Let’s face it: moms are superheroes. They can make a boo-boo feel better with a kiss and a band aid, they can scare monsters out of the room and they can do laundry, make dinner, clean the house, and still have time to get in a glass of wine at the end of the night.
Most do all of this on top of working full time.
There are currently 25 million working moms with children under the age of 18 in the United States. That’s seventy percent of all moms with kids under the age of 18.
I am one of those 25 million moms. I went back to work full time when my son was 3 months old and, although I am lucky enough to work from home, the adjustment was still tough.
As any public relations professional will attest, the hours can be long. Sometimes the job requires working nights and weekends. I was used to being able to wake up to start work early and to work late if needed. But suddenly I had a little person who relied on me to take care of him morning, noon and night.
Over the past two years, I’ve learned some tricks to help me manage my work-from-home life. Following are a few tips on how to kiss the boo-boos while keeping up with your PR job.
Put Push Notifications to Work for You
In the world of PR, it’s essential to stay up to date on the news and current events. Sometimes (more often than not), my son wakes up early and I don’t have the time to spend a few minutes perusing the news before my day starts. That’s where push notifications come in handy. I get an alert every time something major happens—it’s a quick read and keeps me informed, and I can do it while still paying attention to Thomas The Train.
Set Strict Work Hours
I am mommy until my nanny shows up. That means it’s my turn to play, go for walks and spend time with my son. It’s easier said than done, and of course, when there’s a work crisis plans change, but I try to give us two hours each morning to just be together. At 6pm, I leave my office (more on that in a minute) and spend another few hours with him and my husband before my son goes to bed. If there’s something that needs to be completed later, I save that for after he’s sleeping.
Have a Designated Work Space
I can’t stress this enough: find a quiet space where you can set up your computer and work without interruptions. It makes it easier to “turn off” at the end of the day when you can’t see or hear your computer.
Take Frequent Short Breaks
Because I work from home, I was able to nurse my son for 14 months. I still sneak out for a few minutes at a time to see him and make sure everything is ok. It helps me reset my mind, get my creative juices flowing, and still see him every few hours.
Find Great Childcare
I knew that, with my job, I wouldn’t be able to work at my full potential if I was also trying to take care of my son all day. Finding the right nanny was hard, but we finally found one who cares for our son as if he were her own grandchild. I can leave for client meetings or day work trips knowing that he is in the best hands possible. It takes the stress off of me and lets me focus 100% on the job at hand.
Be Honest With Your Colleagues
Kids get cranky and sick and tired—and that’s ok. I’ve found that being open and honest with my co-workers when I have to take my son to an appointment—or even when I need to go spend 5 minutes with him because he needs his mommy—keeps the lines of communication open, and makes my job—and as parent and a PR professional—much easier.