(GGC Survival Guide for) The Beautiful and the WAHMd

As an epiblogue to my last post. I put together a little list for those of you WAHMing it up, hoping to someday WAHM and/or trying to decide between being an astronaut* or a WAHM when you grow up.

GGC's Ten Secrets to Highly Kinda Sorta Successful(ish) WAHM'ing

1. Make Lists, Check Them Twice - The only way to keep track of assignments, appointments and show-and-tell themes is to write them all down. Every morning I write my to-do list and most of the time I get to some of it.

2. Coffee - The only drug moms can do out in the open without risk of being judged. Also, it helps you wake up in the morning, late morning, early afternoon, late afternoon and evening when you have deadlines.

3. Separate Work Hours from Kid Hours - Designating play hours may seemed contrived but its kind of imperative. Implementing "no Internet/no phone" zones is sometimes the only way to pull back from work to enjoy your family without constant vibrating. There is a time and a place for your "shit to blow up." And it isn't while your child's begging you to build sandcastles.

4. Get the Hell Out of the House - For me, it's near impossible to focus 100% on kids in my house, especially during weekday afternoons. Too many work-related distractions a mere feet away (This might have something to do the fact that my office space is in my living room, inches away from where the kids play with their toys. In my next life I'm going to to be filthy rich when I have kids so I can have an outdoor office or a separate wing to keep my computer.) so getting out of the house for activities everyday is a MUST. Whether it means going to the park, meeting for a playdate or simply taking a "nature walk" around the block to collect rocks.

WAHMside!

5. Get Dressed. Every. Day. - I can trace every bad WAHM day to poor wardrobe choices. This might seem incredibly shallow but it's true. Just look at the women of one hundred years ago. My great-grandmother gave birth to triplets during the great depression and still managed to change out of her pajamas every morning for chrissakes (true story!) so we have no excuse.

Honestly, though. Getting dressed to go to work everyday is obvious. You wouldn't show up to an office job with your hair in a scrunci, so why show up at your home office looking like a slob? You say you can do your best work in your pajamas and slippers? I don't believe you. Makeup works wonders on a poker face. Style is the first step to substance.

6. Stick to a (Flexible) Schedule -  You absolutely must have a schedule if you're going to get through your day. For me, for now, scheduling my days is difficult because of Fable's no-nap policy but I do schedule my nights around my work. The most important part of having a schedule as a work-at-home parent is knowing that things will probably be switched around ten thousand times and you'll have to cancel most of your plans to deliver by deadline and everyone you know will call you a flake behind your back.

7. Prioritize - You'll get to all those TIVO'd episodes of LOST, later. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully. We'll see. Okay so you'll most likely never watch LOST again.

8. Stay up an Hour Later or Get up an Hour Early - Quoting my inspiring friend, Rita Arens, sleep is for the weak. You want to get it all done? There are nights you'll just have to sleep less. One hour won't kill you but it will make you stronger if you can finish your daily deadlines without stressing yourself to an early grave.

9. Surround Yourself  with What Inspires You. Get Rid of Everything Else - Days are too short and time far too precious to surround yourself with downers and ghosts and judgment and people who bite. Period.

10. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate - If you can afford a part-time sitter? Do it. And if you can't? Don't be afraid to ask for help. From your spouse (who should be offering anyway p.s.) or partner or mom or grandma or neighbor because quite honestly, NO ONE can do it all on their own. We get by with a little help from our friends.

.............

Now it's your turn. What are your secrets do doing it all? How the hell do you manage your life/work/kids/marriage/porn addiction/craziness? How do you make it happen?

Bring on the bullet-points.

GGC

*Not discounting those who are both mother and astronaut. Just saying it's probably impossible to astronaut from the home, correct me if I'm wrong.

