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WAHMs and Home Management: What Works and What Doesn’t

 

Whether you’re a work-at-home mother in Delhi, India or Denver, USA, chances are you feel overwhelmed at some point or the other with household chores and management. Let me first begin by saying, “That’s okay.”

Honest admission: It took me quite a while to adjust to this fact. That though I am working from home, I am working.

As mothers and homemakers, we tend to be really hard on ourselves.

“The house isn’t dusted, I’m a bad homemaker.” “The kitchen sink is filled with dirty dishes…again.” “The kids aren’t bathed till afternoon, I’m a bad mother.” “We’re ordering takeout…again. I suck at meal planning”

Yes, I’ve had all these thoughts running through my head at some time or the other. Its natural.

When you’re working from home, what doesn’t work is:

1. Trying to do everything, all the time, all on your own. {Learnt this the hard way!}

2. Beating yourself up with negative talk about your skills as woman, mom, wife and homemaker.

3. Killing yourself in the attempt to keep that picture-perfect home (or even, living room)

4. Filling every minute of the day with hectic activity.

Yes,  maybe you experience or already have experienced all of these at some point of time in your life as a work-at-home mother. Let me save you a lot of grief and tell you that all of the above just don’t work when you’re a WAHM. So, stop. Like right now!

Which brings me to the question: What works with managing home when you’re also working out of it?

Here’s what I realized and it really helped me:

1. Focus on Priorities. Outsource the Rest

Yes. What are your priorities? Mine are spending time with my husband and daughter, nurturing myself and growing my business. Right now, they are my top priorities. So, I use my time to focus on these 3 and outsource the rest.

I have someone who comes in to sweep, mop and dust the house and also, wash the utensils. Not having to do these chores frees up my times magically, allowing me the freedom to spend it on my top 3 priorities.

However, hiring help costs money and so you must be prepared to budget accordingly and if needed, cut down somewhere else, say, eating out.

2. It’s Okay to Cut Corners

While I have help, I still have to do quite a bit of the household work on my own. Simple things like laundry, making the beds, changing the linen, tidying up after my toddler, cooking and other such activities that keep a home running.

So, I cut corners, unashamedly so. As long as my family’s health and safety are okay, I cut corners.

I don’t beat myself up for changing the bedsheets once a week and not every 2-3 days like my sister-in-law. I change them once a week or if they get really dirty before that. I clear my toddler’s toys from the living room twice a day and not whenever she stops playing with them. If someone happens to visit while her toys are on the carpet, they’re still welcomed warmly. I wear the same pajamas 3 days in a row (especially in winters), so that we don’t have too much laundry.

What corners can you cut without compromising the health and safety of your family?

3. You Only Have 24 Hours in the Day

While this is something that my husband has been telling me for like forever, I only learnt its importance when reading Crystal’s The Money Saving Mom’s Budget {see my review here} and then revisiting her FREE ebook on Time Management. I learnt to make a time budget and honestly, it works. You only have 24 hours in a day. Not more. Not less. Make those count.

4. Planning IS your BFF

Finally and I can’t stress this enough, when managing home while being a work-at-home mother, planning is your best friend forever. Whether you make a daily to-do list or are super-organized with a home management binder and menu planning sheets, make sure you plan your day and your time. You’ll be productive and feel more positive about everything. So, plan.

Need help? Here’s more reading material:

Menu Planning for the WAHM

Home Management Tools

Use 10 Minutes to Tackle Tasks

 

 

How do you manage your home when you’re a WAHM?

Photo Credit:Marcin Wichary

Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a little something should you buy anything after clicking those links. However, that little money doesn’t influence my opinion. I strongly believe that these products or books can truly help you in your journey as a work-at-home mom.

 

 

Prerna


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Comments

  1. I nodded my head through this whole article. I desperately need help with time management. I get so bitter when I have a spare10 minutes and all I want to do is stare into space but the house is a wreck., or something else needsss my attention. I am going to check out your adding suggestions. Thank you!

  2. One thing I’ve learned is that the work-at-home mom is not an island. (Yes, I quote Milton.) I’ve learned to multi-task, such as juggle the cooking, childcare, and work. Like you, I’ve hired someone to do the rigorous cleaning of the house, which has freed me up tremendously. I’ve also accepted that there’s no status quo when it comes to running my household: My home is MY home, and it runs best the way I see fit because I know what works for me.

  3. There are really very few absolutes in homecare and I applaud you for finding which corners you can cut. In addition to cutting corners, I’ve eliminated a lot of work by choosing easy-care furniture and flooring and doing away with fussy accessories. If it isn’t in the house, I don’t have to clean it.

  4. I really need to follow these tips faithfully because I have a hard time letting things go. If my daughter is not playing I have to pick up the toys and keep them back. You get my drift. Hopefully your WAHM tips will help to turn into a serious WAHM this year.

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