Struggles And Solutions, Straight from a Work At Home Mom

Hi, if you're new to my blog, welcome to Mommy Practicality, I'm Louise and a newly baptized Work At Home Mom or WAHM for short.  If...

Hi, if you're new to my blog, welcome to Mommy Practicality, I'm Louise and a newly baptized Work At Home Mom or WAHM for short.  If you're a long-time reader and follower, you somehow know my mom life stages.

For the longest time I've been a working mom (working outside home), then just last year, February 2018 to be exact, I left my corporate life to become a full-pledged Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) and focus on my family, especially my children.  We intentionally didn't get a helper, because I want to do everything myself and feel the real deal of being a full-time mother for the very first time.

After over a year of being a SAHM, I got an offer to be a writer working from home.  I thought to myself, wow, what an awesome job because I can transition from being a full-time career woman to a full-time mom to being a working mom again while staying at home with my kids.  Dream opportunity for many working mommas I know who want to just stay at home to watch their kids grow but at the same time want to earn just enough to still be able to contribute to the household expenses.

I have to tell you this, yes, I am reaping the good benefits of this set up because I earn a living while I stay at home, be with my kids, and be a homemaker conveniently.  I also still get to go out on some days for meetings, events (blog and work-related), occasional coffice (make coffee place my remote office/working venue), and also a little bit of me-time or see friends.

It seems like a perfect set up for moms with little children like me.  But it's not always butterflies and rainbows and perfect days.  To be honest, I also have some struggles too and that's what this post is all about.

1.  I'm here but I'm not here.  The struggle is real, I am here at home, but I am not actually here when my mind is at work mode.  So, it's like I'm in another dimension when I start to open my laptop and sit on my recently bought office chair.  In a way, I feel a bit unfair to my kids, but at the same time, I feel still priveleged to living a life I've wanted to achieve when I was still in the corporate jungle.

2.  Double and endless things to do on my list.  The Things-To-Do-List became longer than usual.  The list now contains things to do for the household and things to do for work.  I cannot give work as an excuse not to wash dishes, not to cook, not to attend to my kids' needs even when I  work at my office space because my office is just at home.
Photo Source

3.  Out of focus.  Because of number 2 struggle, I often catch myself out of focus because of balancing priorities.  I admit it's easier to focus at work when you're doing it outside than doing it from home where you're also required to stay on top of things.  No matter how trained you were in your corporate days, you'll still struggle in this department because you know in your heart that even if work is also a priority, your family's needs are more important.

4.  Demanding kids.  I love my kids so much, but we all know how they can be demanding.  In my case, I still have a toddler who exclusively breastfeeds from me.  Though he may be old enough to understand that when I sit in front of the computer at my working corner in the room, he isn't old enough to have self-control.  His needs vs the demands of my profession.  Since I work from home, home is where my heart is.  I give in to his demands because he is my child and since I am here, it's very convenient to give his needs.  That's the beauty of this struggle in a way that I can be with them right away, but for many, I know it's a struggle to balance the demands of work and the demands of your real little bosses at home.

5.  Who's this woman?  Ever since I started working from home, honestly, I looked at myself in the mirror lesser now to check my make up, to make sure my outfit matches, to make sure my accessories match my clothes, to iron my hair or style it.  Washing my face and brushing my teeth are enough because no one would see me anyway unless I do some stories on IG (but most of the time I still don't wear makeup when I share a home story on IG too!).  So when I look back to old working momma photos of myself, hala, WHO YOU sa akin ang nakikita ko in the mirror now.  It's not really letting go of myself.  I still care about how I look or present myself especially when I go out.  It's just not as frequent as every day

These are just some of the recent struggles I experience there are still plenty, but I deal with these more frequently.  Too frequent that I've found solutions that work best for me.  I hope these solutions offer the same answers to your WAHM struggles as well.