69 comments:

Little Miss Moi | 11:54 PM

Dear rebecca. Love this list. I also find that there are some days that I really can't cope, when I can't put in the effort, so I have my list of 'go-to' entertainment for the kid. This might be a collection of baby shows i taped over time (yeah I know it's bad to telly sit, but somtimes you gotta do it), or pulling out the special toys with batteries that usually do my head in but can keep her entertained for at least 40 minutes...

Little Miss Moi | 11:55 PM

I mean, the whole point is that it buys me a bit more time to get done what i want to get done on the days that one or both of us are freaking out.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:00 AM

Totally. Good one. I can't live without television in the morning. That's the only way I can get Archer ready for school and Fable fed and get out of the house relatively on time!

Sarah Mickulesku | 12:02 AM

THANK YOU REBECCA for posting this!! After a series of events over the past year, (losing my job and going from making bank to pennies, getting pregnant, full circle/aha moment type shit) I feel like I have sort of landed in a sink-or-swim type of situation. I literally lose sleep at night staying up trying to think of creative ways to DO IT ALL, and often think of you and other amazing women in my life who are able to do just that.

To be my own boss and raise my kid the way I want her to be raised and not neglect my pets and run my household the right way and manage to bring in some sort of income and still feel intellectually stimulated and still feel like I am creating something... to give back, and to feel fulfilled. To live a SATISFYING life, not just get by.

I struggle daily with the question, "how?" I know what I want, but HOW do I get it? I know the woman I want to be but HOW to I get there? Where do I start? How do I make it all work in my favor? I absolutely agree with you that you truly CAN have it all/do it all. I think it all really depends on how fucking hard you're willing to try.

Thanks for the great post, keep on rockin' in the free world.

megan d | 12:04 AM

9. Surround yourself with what inspires you. Get rid of everything else - Days are too short and time far too precious to surround yourself with downers and ghosts and judgment and people who bite. Period.


This will be off the point of the post but seriously, those words hit me like a million bricks. My husband and i have been talking about having a second kid and revamping our surroundings a little bit.. he was in a mildly successful band for a long time and with that comes many toxic people and situations... unfortunately, the city we live in houses those ghosts. i've been aching to expand our brood and ditch all of the negative people that surround our everyday. im on the lookout for true buds. it will be hard but this is something i need to do. thank you for reiterating that for me!

mamanpascale | 12:14 AM

Hey Bec, This was SPOT ON. Also, and I'm not sure I'd necessarily recommend this for everyone, but sacrifice some major sleep. I get as much done during the day with two underfoot as I can, thanks to half days at school and the brief "educational" shows, but then the bulk of my work is done post bedtime from 8pm to 2 am. It helps that I'm a night owl and can get by with little sleep. I realize that isn't ideal for the long term but (finally!!) next year both kids will be in school full days and life will get exponentially easier for me. In the meantime, I haven;t been willing to sacrifice what little quality time with my kids I have so I simply cut down on the sleep. Granted, not the best choice for everyone.... Coffee is my friend. Make that my lover. :)
The WAHM thing definitely comes with its unique set of challenges but along with that are some pretty awesome rewards. I don't think it has anything to do with balance though. It's all about how you slice up the pie on any given day. Some days more of the pie goes to the kids and some days more of the pie goes to the job. It's an ever changing and fluid thing and that;s OK. As long as the pie gets divided every day and everyone's basic needs are met, it's about going with the flow and prioritizing every single day based on THAT particular day's needs/agenda. Ok enough blabbing on my end! Thanks for the great post!!
Pascale

Cara | 12:18 AM

Thanks so much for this list... I am debating being a WAHM at the moment and you make it seem doable! I really needed this reassurance.

One thing I would add to this list for any mom is to LET GO - who cares if you didn't vacuum in the past few days, that there are crumbs from breakfast on the table. I am a bit OCD about certain things and motherhood has taught me to let go though I still need to improve. Every time I reach for cleaning stuff or start stacking all the random shit in the apartment, I am ask myself is this really important or is reading a book and snuggling with my son more important?
Needless to say, our apartment looks like a tornado hit it most of the time, but I can let go because his giggles are worth it!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:18 AM

YES Pascale! It's true. I'm up pretty late every night but that means I can spend more time with my kids even if it means five/six-hour nights. I also think you're right about balance. The pendulum swings in different ways on different days. I can go full days without working. And also, take entire days (when Hal is home, usually on weekends) to work.

