Speaker and Author of "100 Simple Truths All Virtual Assistants Should Know"
Latest posts by Audrey Isbell (see all)
As we talked about in the last post
, being a work-at-home mom can be very rewarding, but it doesn’t come without its challenges! Just imagine how productive your workday would be if there were a tiny human in the office with you who couldn’t do anything on their own. (Hint: not very productive!)
I remember when I first started working again after having my son. He was three months old and I was excited to rejoin my amazing AVA team. However, I soon found out just how tricky being a work-at-home mom (WAHM) was going to be. Maybe you can relate: you think you have the best of both worlds but then discover trying to do two challenging jobs simultaneously is not a piece of cake. The good news is, it can be feasible—and enjoyable. You just have to utilize a few secret weapons.
So today, let’s look at my first key tip for maintaining sanity and increasing productivity for the WAHM.
Secret Weapon #1: Stop Multitasking
Wait, what? Isn’t the whole working mom thing all about multitasking? For some personalities, maybe. But for me, I found my stress decreased and my productivity and happiness increased when I stopped multitasking. Let me explain.
When I first started working from home postpartum, I would often set up my son, Alan, beside me in a bouncer or on the floor with some toys. He would play for a little while by himself, but soon he would grow restless without any interaction or attention. I’d try to look over and smile or talk to him, but he wanted—needed—interaction. Babies grow rapidly and as their brain is developing, interaction and stimulation are necessary pieces to that growth.
Not only was I beginning to feel like a bad mom for ignoring my baby while I worked, but the lack of consistent focus on whatever task I was doing was also incredibly counterproductive. Every time I’d look away to hand him a new toy or pick him up if he was fussing, I’d have to re-orient myself to what I was doing. I’m sure many of you have experienced trying to work while being frequently distracted. It’s not a good use of time and quite draining to boot.
The solution for me was to focus on only one role at a time. If it was Mom, I was 100% there. Alan had my full attention. If it was VA, I was 100% there. Work had my full attention. I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief once I got this down. No more being torn between two things and not giving either one my all. I felt like both a good mom and a good employee. Each in their own time. Score!
I hope this sheds a little light on why giving 50/50 is exhausting and frustrating for both you and your baby. Trying to pay attention to both work and baby at the same time ends up with you giving only half your best to each. So you know you’re reading to make a change… but how to accomplish this 100/100 lifestyle? That, my friend, is my 2nd secret weapon… stay tuned!