What To Do?  Here are some WAHM Solutions:

1. Time Management.  Cliche as it may sound, really, time management is the key to almost everything.  Our home duties in the morning are easy because we really do wake up in the morning as a routine and prepare breakfast, kids for school, and we have this regular chores list we follow before we get on to other stuff to do - like our work.  Set time for work, if like me you have no definite time, you still have to set time for you to devote time for work.  Set time for cooking lunch or dinner (like at least 30mins before mealtime).  Incorporate social media/phone time in your daily schedule as a break.  Never forget to also have quiet time for prayer.  In my case on an ordinary stay-in day, 5am - 7am is time for breakfast/baon-preps/wife duties. 7 - 8am is for household duties.  By 8 to 9 am, I start working in my little corner in our room, 11-11:30am I cook, 12 - 1:30pm is lunch, back to work after that until around 6pm.  In between, I set aside breaks for social media (usually 2pm and 5:30pm), play with my toddler, breastfeeding, and PM snack when my grade-schooler arrives.  I cook at around 6pm, have dinner between 7 to 8pm with the whole family (around this time my husband arrives from work already).  8 - 9pm for some self-care (ideally, dapat meron!) like bathing, skincare, social media engagements.  I also put the kids to sleep around this time - extended to around 10pm.  9pm onwards, wife duties (that includes Netflix, talk, devotion, husband-wife-activity lol!)  My husband sleeps early, so by 11pm - 12nn is my me-time before bedtime.

2. Set an Away Day.  Yes, our WAHM setup is ideal because we get to be with our kids at home while being able to put food on the table.  But to break from routine, have a fresh outlook, and get inspired again, we need an away day too.  For a writer like me, I need inspiration which I can't find sometimes in the chaotic jungle called home.  I have to see new things and be in a different environment to get into writing.  It's one way I manage writer's block which happens to me every now and then.  You could choose a coffee shop or a restaurant with wide windows for natural light, inspiring ambiance, and a place that makes you feel joy.

3. Defined Work Space - At home, a WAHM needs to set up a home office corner or better a small room to do pure work and nothing else.  This will help us get into the zone and motivate us to finish that long list of tasks we need to accomplish for the day or week.  If you may also communicate with people in the house that this workspace is to be respected, please do.  No toys on the desk or any arts and materials, it disrupts the flow of work.  It's also one way of organizing the house spaces and items around you.  Personally, I don't have an office room, but I do have an office corner in the room where I placed all my work-related stuff,  desktop computer, my laptop, printer, office supplies, books, and other writing/blogging references.  With this home office, it makes it easier for me to shift my mood or mode from homemaker - to WAHM.

4. Prayer time.  In anything and everything, let's practice a lifestyle of prayer.  A quiet time at the start of the day which could be the moment you wake up, as you're about to start work or write your To Do list, or during your me-time break or even when the day ends.  It helps that we're centered and calm before or after work - to be able to communicate with our Creator to give praises, give thanks, ask for guidance, and ask forgiveness.  Personally, when I pray, I am reminded that I was called to this situation, which I also prayed for, to be able to serve Him and not myself.  So for everything, I should solely depend on his strength and provision.  For every skill, talent, and output I have - all came from Him.. all are HIS.  In prayer, I couldn't thank God enough for blessing me with work that's ideal for almost every mom who wants to be more a more mindful and intentional mother while being able to help her husband put food on the table.  Praying makes me more productive and because I am humbled that without Him, I have no work.  Without the gifts of skills I use for work, I will not be qualified for what I do.  In anything and everything, I give thanks.

But tao lang din naman tao, we get really tired at the end of the day.  Too exhausted na nakakaiyak na minsan, let me share this Bible verse to calm you and let you know we cannot rely on our own strengths.

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

So there you have it, the real mom struggles and solutions to them of a WAHM, at least for writers/bloggers like me.  All these are from my personal experience.  I hope I was able to inspire you to be positive all the time and to motivate you to do better each day.  We all struggle in this department called motherhood, so the least we could do is to lift each other up, help and motivate each other, and never to judge any mom for the choices she makes for her family.  Because wherever she is, whatever she does, and whichever she chooses, God certainly put her there at His perfect timing.  We just have to always trust God's plan for us mothers.

Have a happy work week ahead!

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Mommy Practicality is a home and lifestyle blog that's about positive, informative, 
inspirational and helpful sharing of life experiences of a working mom 
with topics on motherhood, relationships, events, food, travel, shopping, and finances. 
It hopes to influence moms and women to realize 
that it's possible to live a quality life while choosing a practical lifestyle.

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