Great recommendations, all! Really helpful!

The Cupcake Wardrobe Shop Blog | 1:41 AM

Great post, I may have to re-read at least once a week just to keep it fresh in the brain.

Although a different style of work, it IS work...therefore I recommend making sure your spouse/partner/whatever is fully on board and prepared to treat it as such.

A non-actively supporting partner - or one that participates very little time in parenting (or home-management) will become a *huge* obstacle. This is true for someone staying home *without* trying to work from home, yo. Add work duties...madness ensues!

myglasshalffull | 1:46 AM

It builds on advice point 3 but YES do not try and work while you're looking after the kids. I am constantly trying madly to email, write, text etc during the one TV show of the day and it's just craziness. They'd rather I sat next to them and did the dance moves and they ask me constantly to do so. I just always feel too consumed to say yes.

Today I did it. I sat down on the floor. I got up for the dance moves. I opened my lungs for the nursery rhymes. And set us up for some painting when it finished.

And goddamn I felt better. Even a bit zen. If that's possible.

Great post.

Julia | 3:36 AM

Totally agree with all of the above. Must read them every week.
If I could add one more thing to the list would be:
'Don't expect to be good at everything and don't expect YOUR KIDS to be good at everything'

Keep On Smyelin! | 5:31 AM

Thanks for the morning smile to go along with my coffee, newspaper (which rarely happens), morning breakfast show and checking my email. I have to get those things out of the way in the morning before I can function....add getting dressed and taking a shower (if kids permit) to the list as well.

I added a cleaning lady to my routine. Love that woman even if she doesn't come all that often. It still helps tame my life.

Adventures In Babywearing | 5:42 AM

These are awesome tips. Especially the getting dressed and putting on makeup- no matter if I have to work that day or not, I feel better about myself on top of it all and find it's a more productive and happy day for me.

Steph

Misty | 5:57 AM

I swear if you posted 12 times a day it would never be enough for me. You're inspiring and I LOVED this list. There's so many that I had figured out for myself but I still struggle with the whole "delegate" business. I'm so attached to my kids (and who isn't to theirs?) that I can't imagine missing anything. I have to remind myself how much I miss just sitting at the computer trying to get work done. This summer I'm going to try to get a sitter just twice a week for a few hours so I can actually THINK about finishing the book I started that's been on the back burner since motherhood.

...and I ramble on. You. Rock.

Marie-Ève | 6:28 AM

Good, good, good advice!

The only thing I'd have to add is that I realized 5 minute breaks worked wonders. When I'm trying to get 3 things done at once and my son is pulling my leg and wants to go play, I used to tell him he'd have to wait until mommy was done.

They I realized his concept of time and attention span was completely different than mine. Now I'm playing with him for a few minutes, and then he's super happy (and quiet).

AVB | 6:34 AM

Writer/Mom/all around awesome woman Susan Orlean tweeted about being a WAHM just yesterday. It generated an interesting discussion on women and men's work styles and obligations. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/18GUoJ

Little Miss Moi | 6:42 AM

Oh, I'm just coming back and back to this list. I've been thinking about things like this a lot lately, trying to get my freelancing going again and being super ordered about it because of PND.

This is an addition to the get dressed/make up bullet...

Go out every day. Even if this means walking around the yard with the kids, or walking the block. It clears the head and can calm you down, and you can take as long as you like - 10 minutes or two hours.

Miguelina. | 6:47 AM

"style is the first step to substance."

You know I love you, right? I might just frame those words and hang them in my closet.

