when my kids are home, too- I’m just strategic about it.

So with that in mind, here are 7 of my tried-and-true tips for being a mom working at home without losing your freaking mind.


Related: How These Real Life Moms Balance Work and Family Life


1. Hit the ground running both in the morning and at naptime

Set everything up the night before, the hour before, whatever: just make sure that your laptop is on, the tablet is charged, snacks are accessible, you’re fed and ready to go the second a kid goes to sleep or you’re back at your desk once they’re gone. If I sit down ready to work with a plan, I’m much more productive in that hour than if I sit down to work, THEN figure out a game plan.

2. Batch work so you don’t have to think

This is my favorite tip, and to be honest it took me some time to get my head in the right space. But I do as much of something that I can in one push, at once that i can so i don’t have to concentrate on it again and waste brain space. For example: I have “days” when things get done. Laundry is done on Mondays. Folding laundry is done on Tuesdays. Meal prep is done on Sundays. And so on. That way, I rarely get the panic of, “did I get that thing done!?” If it’s Meal Prep day, it’s getting done.

3. Meal prep with purpose

Make everything grab & go. Lay out your clothes the night before. Make your breakfast and lunch so they’re literally grab and go (overnight oatmeal and smoothie bags are great for this). Keep a bottle of water and sneaky snacks stashed next to your desk.

4. Join the 4am Club (or the 1am Club if you’re a night owl!)

I live and die by this rule and it has changed everything for me. I wake up every day around 4 or 5 am and get to work before my kids wake up. It works because I’m at my best in the morning, sure, but the most important thing I’ve learned is that if I can wake up and have my own time before the kids wake up – as in, if I can get time for me, first thing, before I’m needed by somebody, then I am so better prepared for the day. I’m a better mom. I’m more on top of my crap. I’m also completely useless after 9pm but that’s for another story.

5. Order everything you possibly can.

We are lucky enough to live in NYC, where we can have everything from laundry to prescriptions to wine to pizza delivered right to our door, but you’d be surprised what you can have done even if you’re not in an urban area. Dry cleaners will iron your clothes, so you just have to pick them up. Many grocery stores offer pickup if you call ahead and place an order, if they don’t already offer website ordering. Turn to Task Rabbit, Craigslist, to find someone who can help you lessen the load. It takes a village to raise a family while working from home, girl. Even if you have to pay that village.  


Related: Why I Love This Easy System of Meal Planning for Busy Moms

6. Use the Pomodoro technique but do it to a Paw Patrol episode.

This is a thing. The Pomodoro Technique is a method of working where you “sprint” for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. Coincidentally, 25 minutes is exactly the amount of time of one Paw Patrol episode. Pop the kids in front of the TV, and see how much you can bang out for one episode before refilling your coffee.

7. Give yourself grace

It’s true, mama. You can’t fill someone else’s cup without making sure your own is full first. We can’t be all things to all people and all needs- so you have to make sure you’re fitting in some self-care time. Remember that life moves on, even if we fail at some things. The important part is that we keep going.


That’s it! 

However, whether you work out of the home or inside the home, being a working mom is no small feat. 

Join 100+ other moms in the #GetItDone Working Mom Email Challenge, and find more time in your day, get organized, and feel present for your kids- instead of stressed and overwhelmed! 

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Bridgid Milenkovski
    20 May, 2018 at 10:20 am

    These are awesome suggestions. Many of which I had to figure out the hard way but they definitely help to keep me sane.

  • Reply
    Phoebe
    20 May, 2018 at 12:23 am

    Yes to being able to drop off laundry and ordering in for NY! lol Sometimes it’s just really hard to keep up..time goes by so fast. I don’t know what’s going on.

  • Reply
    Lorie
    17 May, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    This is an amazing post!!! I can say I have to be sooo intentional with naptime even though it would be so nice just to relax on the couch then!

  • Reply
    Courtney
    17 May, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    I’ve been a WAHM in the past, but my hours were set by my company and it became less and less family-friendly. In just a couple weeks, we’re trying it again, but with a different career. I am beyond excited! I will definitely be joining the 4am club!

  • Reply
    Dianna
    17 May, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Batching work/chores works great…and then adding a dose of Grace when there’s a little slippage in the plan!

  • Reply
    Jaclyn Musselman
    17 May, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I wake up at 6…an hour before my family gets up but I could really use more time!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Maune
    17 May, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Love these tips! Saving your sanity while being a WAHM is definitely important and much needed! Love that you have designated days for that particular “thing.” Great idea!

    -Jennifer
    https://maunelegacy.com

  • Reply
    Meredith
    17 May, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    I totally agree with numbers 4 & 5! We are sooo lucky to live in this day & age where we can literally order everything!!! This is such a great time-saver for sure! Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    17 May, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    These are great tips! I love number seven! So true!!

  • Reply
    Tabitha Blue
    16 May, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    YES, this! Such a great post and so spot on… I’m a WAHM too and live by these rules. I needed this read today 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachel Town
    16 May, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    I love your Pomodoro technique idea!

  • Reply
    Bethany
    16 May, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I’m still figuring out batch scheduling but it’s making a difference for me!

  • Reply
    Tiff|SpectrumSenseForMoms
    16 May, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Bwahahahahaha!!! Pomodoro Paw Patrol – we are going to try this!! These tips are great, and I have used most of them for the last 4 years…except the babysitter part! 😳 I do most of my work during the night like you mentioned, and sacrifice too much sleep for it sometimes. One of these days I will graduate to the babysitter level!

  • Reply
    Heather Gonzales
    16 May, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    I have learned the beauty of the online grocery orders through Walmart. As I have battled major chronic illness it has been a lifesaver! I only have so much energy to go around, so if I can avoid spending it on grocery shopping, that means I can use it for blogging!

  • Reply
    Yanelin
    16 May, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing these pointers. I had a bit of a giggle as I already practice strategy #6, and not just to Paw Patrol 🙂 It’s practically the only way you one work at home when children are present. My biggest challenge #3. Yikes!

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