Have you noticed I am incorporating some “work from home” or “entrepreneur” mother topics on Sifa’s Corner? I am planning to make it a series or separate category as the reader base of this blog is gradually shifting to entrepreneur mothers. So if you are one, you will love the hacks or tips I am going to share today. The 6 time-saving hacks to make life easier for a work-at-home mommy with children under 4.
Now in case you didn’t know, I have an almost 4 years old daughter (she will be 4 this Winter). I run a website, a small business all by myself and also provide one on one with my pageant clients. I do not have any “support system” here at Fargo. My daughter’s responsibility is all on me and she doesn’t go to a pre-school yet. So in the weekdays, she is with me all day till 9-10 pm, after that my husband comes home and I get a little “me-time”.
My initial stage after having her was disastrous. I was extremely overwhelmed and suffering from postpartum depression for a long time. Gradually I adjusted and started to balance my work and family. I can’t say I am an expert but the tips I am sharing today are the fruits of my experience and struggles. I hope you will find it useful!
HACK NO. 1: Stick To A Specific Ritual/Routine
Around 3-4 years, children already develop specific routines of their own. If you have steered their routine according to your convenience in the earlier years, you may already be seeing the benefits. Create your work time around this schedule. If your child gets up at 7 am, you can get up an hour earlier to start your day (like I do). OR if you are a super-early riser (kudos to you!), then start your work as early as possible. Utilize the naptimes… naptime is the time you can schedule your business calls, or work on a project which requires utmost silence for your creativity.
HACK NO. 2: Create a Distinct Mommy-Work-Time:
I have lost count on how many times I say, “Mommy is working”, to my daughter. Now she understands if I say so, she will have to wait and try to solve the problem she is facing by herself. Of course, I will take a quick look at the urgency of the “problem” and work accordingly, but as she experiences this more and more, she understands that this is her “own time” and mommy’s work time, and she can act accordingly.
HACK NO. 3: Find Educational Programs:
If you are opposed to children watching TV or Youtube, skip this hack. My child stays at home with me and I look after her without any support/ day care/ pre-school. I also work from home and manage my business without any support. Cue in: Children educational/ learning programs. Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime, PBS kids have some great quality educational programs. I am not talking about slime, dress up or toys review videos, but the actual educational ones with rhymes, numbers, colors, languages, and words-to-learn. Utilize these, but set a time period.
HACK NO. 4: Make a To-Do List:
Make a list of “things-to-do” the night before or early in the morning before starting your day. Use your phone’s reminder app or use a paper and write these down. You will feel so accomplished and content when you can cross off the list at night!
HACK NO. 5: Create Their Own Space
Try to make a small space for them in your workspace. Children want to be included, and that’s a good sign. If you discourage their enthusiasm and disregard their willingness to “help” you, you are going to regret it when they get older. You can put their toys in a Wooden toy box like this. I got this one from Little Colorado. I love the fact that it’s well-made, the hinge is strong, and it doesn’t give the opportunity to hurt those little fingers.
I keep the toys, puzzles or books my daughter loves the most. As you can see my daughter loves to sit in the box and pretend she is driving a bus wearing her princess Elsa-esque costume. I let her imagination run wild when she is playing here…and voila! Some uninterrupted work-time for this mommy!
Suggested: check out the easy makeup tips for busy mothers.
HACK NO. 6: Have Patience:
Working alongside a kid under 4 is tough. They just don’t want to sit in one place or play with a couple of toys. They want to see what you are doing, they want to “help mommy”. Yes, these are cute and lovable gestures until you have a deadline to meet or a client to attend. So your only option is to be patient and also, enjoy these little moments. They are not going to be under 4 forever!
Playing in the wooden toy box, reading books, pretending a story with her toys, coloring and eventually watching some programs can keep my daughter occupied and give me enough time to focus on my photography, editing or writing down an article. I still haven’t mastered the art of doing videos with my almost 4-year-old around but let’s see… when I learn to do it, I will definitely share those tips!
**The items featured in this post were provided by the brand for review. This does not affect my opinion of the item.**
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