Also, yes, get out of the house everyday. That's the secret to motherhood. :)

nicole | 6:50 AM

i'm totally with you on all of them! especially the not sleeping part...like i always say you can sleep when you're dead!

whitney | 6:56 AM

sweet list. this is so judgemental and borderline bitchy but when i see a frazzled mom in sweats and a scrunchie...i'm like, "have some respect for yourself, woman!" okay, i shouldn't have put it in quotes b/c i don't say it...but, i def. think it. starting out the day with a shower, some makeup and some cute jeans is a total must for me. otherwise i would get down on myself every time i looked in the mirror.

i'm also a big advocate of trying to seperate busy time and free time. try to get the laundry and dishes done and the floors vaccumed with the kids' "help." then, later in the day...when its time to work or hang with the kids...you will be completely devoted to it. instead of being distracted by the pile of dishes in the sink.

just my two cents. peace out WAHMS.

Allison the Meep | 7:04 AM

Oh Rebecca, you're so cool. Let's be BFF. Except that I don't live in L.A. anymore, and have probably just totally creeped you out with the BFF request anyway, so it couldn't work.

I'm starting a gluten-free bakery (because I have celiac disease, not because I'm trying to be trendy) out of my house and hope to one day have a storefront in the downtown area of my cute little city. The way I get things done right now, with only one pretty self-sufficient five year old is to include him in the process. It takes three times as long as when I just do it myself, but at least it keeps him busy. And heck yes to the working opposite hours part. I get so much done once he's in bed. Or at school.

We'll see how well I do when I have a second child though. Chaos? Bring it on.

Swedish Pankakes | 7:24 AM

My mom homeschooled all four of us, cooked a hot meal by 5:30pm, cleaned the house, and was with us 24/7.

I'll never forget when she decided it was time to cut back on coffee. She was cranky and had migraines for what seemed like weeks.


(my dad helped out . . . he worked like 3 jobs)

AlbertaMom | 7:29 AM

Totally agree with the "style is the first step to substance" comment. In university I ALWAYS dressed my best for exams, no matter HOW tired I was from studying. I figured "look good, feel good, do good". And, if I bombed the test, well, at least I was looking cute!

Nicole | 7:50 AM

This list is great. I'm getting my degree from home, while taking care of my 15 month old daughter. I just recently started forcing myself out of pajamas every morning, and make sure to at least put a bit of mascara and lip gloss on. It's done wonders for my confidence which was seriously lacking for the first few months. It's also helped with stress levels -- no more mad dashes to get dressed for quick trips to the grocery store while my daughter is mid-meltdown.

I also find it really helps to prepare snacks for her at night.. like cutting up fruit and putting it in little containers, that way if I'm working and she gets hungry I don't have to stop for too long.. or if we need to go out quickly there is always a healthy snack for the car/stroller ride. I do this with meals too -- I make a few day's worth at a time for all of us.

Don't forget to rotate toys! This has been a huge help, recommended by a friend... I only leave out a few toys every day.. and keep the rest in our hall closet. Every morning when we wake up it's like Christmas.. and keeps her distracted for a good hour or two while I get some work done.

Bex | 7:55 AM

GREAT post! For the most part, it all relates to being a SAHM too. Get dressed. Make lists. Stay focused. Very important things to not slip into a spiraling, let yourself and the house go, pajama clad depression of "i can't get out of the house and where did the adults in my life run off to?"

aybaybay | 7:58 AM

I am not a WAHM, I'm a teacher who's out of school for the summer. But I'm card/stationery/jewelry-making for the summer and trying to get as much done as possible before my pending surgery and my first step is always "Get Dressed." If I can manage to get dressed and feel good, it usually cranks my productivity up a notch. And then, after I get dressed, I try to follow the old cliche, "Work hard, play hard."

Summer | 8:05 AM

I could never drink coffee, so instead, first thing in the morning I reach for a diet coke. Gross to most, essential to me.

