This is a sponsored guest post.
Gone are the days when women would be satisfied with staying at home, cooking and taking care of the children. Modern women understand what the benefits of having a job are and are willing to sometimes sacrifice the chance of having a family, for career success. But can they have the best of both worlds? Can a stay-at-home mom achieve career success and still have time for the children?
When thinking about job opportunities for stay-at-home moms, IT might not be the first to come to mind, but the advantage of remote working is what makes a programming job the best for combining motherhood and business.
In the past, the idea of having a successful career in IT, without working for at least eight hours a day in a business office, was rarely heard of. Not because it wasn’t happening, but mostly because women fear that opening up about motherhood struggles may affect their career. But nowadays, when more and more companies choose to outsource web development to IT freelancers, it’s up to you to find the perfect balance between your personal and professional life.
Create a Schedule
No matter the field, the first thing you have to sort out when working from home is your schedule. Decide on how many hours you want to work per day, when is the best time to achieve at least two hours of uninterrupted work and stick to it the schedule. Assuming the reason you work from home is to have time to take care of the children, figuring out their schedule is the best way to start. Maybe your newborn takes naps at the same time each day, so that should be a window you have to take care of work without (too many) interruptions. Of course, one of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility of your schedule. Prioritize your tasks and if something like emails or phone calls have to be done at a certain hour, take care of them first.
Figure out what time is better for you to get some uninterrupted work time. Maybe you are a morning person and you can wake up a few hours before your family does, to do some work, or you prefer to work at night, after everybody is asleep. It’s up to you to find the solution that suits you best. After all, you are a computer engineer and solving problems is what you do best, right?
Work time is work time. If you would be working in an office, you would not stop coding to rush home and do laundry. Same goes with working from home. Leave chores for later and focus on your work. You can worry about that pile of dishes after the project is done. Keep your mom role and business role separate as much as you can and treat them with the same respect and value.
Setting up a corner office or room in your house is a great solution to keep everything work-related in one place. Having an office inside the house is also a great solution for taking client calls without disturbance. You can close the door and concentrate on work better than in the living room, where your kids are watching tv.
Institute rules around your house, to teach your children not to come into your office if the door is closed, unless it’s an emergency. Teach them to knock on your door before entering and explain to them why it’s important to respect those rules.
Boundaries should be set with your clients as well. Don’t hide the fact that you work from home from your clients. Be upfront with them and let them know that sometimes, during a phone call, they might be hearing your kids in the background. They might be more understanding than you think, but don’t use this as an excuse to not meet deadlines or keep rescheduling their calls.
Ask for Help
Don’t be ashamed to admit you need help. Hiring a part-time nanny or asking your mom to come help if possible is totally normal. When your spouse comes home from work, ask him to keep the children busy a few hours to give you time to focus on your job.
Parents have found that hiring a nanny to help you for a few hours a week can work wonders. This does not mean you have failed at parenthood. Admitting you need help from time to time is the adult thing to do in these situations.
Another option is daycare. Find a plane close to home, where your child can play with other children and engage in learning activities. You can either find a daycare that has part-time slots, where you can take your kid a few days a week for a few hours to get some time to focus on work and if it works out well, even consider it full time. The only disadvantage is on the financial side, as daycare can be pretty pricey.
Don’t Forget About Your Mental Health
It’s easy to lose yourself when trying to balance work and being a mom. Don’t forget to take a break from time to time, to allow yourself to de-stress. Some simple tips you can follow to take care of yourself are:
- Take a lunch break: When you’re not in an office, whit designated breaks as part of your schedule, it’s easy to forget to eat or eat leftovers at your desk, while frenetically typing to finish the project. Take at least 15 minutes to de-stress, sit down at your kitchen table and eat a proper meal.
- Respect your days off: While taking two hours off of your weekend time to finish a project is not an issue, don’t turn it into a habit. Respect your free time, as this improves your productivity and has a strong effect on your mental health.
- Get dressed: Sitting at your desk in your pajamas might seem like a great idea, but studies show that the way you dress has a great impact on how you carry yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to put on a face full of make-up, a business suit and high heels. Showering and changing into some day clothes might just do the trick.