Working It Out As A Work-At-Home Mom

Published Friday, May 06, 2011 1:47 PM

Work-at-home moms enjoy a paycheck and a more flexible schedule. But there's nothing enjoyable about an office that's equal parts play dough and presentations. Work-at-home moms looking to organize their work life at home should look no further. We've got tips to make you the CEO of your home office.

Establish a Dedicated Workspace. Don't make your kitchen table your home office. Find a quiet area of the home for your office (preferably with a door) and let kids know that a closed door means do-not-disturb. Establish a hands-off policy for work supplies in this area to prevent computer paper from becoming art projects or the lap top from being commandeered for video games.

Rules Made by Mom Are Made to be Broken (But Only By Mom): A caveat to the "dedicated workspace" rule of thumb is that sometimes work needs to be done while kids are supervised (in the basement/backyard/frontyard, etc.) Set up a portable office for just these occasions. Be sure to have a wireless ready lap top, using either a wireless card or a router in the house. Keep a file tote/box that has your office basics (pen/paper/etc.) and be sure to have a cordless phone with a headset.

Set Work Hours. By establishing set work hours, you can signal to your family the times when you are not accessible. Setting up a framework of regular work hours and sticking to it as best as possible will both decrease stress and allow you to carve out protected family time. Try not to fall into the trap of always "on" for work just because you are always home.

Nanny 911: Have a stable of babysitting options on speed-dial. Working from home doesn't mean you can work while the kids scamper about or while you drive carpool. School-aged children require babysitting after 3pm and the nursery school set needs constant supervision; be sure to outsource that task to paid help so you can concentrate on work. In a pinch? Call in a favor from a work-at-home-mom friend. What goes around, comes around.

Open in Case of Emergencies: When all childcare options fail and there is a pressing deadline or a conference call that can't be missed (or muted) break open the emergency box of treats. Stock it with inexpensive items such as sticker books, new crayons, a matchbox car, and even, gasp!, lollipops. We did say it was for emergencies.

Need more ideas for making the juggle work? We assembled some useful resources for working parents in our posts earlier this week: The Thank You For Being a Working Mom's Toolkit and Social Moms: Best New Media Tools for Busy Moms. Think of it as an early Mother's Day gift.

by Carly Fadako


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# Zavrina said on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 1:15 AM

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# Motivation to lose weight said on Sunday, April 08, 2012 2:31 AM

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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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