Monday, July 16, 2012

How I Am Making It Work

I was scared to think of how life would be once I started working 20 hours a week, but life has not changed very much since I started.  Sure, the house is messier.  Yeah, I only do dishes before and after dinner. Ummhmmm, sometimes I even work while Wyatt is awake.

My windows of serious opportunity are before Wyatt wakes up, during morning nap, during afternoon nap, and after he goes to bed.  I can usually get in about 2 to 3 hours before I put him to bed.  Some/most of the time, I put morning nap towards a P90X workout.

Here are my measly tips for how to make being a WFHM (work from home mom) work.

1. Meal plan during the weekend so you don't have to do additional shopping and creating during the week.  Do one crock pot meal a week. Frozen vegetables are your friend. Salads are your friend.  Always thaw your meat one to two days in advance. Make use of marinades.

2. Track the time you work consistently.  Sometimes I think I will just sit down and work a few minutes while Wyatt is occupied, but then I end up getting in a nice 30 minute burst.  You might forget about this time if you don't track it. I am using the Free iPhone app called OfficeTime Lite. You can start / stop timers, track which project you are working on, and run weekly/monthly/daily reports. 

3. Don't feel guilty for working while your kiddo is awake.  This one was easy for me. :)  I think letting you child entertain himself helps to build independence and creativity.  Wyatt has no problem letting me know when he needs interaction. He crawls or walks up to me and that is my cue.  I put the computer down and spend time with him until he moves on to another toy or activity and doesn't need me.  Then I pick up the computer again.  Wyatt goes in laps...cruising around the room, investigating his toys, and banging things on the walls (yay for rentals). Then he looks up, sees me, and decides its time for some Mama. 

Those are all my tips.  I realize that I am in this magical window where Wyatt is old enough to not need constant attention but young enough to not be so active that he is going bonkers in our living room.  I also know that 2 naps is a luxury I will not have forever.  In the future, I will probably have to make use of early morning and late evening...maybe even some weekends.

I do struggle with feeling unprofessional while talking on the phone to anybody at work.  I am embarrassed when Wyatt cries/chatters while I am on the phone.  Most people that I work with don't know that I am a work from home mom that lives in Florida.   I wish I was stronger and could just think about how being a mom is more important than being 100% professional on the phone.  Maybe someday.  :)  Any tips for me?

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At July 23, 2012 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Courtney said...

I don' t have any real advice for you (I work out of the house) but it sounds like you are doing what you can when you can. I can't get my boys to stay quiet when I am on the phone no matter what, that is why I enjoy texting so much. :) As he gets older it should get easier. My boys will play for an extended period by themselves before I hear mom, mom, mom, mom....and that is on the weekends or after work when I have 'stuff' to get done. I try not to stick them infront of the TV and set them up with an activity instead. Good luck!

At July 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM , Blogger Lena said...

I can relate to the WFHM/WAHM situation to a degree.

The difference is that my little guy is older (a preschooler). The times he is at home when I am working are generally limited to early in the morning before gets whisked away to preschool or gets brought home (if I happen to still be working).

Because he is a preschooler, I am able I explain that I need to work in my office and that he needs to stay out with Daddy; he usually understands.

A couple of suggestions (that you might already be trying):

- I am not certain how much of a schedule Wyatt is on but one thing you could do is to schedule meetings during his nap times. It won't work 100% of the time but should help.

- Another thing you can do is leverage the mute button on your phone and maybe get into the habit of using it when you are not speaking (for larger meetings). This isn't as efficient for 1:1 conversations.

- If you are invited / requested to a meeting that does not coincide with Wyatt's nap time and can't be rescheduled perhaps ask one of your Mommy group friends to come over and help you out for that half hour. Go to a quite spot for the duration of the meeting.

- Allow an emergency show that you will allow him to watch that he loves so that you can pop it in when you have a contingency (PBS has some good options). I do mean emergency and am not implying shows all day long.

While your little guy gets a little older, try not to feel embarrassed when he contributes to the background noise of a work conversation (easier said than done, I know). There will always times when there is a conflict and you have to make a judgement call. At times Wyatt will override work and at times work will override Wyatt and that is okay. You will know what to do when those times arise.

Have confidence that you are doing the right thing for Wyatt and for work.

At July 26, 2012 at 6:12 AM , Blogger Janet said...

Thanks for the tips.


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