Mommy burnout is real and working from home, whether you have children in school or an infant in your hand, without taking the right time out for your self-care can very easily become the cause of too much stress, missing deadlines and overall feelings of fatigue.
As mothers, our first role is always to make sure our children are cared for in the best way possible. It’s easy to forget about yourself in the midst of diapers, bottles and nightly feedings. However, self-care for mothers is essential as it benefits not just the mom but everyone in the household’s overall well being.
I work at home as a full-time blogger and freelance writer, and it has absolutely had its good days and bad days. Pouring everything you have into your work as an entrepreneur is what’s expected of you. As a mom, your job is 24/7 and that mixed with putting your all into your work will cause emotional, mental and physical drain without taking that much needed time out.
I remember a week over the summer when the kids were out of school for nearly 3 weeks and I had a big deadline in 5 days. I didn’t take self-care time and found myself scrambling in the hours leading up to the deadline and feeling completely defeated. I could have prevented all the actions leading up to this had I taken just a few moments or a day to rest and refuel.
I’ve gotten a better handle on managing my self-care journey, motherhood and working from home. You don’t have to learn your lesson the hard way as I did, here are some real-life tips and strategies to help you moms working at home manage your own self-care.
Setting goals are very important in life and in business, it is very important to make sure you have clear and precise goals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
I like to use my own goal setting recipe in order to make sure each goal is attainable, has actions tied to it and has a clear deadline. Setting your goals is important to your self-care because it gives you a clear set of guidelines to base your day on.
Have you ever had a moment in your day while working where you felt stuck? Making sure to set yourself and your day up will aid in your ability to make sure you do not burn out so quickly. I’ve found that the goal setting is essential in my mindset and mental health self-care.
Not only will your goals help you to achieve more in your work by helping you stay organized, but it clearly outlines your days and it helps you set a day to day standard so your hours don’t get away from you.
Set up “Me” Time
The coveted “me” time that we are always looking for in life. This is probably the most important tip when you are setting yourself up to succeed in self-care as you work from home.
This should be a no screen allowed time that you set aside in your work day to do something just for you. You may feel like there is so much to do on your to-do list and the laundry still isn’t done but taking the time to do those instead of pouring into yourself can only be detrimental.
When you’re not taking the time needed daily for your “me” time, you are running on fumes and that’s when mistakes happen. Bake your me time into your morning or nightly routine and let it be the time you find calm and turn off the world around you.
Think about the time in your life when you were working outside the home and how that 1-hour break was what you lived for. Working from home and taking a break for me time should be no different, it’s a key essential.
Your Morning Routine
My morning routine (you’d be surprised) consists of not opening social media every day before 9 am! I used to look into my phone as soon as I opened my eyes and some days I still do to check the weather or make sure there is nothing time sensitive. But I’ve chosen not to open social media or respond to emails prior to 9 am because that’s what works for my mental health and well being. Because I work in social media I’ve found that it can easily become a time suck and cause anxiety so it’s not the first thing I do.
We tell our children that breakfast is the most important meal of the day yet as a WAHM when was the last time you sat to finish a plate of food? It’s very easy to roll out a bed and get right on the computer and start checking emails. But you’ll find with the small adjustment of setting up a morning routine you can start each day feeling human.
I’ve found that when I do any or all of the following below each morning it helps me stay prepared for online meetings, running out to pick up the kids or for taking a walk in the neighborhood.
- Take a shower
- Feed yourself
- Have your warm drink of choice
- Get in a workout
Your daily morning routine is not something you should skimp on. The same way you set up your day with goals for a clear working mindset, what you do in the morning sets you up for a physical, mental and spiritually clean mindset depending on what you do.
Get some Support
Contrary to societal beliefs and pressures us moms cannot do any and all things 24/7 alone. I believe strongly in building a community and foundation in motherhood and business.
Whatever your WAH business is, I recommend finding other moms who are doing the same in order to build some kind of camaraderie. Working from home can very easily become lonely since you’re spending all of your working hours alone or with a tiny human. Within the community, you find or build set up some dates outside of your home to meet and work or simply have lunch.
Having people around you in the same field who understand what it’s like to be a work at home mom will be great for your emotional and mental health. I mean honestly, who wants to talk to the wall all day, find your support network and get the support you deserve.
Take a Vacation!
A real vacation, not a staycation! It’s easy to tell yourself that you don’t need a vacation because you spend most of your time at home. But one of the most important elements of self-care is understanding and knowing your worth.
You are worthy of more than just your 2 day weekends and an occasional day off here and there. While those are great to have, you need to take some real time off to treat yourself. Working at home and being a busy mom can have a toll on your body and you’ll soon burn out. The stresses of running your own business, being a virtual assistant, blogging, vlogging or whatever you do can be both rewarding and taxing.
At jobs that are outside the home, employees are given their vacation time and PTO time and expected to take them as necessary. Your work will survive the days you take off, the emails will still be there and when properly planned the work you leave will not explode when you’re gone. A vacation from work and spending time with family or yourself is what will set you up for continued success.
There is a delicate battle when trying to manage your household and working from home at the same time. Days will pass when you feel like you simply cannot do it all and that’s okay to note.
Motherhood is hard work, working can be taxing, and as a hard working momma, you deserve to pour into you as often as possible. Set your goals, have a morning routine that works for you, give yourself a break and take a vacation because with these simple self-care adjustments you’ll take baby steps to a healthier happier mom.
And a healthier happier mom means a happier home for your family.
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About the guest author:
L. Autumn is founder and content creator at She’s A Wreck where she shares stories and tips on practical parenting, mental health and encouraging moms to pour into themselves with self-care. It her mission to express honesty in motherhood, bring awareness to mental health and motherhood and employ that all moms give themselves a break. She and her husband currently live in Brooklyn, NY with their son and daughter and they love exploring the city as often as possible. When she not busy wrangling two school-aged children and keeping them entertained beyond the latest technology she is working on her acting career and various entrepreneurial projects.