Work-at-home moms are increasing in numbers these days. While working from home may look "convenient", work-at-home moms know too well that the challenges of having personal and professional responsibilities under one roof can be overwhelming. Here are some of those challenges:
1. Never-ending Laundry
As a work-at-home mom, I see dirty clothes pile up in the laundry basket every single day. I pass by it every time I go to my little home office. I think about the never-ending laundry the whole day and the thought of having to separate whites from coloreds makes me crazy. So I decided to devise a system: do one load in the morning before I start work, another load on lunch break, and another one by dinner time. That way, I see the dirty pile getting smaller and smaller and that makes me happy.
2. Screaming Babies
My husband always asks me: "How do you manage to work when the mutants (our twins) are all over the place and put up with the screams when they want food, milk and diaper change?" The truth is: There is no other choice but to manage my screaming toddlers. They're mine and I love every single cell of them. To lessen the impact of the eardrum-breaking scream, I simply close the door (especially when Antoinette is throwing a tantrum because I refuse to play Winnie-the-Pooh).
3. Personal Time
Because work and home tasks happen almost at the same time, it's difficult to find personal time. Even taking a shower seems to be a major hurdle to beat. My friend Sheena has a hard time pulling herself out of the house to get a manicure-pedicure or a haircut. "There are too many things to do!" she said. I agree! So the best solution is to list down your personal/family tasks according to urgency. Prioritize, then accomplish them one by one.
4. Finding Time for Shopping
I can just imagine how single moms manage this situation. I grew up with a wonder woman for a mother and now that I am a mother myself, I appreciate her so much more. I completely understand why she would scream in frustration when my siblings and I trashed the living room she just recently cleaned. Finding time to do grocery shopping was something I learned from my Mom. She shops like she owns a convenience store. Everything is bought in advance. Items that can be stored longer (e.g. detergent, shampoo, etc.) are bought in bulk.
5. Cooking Duties
How do you plan your household's menu when you have a 3p.m. deadline? I suggest cooking food the night before, place them in steam bags, and microwave them before mealtime. Fortunately, I don't have to do all the cooking at home. It's my husband who plays chef. One less task off my shoulders. But since he also works, he thought it's best to cook lasagna the night before, cut them into blocks and place them in steam bags. No one should go hungry the following day.
6. Monotonous Environment
It's the same house, same table, same people you face the entire day. Well, if you work in an office, it's the same environment too. But at least you get to talk to adults once in a while during the day and not stare at laundry piles beside your work station. Break the monotony by taking periodic breaks. Stay away from your computer, watch TV or if it's possible, get out of the house and breathe. A 10-minute walk helps refresh your weary soul.
7. Looking 'pretty'
It's hard to pick up a brush because you are so used to working in your pajamas! My personal rule to beat the laziness that comes with looking pretty is to dress up and apply make-up on days that I have major work tasks to handle. I feel that if I dress up and put on make-up, I will be able to survive the day and accomplish all my tasks.
What other challenges are faced as a work-at-home Mom?