Moms are superheroes. Moms are able to balance dozens of appointments, needs, and responsibilities without breaking a sweat. Families just can’t function the same without a mom. Here are things to consider when looking for stay at home mom jobs.
Every mom operates a little differently. Some moms work outside of the home, and others stay home full time. Each choice and lifestyle is valuable, and each presents a different set of challenges.
For those full-time stay-at-home moms, sometimes they have to make the shift to work-at-home moms. There are a number of different reasons this transition is necessary. Regardless of the reason, the move to work-at-home mom requires some stretching and navigating.
There are a lot of changes that can be made when a mom reenters the workforce, even while staying at home. Not only does the family dynamic shift, but things like auto insurance can change. Work-at-home moms are often eligible for auto insurance for independent contractors, which can offer some discounts and additional benefits.
Starting a Remote Job as a Mom
This transition can be overwhelming and frustrating. Stay-at-home moms have to balance the needs of the home, kids, and spouses, which is difficult enough. But if that stay-at-home mom adds work, even a side hustle, things can get messy.
There are lists everywhere that give great productivity tips for parents working from home. These tips are valuable, but what about the more practical and logistical needs that moms face as they move from stay-at-home mom to work-at-home mom?
Here are 9 practical tips to employ if you make the move to work-at-home mom. Most of these tips focus on organization and planning to make sure the top priorities are taken care of while still leaving time for work.
Set up a Personal Workspace
The first tip for the transition to work-at-home mom is to set up a space for work. This workspace doesn’t have to be a stand-alone room. It can be a corner of your bedroom, dining room, or even a garage or backyard shed. Keep it free of clutter and household responsibilities so the focus in this area is work only.
Make sure the space is separate from any play spaces or communal spaces. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand and, hopefully, keep the children from coming in for small things. Looking for stay at home mom jobs is hard enough!
Make a Clear Schedule
Once you have a space for work, nail down a schedule. Make sure the schedule includes dedicated work time. Protect this time as much as possible. Having a fluid or ambiguous time for work every day can go against your productivity.
When you aren’t working, be present. The non-work times are just as important as the work times. You and your family will have a smoother transition to your new role and responsibility when you all know there is a time for work and a time for play.
Part of scheduling your time and your day includes making a to-do list. At the beginning of the week or each morning, make a list of the things that must get done. Prioritize the list and make sure the nonnegotiables get completed.
Make two lists, one for home and children and a second for work. This will help keep the two areas of life separate but still make sure the most important things get done.
Teach Children to Clean
Both stay-at-home and work-at-home moms are in charge of a majority of the cleaning and household chores. This can be difficult to balance when there are work responsibilities as well. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done.
Delegate some of those responsibilities and chores to the children. Make sure the chores are age appropriate and that each child has the skills and tools available to get the job done.
Remember that this part of the transition can take time. Children will need examples and guidance as they learn to help out around the house. Take this time to grow closer with your children and know they will grow into the responsibility in no time.
Combine Work and Play
Working at home means you are balancing fun and entertainment for the children while also knocking things off the to-do list. This can be hard to do when everyone is home together all the time.
Before you make the transition to work-at-home, research some play opportunities for the kids. These can be classes or open play gyms. The most important part? Make sure there is free Wi-Fi and functional workspaces for you.
Taking advantage of these play opportunities will help the kids transition and get some pent-up energy out without you missing out on the free work time.
Prep Food Early
A big time suck during the day is food preparation and cooking. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, everyone at home has to eat. Stopping work to make three separate meals can feel impossible, but there are hacks to make this a little easier.
Consider prepping food the night before or early in the morning. Anything that can be made ahead of time can be popped in the fridge until it’s time to eat. Even snack time can be made easier by cutting up fruits and vegetables at the beginning of the week. If this is still too much to accomplish, consider buying pre-cut and individual serving foods.
Stay At Home Mom Jobs Mean You Sometimes Work When the Kids Sleep
A lot of work-at-home moms work late into the night after kids and spouses have gone to bed. The late-night hours can be difficult to work through though, especially if you have young children who still wake up at night.
Consider moving the work time to the early morning hours. Earlier hours are scientifically proven to be more productive, so you’ll be able to get more work done. Plus you can grab that first cup of coffee and still get decent sleep at night.
Create Projects for Children
Young children love to be a part of our everyday life. They want to engage in whatever their parents or older siblings are doing. This is true for work as well.
If you have young children who need to be entertained while you work, then create projects for them to complete. This not only keeps children engaged and focused while you are on the job, but it teaches them the importance and necessity of work.
You can get as creative as you want with these projects as well. Maybe you have a family or friend’s birthday coming up. Have the kids work on a DIY gift or a card. You can even make your work time homework time for the kids.
Outsource Simple Tasks
When things get too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to outsource when and where you can. Outsourcing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, like a cleaning service or babysitter. It can be something as simple as getting a carpool rotation for soccer practice, ordering groceries for pickup or delivery, or having your spouse tackle school drop-offs two days a week.
Evaluate your budget and the activities that take away from that set work time you have scheduled. Reach out to your support system or set up that grocery delivery.
Hire a Nanny or Babysitter
When all else fails, employ a nanny or a babysitter. There is no shame in needing a day or two away from the kids to make sure work time goes uninterrupted.
The babysitter can be a scheduled, frequent addition to your work schedule, but it can also be on a more sporadic basis when work demands it.
If a babysitter just isn’t in the cards, consider finding another work-at-home mom and make a trade. Have one mom take all the kids for a day out while the other mom works. Then, later in the week or the following week, the moms switch places. This will alleviate any stress and allow the kids to get out of the house with friends.
Insurance for Work-at-Home Moms
In this day and age, there are hundreds of work-from-home jobs and opportunities. Some of these opportunities require the contractor to drive from place to place. This kind of job is often incredibly flexible and lucrative, but it does bring up some issues of concern.
The biggest issue here is that personal car insurance doesn’t always cover driving and incidents that happen while working. When you work as a freelancer or independent contractor, the company you work for isn’t responsible for your personal property like your car.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, then consider upping your car insurance to cover the times you’ll be using the vehicle for work. This will keep you from dealing with surprises, and all your personal property will be protected.
Laura Gunn researches and writes for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. She works from home while also raising two active, young boys. Laura found the transition from stay-at-home to work-from-home mom to be challenging, yet possible.