(Photo courtesy of @jaclynjourney)
Being able to work at home as a new mum can sound like the perfect situation, right? You get to contribute to the household income, still keep your career in tact, give your brain something to tackle besides diaper duty and all the while you can still be there for your little one. In many ways, being a work at home mum is the ultimate dream. But that said, there are some hurdles to overcome while juggling a job and a baby chez vous. We spoke to Emylee Williams, co-founder of Think Creative Collective, a resource/career coaching company that helps creative types manage and grow their businesses through online courses, articles and daily aspirations. Emylee, a new mum herself, knows some days the struggle is real, but with the right tools and accessories--including her DockATot Deluxe - she gets it done!
Emylee Williams of Think Creative Collective (pictured) relies on her DockATot to snuggle her new baby while she works on her laptop at home.
Working at home for mamas with kids under school age can be challenging. What are the top 5 most important tips on how to make it work?
Emylee Williams: My top 5 tips for working at home with kids are:
- Find your productivity magic spot. We all know that we mamas have to take advantage of the chunks of time we end up getting to work. So know your productivity magic spot first. Do you work better in the morning? Do you need noise cancelling headphones? Do you need to hop over to a coffee shop for an hour? I know it's enticing to try and work in mini bursts throughout the day, but if you can use your magic hour to its fullest advantage you'll find you'll get more done in that timeframe.
- Batch like tasks. And I'm not just talking writing, taking photos, client meetings, etc. I'm talking makeup ready tasks, tasks that require pants or a shower. I decided to bulk specific tasks that require me to be "ready" so I don't find myself having to spend time doing it everyday.
- Automate what you can. Now, more than ever, you don't have time to be doing minute tasks all day. Take a look at what you're spending your time on now and see what system or app you can set up to automate it. Think social media posts, blog scheduling, email responses, etc.
- Talk with your kids about the impact of your job. This might not work for babies who have no clue what you're saying, but for older kids this might just be what they need. If they can understand even a little bit that your job gives you pride, impacts others and makes you happy they might begin to understand "why" you're working (and leave you alone for a bit).
- Give yourself some grace. This is just a season no matter how crazy it might seem. If your kid is anything like mine, the second she gets a routine it changes. You're doing your best right now and everyday. You've got this!
How can mums who work at home keep their productivity levels up and stay focused?
EW: The biggest thing that keeps my productivity up and my focus sharp is the ability to see my day and week at a glance. I personally use Trello For Business to manage my to-dos and big picture strategies for my business. I love its drag and drop features since there's hardly a day where I'm able to check EVERYTHING off my list.
(Photo courtesy of @sleepandthecity)
One of the reasons mums work at home is to cut down on child care costs. What are some ways mums can still get work done while still watching the kids?
EW: To keep childcare costs down I like to mix up my options throughout the week. If we're able to secure a nanny for a few hours during the week I know I can be hyper focused on my audience, schedule meetings and interviews. Other days we might have a grandparent come by so I can shower or just have some free hands. But most days I just need my daughter to be happy and safe so I can keep my mind on work. Our DockATot truly lays the foundation of my daughter's day. It's the only thing that helps her sleep 8-12 hours every single night which creates a super happy baby during the day.
Tell us about your company Think Creative Collective. How does it empower mums who wish to work from home and/or run their own business?
EW: Over here at Think Creative Collective we're the business fairy godmothers for overwhelmed creative entrepreneurs. We turn your hot mess of a day into a crisp, clear and strategic command centre. We provide action steps through our blog, The Strategy Hour Podcast, online workshops, programs and our Facebook community. If you're feeling lost on how to refine your business and making it profitable and sustainable then we'd love to get to know you.
(Photo courtesy of @allyseholcomb)
As a work at home mum yourself, what have you found to be the biggest pros and cons?
EW: Working at home as a mama definitely has its ups and downs. My job gives me the freedom to take time to truly enjoy special moments with my daughter. Like when she wakes up grinning and chatty or when it's nice outside and we hang out on the deck. I can (most of the time) pause my day and enjoy those bursts or carry my laptop outside and multitask. Of course this life comes with some difficulties as well. There are countless compromises on what can get done both in my business at at home. I have to decide everyday what's going to get my attention versus what can't.
What websites or books can you recommend to help inform and inspire work at home mums?
EW: I love the Boss Mom Community (Facebook group and podcast), The Energy Bus (adult and kid version), and Beats Headphones for noise cancelling effects.