Next list from you....how to get published. =)

Leanne | 8:25 AM

Thanks for this!

#5 - mmhmm. Putting on a bra makes me feeling like an effin CEO. That's all it takes.

What's also helpful for me is working on a laptop, so I can literally lock my computer in the closet when it's supposed to be family time. This way I can't just go do that one last thing I need to fix before Monday!

Prasti | 8:35 AM

great list. i have to have a to-do list too. otherwise i feel alittle too overwhelmed w/ everything. and coffee...a must have before i start anything else. can't function w/out it :).

the bellyacher | 8:56 AM

I found my first grey hair today and thought of you.

Desiree Fawn | 9:07 AM

FABulous list.
I might have to post this somewhere and refer to it always!

Babing at High Altitude | 9:09 AM

This is great advice. I finally started drinking coffee again. (and showering!) I work at home with my 4 1/2 month old, and go to work as an event coordinator on the weekends. I find your advice crucial to keeping my shit together! Big fan!

abbeyviolet | 9:20 AM

I agree with almost all of these - I also find it key for us to get out of the house somewhere once a day if at all possible -- a park, a walk, the store, visit a friend, just helps with the isolation issues of working at home.

What I want to work on is some time for me in here somewhere when I'm not working. I tend to be too available to my job and find myself working pretty much whenever not with the kiddo (and sometimes then). Need some time to just read, crafty, play at things I like. Still trying to figure it out as I am about to complete my first year in this group. Thanks for the tips!

Amanda | 9:58 AM

Everything on your list is spot on!

I'd like to add, if I may:

*Regarding lists- I just found this site called www.listography.com. It's pretty much an online list making agent. You can deck it out, select categories to label them under, see other people's random lists, and save paper. I've always been pretty old fashioned when it comes to list making. Rip out some ol' college ruled and slap it on the fridge, but this site is so cool! Just keep it open in a window on your computer.

*Don't beat yourself up because DJ Lance entertained your child better than you could that day. There is always tomorrow. I also don't have a wicked orange jumpsuit so he one-ups me all the time....

*Add some cinnamon to your coffee. My cousin introduced me to it, so good. Just a couple dashes of it on your grounds and it leaves a nice after tone. I've found it takes the bitter after-coffee flavor down a couple notches.

*Exercise. Don't kick me in the head for saying it, but some good old fashioned exercise never hurt anybody. Especially kids! Just doing something simple like a few sets of jumping jacks with your kid will boost your energy levels, and maybe even tucker out the spawn so they nap longer which equals more time for you to get stuff done.

*Blowjobs. If that isn't enough arsenal to coax the husband into doing that late-night feeding or changing the nastiest of diapers, or giving you some room for YOU time, I don't know what is! If the BJ isn't your cup o' tea then some regular sex is just fine too! PLUS! More endorphines for you. Sex is such a nice release. Not to get all R-rated on ya.

And I think that's all I've got because you pretty much owned this topic!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah | 10:17 AM

Brilliant!

Seriously, the staying up later than everyone is when I get the bulk of my writing done and leaving the house is when I can actually focus on the kids.

I'm not sure why I thought working at home would be easy.

I was mistaken.

Angie | 10:17 AM

This is a great post! I have been looking into WAH options and was talking with a friend that needed pointers on how to "do it all". Very helpful, in fact I just linked her your blog!

em | 10:32 AM

I am trying to finish up (ha, more like start!) my dissertation while watching my 1.5 year old. I end up being a half assed mom and a half assed student, it sucks. I But I am finally learning a lot of your pointers, getting dressed, getting out of the house... My biggest issue is not stressing about work that I was supposed to get done but didn't. Each day is a new day and filled with opportunity.

P.S. What about that LA moms meetup?!

Nicole | 10:35 AM

I love number nine. So true, and yet it can be a difficult thing to simplify you life from the bullshit.

