More secret weapons for the WAHM

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Ariel Kostrna

Virtual Assistant at AVA Virtual Assistance
I absolutely love helping people grow! One of the best ways I can do that is by sharing things that I've found helpful, in any area of life.
Ariel Kostrna
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So far in our series on being a work-at-home mom, we’ve discussed the decision factors and logistics of working at home with a baby, the importance of not multitasking, and the usefulness of nap schedules. Now we’ll look at a few more tools to help you get the work you need done—while still being the best mom you can be.

Bonus secret weapon: the babysitter.

Before you start yelling at me about how the point of being a WAHM is that you don’t have to pay for childcare, here me out! I’m talking about getting a teen girl to come over once or twice a week for a few hours to play with your baby, not paying the big bucks for daycare. The key thing is that you’re home, so you don’t need someone whose super experienced or professional. If something goes wrong, you’re right there.

I chose a teenager who’s a family friend of ours. I don’t pay her a lot since I’m home too, and she likes the extra cash. It’s a win-win. I think having this extra bonus focus-time is a huge asset to your work productivity. I love having a babysitter twice a week because not only do I avoid the stressful/guilt-inducing situation of trying to work while Alan fusses for my attention, but I also get a concrete time I know I can count on to get work done.

Babies are babies, and sometimes even the best plans go awry and they mess up their schedule. Or maybe it’s teething, or a developmental leap, or just a bad nap. It happens! It is so frustrating when your baby wakes up crying halfway into their nap and you lose that work time, especially if you have a deadline. That’s why it’s so nice being able to rely on that hour or two the babysitter provides.

Babies and computers don’t mix!

Now I can’t really call this a secret weapon because it’s something all WAHM already use, but I just don’t want you to forget you have it in your arsenal. And that’s independent playtime.

It can get really easy for baby to get used to being entertained all day long. But it’s incredibly important for your little one to get “alone” time (with you still in the room, obviously) where they learn to explore the world on their own. Usually, you’ll want to put up a playard or set baby in a playpen for this time.

If they’re not used to this, they may fuss immediately and plead to be picked up. Give it some time! Keep them in for 5 or 10 minutes (set a timer) and tell them they did a great job and take them out. Soon they’ll get used to it and start to enjoy this playtime, and you can increase it to 30 or 45 min (dependent on your baby’s age).

Independent play does not contradict our weapon #1 (not multi-tasking) because it is a set, scheduled time. This is why it’s so important to use a timer! With the timer, baby knows it’s not arbitrary and he won’t be left in there for hours. When he knows what to expect, he’ll be totally happy, and you won’t be multitasking since he’ll be on his own.

Well, this concludes my ultimate list of tools for the WHAM. I’ll list them out again to wrap everything up:

Thanks for coming along and learning with me! I hope you’ve found some of this helpful, and I’d love if you could comment below with anything I’ve missed that’s been a help to you in your WAHM journey. 🙂

Here’s to all moms—the real-life superheroes!