Ohhh man you guys this summer flew. Even as I’m typing this and staring the halfway point of September in the face I can hardly believe it. Three short months ago I ventured into the world of “working from home” and it definitely had its fair share of challenges, which you can read about here and here. As June melted into July and then August saw both me and my son sick then we lost our sitter, it’s been a challenging first three months, to say the least. Now that we’re entering fall (my favorite time of year!) I can say with conviction that I’m definitely learning how to better manage my days so that I’m a productive wife, mom, and business owner.
Well, I’m here to share with you my tips and tricks to how I’m managing growing a business while working from home with my son. Let me start by saying it’s not easy and requires a great deal of flexibility and patience, traits I’m still working on developing I assure you.
- Invest in a child safe play area. I have shared this with a couple of my mom friends and it is seriously a lifesaver! The one pictured below is the one that we ended up getting. It’s super durable and I would definitely get it again. If I had anything negative to say I do wish it collapsed a little easier and that the little no-slips it comes with worked a little better. Our son can slide it wherever he wants, haha!! I filled it with his favorite toys, kept it in direct eyesight, and was able to work for up to an hour with him content to play.
- I got up early. Yep, I mentioned it before but it’s worth mentioning again. In order for me to stay on top of everything and maybe enjoy 30 minutes to myself, I got up between 5-5:30am. This used to give me anywhere from 1-2 hours of productivity, lately Davie has been getting up at 5:30-6 which is a new challenge. But this definitely worked for the first 2.5 months.
- Nap time hustle. If you’re a mom you know all about the nap time hustle. Whether it’s to catch up on work, dishes, laundry, floors, our lists are endless. Utilizing nap time is key to success IMHO.
- Find a sitter. This is my best investment. After our original sitter no longer was available I ended up finding someone that would come out to us. It saves me so much time from traveling to and from town and the girl we hired absolutely adores Davie. It’s a nice break for me too that even though we’re all home I’m not up every 15-20 minutes tending to him. I can get into a solid 4-5 hour workflow which is how I’ve always preferred to work.
- Get out of the house and break up your routine. This may seem like the opposite of being productive but I found that when I focused solely on working and didn’t leave the house it caused me to get into a slump. So I started sprinkling in playdates, a trip to the zoo, walks on our road, and even just simply running errands to break up the monotony of being at home every day. This helped me recharge and not think about work for a little bit, which is always a nice break.
- Ask for help. I’m lucky in that my husband is home at least two days a week and is able to be home with my son so I can get some work done. I’ve also gone to family and friend’s homes where they let me use their WiFi so I can work and they watch Davie. It’s definitely something I’m planning on doing more often so that Davie’s great-grandparents can see him more often. Don’t be afraid to ask, they were excited to spend time with him and didn’t mind at all that I would be working. (Let’s face it they all want to see and spend time with him over me anyway)
- Meal and snack prep. This is a hard one for me to follow but I always feel better when I do it. Now that the sitter comes to us and Davie is eating our food this is definitely becoming more of a staple with lots of room to improve. Maybe I’ll be able to do a post one day about how I’ve mastered meal prepping but today is not that day, haha!
It isn’t easy working from home and building a business but I’m finding with a little planning and some help I’m able to grow my business, keep a clean(ish) house, cook more often for my family, and I’m finding more time to spend with my horse too. Making the move from corporate America to owning my own business has been challenging, nerve-wracking, and incredibly rewarding. As I close in on surpassing my previous income working 40+ hours a week, on call 24/7, and missing my son terribly, I know this is the best decision for me and my family. If you’re interested in becoming a virtual assistant I would love to hear from you! If you’re already working from home leave your tips on how you stay on top of #allthethings in the comments below.