JJ Keith | 11:09 AM

This is SOOO helpful. I'm violating #3 right now, but I'm working on it. I've been posting a lot about trying to figure this WAHM/SAHM shit out and this is exactly what I needed: a guide to how to do my bidness without going bananas. THANKS!

Abi | 11:25 AM

Long time reader, first time poster...

I have worked from home (for my sister's web design firm -- I'm a bit of a computer nerd) for years and years, so when I had my son (who is now four) it seemed perfect. Hiring a part-time nanny was essential. She came twelve hours a week, and in those hours I worked, paid bills, etc. When I hired her I stipulated that she needed to stay on top of my son's laundry and make sure the kitchen stayed relatively neat. That took a lot of pressure off of me during my play-with-my-son times. Her moving away coincided with me putting my son into childcare at nineteen months, so it worked out great. He LOVED (still loves) being with lots of other kids.

Fast-forward to now... I gave birth to twins (boy and girl) two months ago and boy is that a lot of work! I am just now coming off of maternity leave (in fact, I really SHOULD be working now!) which is essential because we cannot afford for me to NOT work as we have my four-year-old's preschool to pay for and all these new expenses like double the diapers (ack!). So we hired a nanny and she's going to be here thirty hours a week -- VERY different, but in order for us to be able to afford life, it is necessary. I must work 70% of the time that she is here in order to break even, and that means the other 30% can be used for errands, paying bills, etc. And for one-on-one bonding with one baby while she watches the other. She is responsible for all the kids' laundry, keeping their rooms tidy, and keeping the kitchen and play areas clean. This is huge.

So basically I am babbling to make the point that having help is ESSENTIAL. I feel like a new woman now that I can do some actual adult work and focus my brain on something other than which baby got fed when, etc.

Also, making lists? So very wonderful. I use a sticky note program and keep lists of the day as well as ongoing lists.

Thanks, GGC!

Baby in Broad | 1:07 PM

I actually feel much better and get more done since I STOPPED drinking coffee. Everyone's different, I guess.

I do agree with you 100% on getting dressed, though. And for me, no make-up = bad day.

This has more to do with general household order than working, but I find that household order leads to getting more done, so:

Handle it once. If you can help it, don't set something down on the table and leave it there a while before putting it away in the closet. Move the junk mail from the mailbox directly to the recycling bin. Picking up, organizing, and cleaning as you go can sometimes mean the difference between checking items off your to-do list and not.

Bea | 1:39 PM

Amen to number 9. If you're not my cheerleader I don't want you on my playing field.

I'm also a list lover, but mainly because my memory is shot. If it doesn't get written down, it doesn't get done.

Also? I only have one day per chore. Bathroom cleaning is monday, vacuuming is tuesday, groceries is wednesday etc. Sounds uber strict, but takes the pressure off doing it everyday (my house is clean, just not as clean as say...a hospital?)

Charlotte | 1:52 PM

I just finished my MS in Engineering, am working (almost) 40 hours a week, and my almost 6-month-old is in daycare. At the weekends, the hubs is in charge of the laundry; I clean one room at a time (so you can't always eat off our floors--bite me!). Biggest time saver: Designate one area upstairs (or in the west "wing" of your house or apartment) as a dropoff zone for things that belong into the other part of your house; you can even use a laundry basket to hold those things. Whenever you're about to "cross over," grab as much as you can hold and put it into its real place.

And working from home? So. Not. Working. For me. I tried it, and I suck at being motivated. Found that I need the office environment in order to get anything done at all. That includes blogging, BTW. I admire anyone who can make WAHM work for them.

Ray | 2:27 PM

I LOVE that pic of you throwing up a WAHMside sign. Rebecca you are one KICK ASS MAMA (Archer and Fable are so very lucky to have you)!! =D

And I loved this line, "We get by with a little help from our friends." I love Joe Cocker's version of the song. ;o)

jennifer | 2:30 PM

love the list! my baby isn't here until october but i'm already wondering how i'll squeeze in the work. for me i like to make my bed, even though it's just a blanket and comforter to throw on and fix, i still feel like i got something done. i'll be revisiting this list real soon!

myglasshalffull | 3:26 PM

Going back to my blog after leaving a comment here I realised I'd recently written a post bemoaning the WAHM thing. Reading others' words reminds how much better it is to focus on the positives and how to make the best of the situation.

