The struggles of the work-from-home mum

RosemaryM 17By Rosemary Marchese

Physiotherapist and mum of 3 fit kids

Work from home mum

You’re so lucky being able to work from home.’ I hear that all the time. And yes, I do consider myself really fortunate. But this is the way I like it and believe me it doesn’t necessarily suit a lot of people. Why? Because the reality is not always very glamorous and sometimes it can be quite isolating.

Here’s what I’ve learnt as a ‘work-from-home’ mum for the majority of the 10 years I have been a mum:

  1. You can lack a little, okay a lot, of sleep. I choose to work from home so I can see the kids more often but in my line of work I need quiet. Not a good mix if the kids are at home!
  1. The household chores can be in the back of your mind more often. When you leave the house there is that element of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’
  1. People forget that you are ‘working’. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good old chat but it can be quite challenging to separate work from distractions that can come in because others know that you are at home.

My tips for productivity when working from home:

  1. Have a schedule and try to stick to it. I ‘chunk’ my time to get things done rather than make a list of ‘to-dos’. For example, I know that in the afternoons between about 2.30 and 8pm this is my time to spend with the children, take them to sport, help them with homework and complete household chores such as laundry and cooking.
  1. Share the load. Make sure your partner is involved and the kids are involved too as soon as they are old enough! Mine were taking their dirty clothes to the laundry as soon as they could walk and picking up their toys from a young age too.
  1. Grow your village. It’s true…it does ‘take a village to raise a child’. Make sure you have a great network of people around you so that you can support each other with your work and family commitments.
  1. Get out of the house daily. If you have an entire day at home then I suggest that you: exercise in the morning, get up every hour from your desk to move around and go for a 30 minute walk in the middle of the day or mid-afternoon.
  1. Have a separate, designated spot for working, and move away from it when you have finished work.

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