Did you miss the amazing story that Andrea shared with us about being a SAHWM?! (Stay At Home Working Mom) Make sure to click here to read it, if this is something you are thinking about doing, this is an amazing story to read!
That said - being a stay at home working mama can be a lot of work, and Andrea is always looking for ideas on how to balance it all.
Here are her favourite mama hacks to spending QUALITY time with hubby and baby and yet staying on top of your responsibilities.
1. Baby on a schedule and flexibility. For me, none of this would be possible if I hadn’t put Ava on a feeding schedule when she was little! At the same time, I’d go CRAZY if I couldn’t be flexible if she woke up at a weird time or seemed super cranky because she needed sleep. You figure out what they need - it doesn’t mean you CAN’T have a schedule or CAN’T be flexible. You can have both!
2. Social media notifications OFF. What’s the difference between checking 71 notifications throughout the day or checking them once at night? The difference is that you are not distracted 71 times! Turn them off and schedule a time for your social media. If need be, schedule your blog posts and social media posts on the weekend and let them publish throughout the week (I use Hootsuite to do this!).
3. Get your priorities right - and then do it again! It’s a constant battle for me to put God first in the morning, and then put my husband and baby first. But it’s not a battle I’m willing to give up on. Sometimes I set the timer for 15 minutes and I focus on one person or one audio book or one task. I’m embarrassed when I set the timer because I feel like “of course I spend at least 15 quality minutes with this person”. But try it - you’d be surprised how quickly you’re distracted within one 15-minute timeframe! When I’m “on the clock,” I’m not allowed to jump to anything else - and it helps me be more present.
4. Let hubby help. I used to feel so guilty if my hubby helped out around the house at all. I thought it meant I wasn’t doing a good enough job. That is crazy, mamas! We all do so much beyond housework and we’re not the only ones who dirty the house! My hubby leaves out his tools and tracks in dirt AND he does his own laundry and helps me do the dishes. I also steal his socks and then throw them in his hamper. I feel no guilt. :)
5. Know when to say no. It’s hard to say no because you want to be flexible and helpful to everyone at all times. But you’re not as good at multitasking as you think. You’re just really good at getting distracted and switching rapidly between things. You bring SO much more value to home and work when you are focused. So I am always reminding family/work when it is my time to be with family or time to work. For me, they just can’t happen successfully at the same time. As a working mama, it’s easy to feel like you can’t tell your employer you need to breastfeed or take your child to the doctor. And as a mama, you feel guilty working when you can hear them playing next door with someone else. But here’s the thing. If you can’t take care of your family when it’s time to take care of them, you’re going to quit your job because you need to take care of your family! And if you can’t work when it’s time to work, you’re not going to bring value and your time will be wasted. Finding a balance is SO valuable to your family and employer!
I have such a vision for the future - writing a book on mental health, growing a business, constantly learning…. But mostly I would LOVE to help a few of my best friends who are SAHMs and struggling to pay the bills. When they’re ready to work, I want to be the one that tells them - “It’s NOT impossible. Here let’s try this.”