But more interestingly, I've recently returned to Raymond Carver for some writing inspiration and found an essay of his, "Fires", in which he writes about work/family balance but more specifically, how to make it work as a WAHD!! His discussion centres on many of the same issues we identify today and his approach to writing and having children is an inspiration.

You must read it!

CPT | 3:33 PM

rebecca....what perfect timing!! i'm a WAHM (first time i learned about this acronym! love it!) and i've been struggling with the "do it all" syndrome. thank you thank you for posting about this and providing tips. it's so great to know that i'm (we) are not alone with this struggle of balance as mom's with careers AT HOME! =)

Emma | 5:20 PM

Hey Rebecca! Love the list and love your writing! Just wanted to ask though if there's any other way to view Straight from the Bottle, because I live in Australia and everytime I try to read your blog it redirects me to Babble Australia =S I just don't know how to get around this, and I'm missing out on more of your writing!


You're awesome,

Emma.

Suzy | 6:32 PM

Give up perfect. Embrace good enough.

Anonymous | 6:50 PM

I just want to say that of all the blogs I read, yours resonates with me and I always find myself inspired, touched and appreciative. Thank you for struggling to be all of the things you are and hope to become but still making time to share so much with strangers. Just, Thank You.

pamela | 7:56 PM

i love #9! it's so true and i needed to hear. i'm not sure if anyone has said that to me and now that i read it here it's exactly right on. thanks, i needed that.

i'm a high school teacher. i wake up at 530am everyday of the week. go to the gym from 6-7 and at work by 8-330. i'm off with enough time to hang out with my one year old. it can be totally crazy trying to get everything done and still have energy to clean, cook, be a good mom, etc.
i have off for 3 months in the summer. and it was wonderful when zoe was first born and i could hang with her the first 3 months of her life (she was born on archer's bday).
now, i have been gearing up to start a little sewing business on the side and am starting to see the difficulties of working at home with baby! thanks for the great list.
i think i would add, don't volunteer for anything you aren't 100% sure you can do! you'll end up letting others down and then feeling bad! neither a good thing...that probably goes along with #7 though...

Jasie VanGesen | 8:08 PM

I don't know if what I do is considered working from home... it's a LOT of fucking work... but I haven't made a noticeable amount of money from it yet. I run at Etsy shop... I sew like crazy for it, update, list, check to see if I'm in treasuries, promote, promote, promote!

These are some seriously great tips.

cesca | 10:48 PM

Great list!!!

I'm toying with the idea of being a WAHM (currently I'm *just* a SAHM, but both of the kids are now at school so I want a bit more) and I think I'm going to have to print this out and stick it next to my computer.

Thanks. :-)

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 10:52 PM

No such thing as *just* a SAHM. SAHMing it is HARD WORD. It's a job in itself for sure.

Also, you guys are amazing. So much good advice here.

You all rock HARD.

RachelDenbow | 11:05 PM

But the 5-6 hours of sleep part is what makes me a worse mom. Then I'm zombie since I can't have too much coffee and cranky when that wears off. Plus I feel way less motivated when I'm so tired.

It is essential for deadlines but living like for a year aged me more than I care to admit.

The rest really resonates even when I forget one or two principles. Thanks for the reminder and the opportunity to feel like we're not the only ones struggling with the balance!

Fraulein | 5:47 AM

You know what is one of the best things about GGC? Aside from Rebecca's always awesome advice--the comments. I never fail to read something else in the comments that inspires me to try a new parenting trick and mix things up a little bit. Thanks everybody!

