The Work-At-Home Mom Diaries: How I Make Worklife Easier
I have been working from home for nearly a year now and it has not been an easy journey. Except for the first month when I first started being an online worker, I have been freelancing – and the unpredictability of the money that comes in every month is enough to get you stressed out.
Did I mention that I am the breadwinner of our little family? I’ll get to that story in a bit.
Aside from constantly chasing deadlines, the fact that my family depends upon me is enough to send me to my wit’s end month after month. Then again, pressure makes diamonds, right?
So, exactly how does a work-at-home mom make worklife easier?
5 / Make your preparations the night before
I contribute for a few travel blogs and some of them use different tools to manage the team. But, I never really thought about using it to manage my freelance writing business. I keep lists and have a gazillion offline spreadsheets to monitor work/business and personal things but they are all a mess.
A few weeks ago, I decided to give Trello another shot and it seems to be working quite well. Of course, I still have my spreadsheets around, but I’ve managed to keep it to a maximum of three.
But, the secret comes with listing down everything I need to do for the next day the night before that. Before I go to bed (and sometimes while I am lying in bed), I move around my Trello cards to figure out the things that I need to prepare myself for, which leads us to the next item on the list.
4 / Know your priorities
I’ve said it time and again, freelancing is difficult. Sometimes, you are bombarded with a boatload of projects and sometimes, you wonder how you’ll be paying for the month’s mortgage.
Trying to stay on top of my game and making sure that my clients are treated fairly regardless of how much they pay me can be a huge challenge. When I am faced with a seemingly-never-ending list of things to do, I try to ask myself: if there is one thing I need to do tomorrow that will make me feel accomplished (and will make me sleep well at night), which task would it be?
Try to find one priority A, two priority Bs and three priority Cs in your list. Priority A should be your major mission to be done that day (non-negotiable). The Bs are big tasks (takes 2-3 hours to complete) while the Cs are small tasks (takes 30 minutes to complete).
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You also do not have to hit goals right away. Try to break them down into smaller goals as it helps keep the momentum and motivation plus it makes big goals more attainable. However, your tasks for the day can be related to each other or not.
3 / Take breaks and do some exercise
For years, my work has always been a mental one. I worked as a software engineer for three years before I shifted to freelance writing. It also means I spend more than half of my day in front of the computer screen.
My partner pushes me to take a break during the afternoons, after our daughter wakes up from her nap. It allows me to stretch my limbs, get up from the chair and also exercise my eyes and prevent my nearsightedness from worsening. My family and I love camping and hiking and while we haven’t done that for some time now, we hope we could get that back into our weekend routine again.
2 / You can’t do it alone
I am the breadwinner and the only one working in our family but it doesn’t mean my partner is not doing anything. Ours is a rather nontraditional setting as we’ve switched roles. Working from home is something I’ve wanted to do but it seemed that destiny had the same thing in mind for my partner – so we ended up staying at home at the same time. Although it is extremely challenging, we loved the setup which is why we are still here almost a year later.
My partner does most of the house work but I try to do my share when I can. Sometimes, I take a break at noon and sleep with my daughter. My partner also helps out in looking after my mom’s sarisari store and our small internet business.
I’ve been telling him though that I wasn’t sure if I could do everything (money-wise) by myself but somehow we are still here. Hopefully, when my business starts picking up I could already hire my partner as an assistant so he doesn’t feel emasculated.
And, just to clear things out, having both of us stay at home was a mutual decision. I do the work as I have ‘more’ skills and get a better pay than he does (even when we were in the office) and we could not leave our daughter alone at home at this point anymore. It’s something that we’ve always set our minds into; we just didn’t think it would happen this soon. No regrets.
Sorry about getting really personal there.
1 / Keep yourself healthy
If there is one piece of advice I could give you on making worklife easier, it’s making sure that you stay healthy all day, every day.
Obviously, I could not afford to get sick (and thank goodness there hasn’t been anything major) with our current setup. Even simple colds and cough can put me out of balance and it becomes hard to concentrate on work when that happens.
Over the summer, the partner and I have developed a lot of itchies and allergies all over our body which we attributed to germs, the heat and a really weak immune system. We had really sensitive skin and we were getting new rashes almost every day, it gets hard to concentrate on anything when you keep scratching yourself.
Thankfully, our skin has gotten better and we’ve also gotten back to our daily regimen of Vitamin C. We’ve tried a few brands over the years but we feel that nothing has been the right fit. A few months ago, we decided to switch to FERN-C because it is affordable and is just right for our lifestyle. Plus, it’s Subok Na (proven and tested)!
Finally, we have a stronger immune system and we can truly attest: Worklife ay Easy with FERN-C!
This is an advertorial created for FERN-C and Nuffnang Philippines but we have been users of the brand for some time now. We love it!
About the Author
Pam is an outdoors-loving millennial momma who loves to hike, trek and camp in the beaches and mountains with her partner and their 3-year-old daughter. When not exploring the great outdoors, she moonlights as a freelance writer specializing in the travel, parenting, personal finance and digital marketing niches. You can also follow her via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!