Lauren From Texas | 6:19 AM

I work from home and I am all about the putting on makeup. On the days I don't, I feel disgusting! A little goes a long way. :)

Mommy Melee | 6:40 AM

I found this truly inspiring.

I actually thought of you this morning and put on a pair a shorts instead of staying in my pajamas.

For reals.

messyfunmommylife | 10:49 AM

First it needs to be said: I don't care if you laying in bed or not. There is no longer a need for scrunci's.

I just recently started working at home. I see how hard balance it. I make a point to schedule one trip out of the house every day. Even if it is to the grocery store! You have to get out of the house. It really does help!

Stella B | 11:06 AM

dark chocolate-covered almonds from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. Seriously. That's mama's little helper right there.

and you're totally right about getting dressed every day. I made a vow to myself when M was born that I would shower and change my clothes every day. When she was a newborn that required getting up an hour earlier, but it was important to me. Somedays it was the only thing I got done, but at least I could start the day feeling like *something* got taken off the to-do list!

gokatgo | 5:40 PM

(Usually, I don't work from home, but instead bring her to work with me.)

Work with your little one's schedules to maximize your output. When they're napping, crank it out. If you're having an off day or the little one is particularly high needs, just step away. (Sorry GGC, I know you don't have a napper.) You can't force it, you have to bend sometimes. Also, the babyhawk. Oh, how the babyhawk has been my savior.

Babe in Babeland | 11:22 PM

That's a damn fine question. How do I do it all? I'm not sure I quite do it all yet. I'm still trying to figure it out. I, too, have a daughter who is not much of a sleeper during the day. Makes it very difficult to get anything done! But I do have so much I want to accomplish, so hopefully I'll figure out something that works for me soon!

Sabine | 1:08 AM

As I'm in the process of becoming a WAHM I found this list VERY helpful. I'm currently fighting all the paperwork, but will hopefully get it right soon. My current employer is very hesitant to take me on again, due to the economic slump.
Keep up the good work!

Wendy | 4:15 AM

These are great suggestions! I definitely concur with the sleep thing. :)

Emily | 8:58 AM

Working at home is SO hard! Your list is great and pretty comprehensive. You sort of allude to it and maybe it's kind of obvious, but having a designated workspace is key. There are so many days that I just plunk down on my (unmade) bed with my laptop and I am SO much less productive than when I am sitting upright at the area of my dining room table that serves as my desk!

Binky | 10:19 AM

This couldn't come at a more perfect time. I've been doing research for my historical novel (!!!!!!!) for over a month now, but my daughter's suddenly out of school and my schedule has been shot. I'm going to show this list to my husband. I will point to #10 and he will counter with #8.

This list aside, you've always been my inspiration when it comes to writing alongside a young family.

NotCarol | 5:21 PM

I aspire to be a WAHM. These days I am a W1/2TM (WorkHalfTime)and a GSAHM (GradStudentAtHome) the other half of the time. This works ok for us now as I work on the days that my daughter is at her Dad's house and am at home with her when I am home. I wish I had direction to fully WAH though. I know it would make me happier and be better for the fam in general. Alas, tis not the time.

Anonymous | 1:40 PM

Is that supposed to be some sort of gang sign and is that your "hardcore" facial expression?
I showed it to my hubs and I thought he was going to need CPR he was laughing so hard. It reminded him of a very nice suburban mom we know who says things like, "fo' shizzle."
Moms who do stuff like that end up embarrassing their kids. In a few short years, Archer and Fable are going to groan and roll their eyes when you try to be "edgy." They'll beg you not to wear "those" jeans and to please not talk to their friends.
Fo' shizzle.

Amy | 3:33 AM

Oh, 5am wake up, because I have to get work done before they wake too. Unproductive by 6 am, I turn to your blog, weeks since I last caught up... I find you so inspiring. The way you captured your weekend has me in tears, and the WAHM, well, hits right at home with me. Thanks Rebecca. I have to go put on lots of makeup, and dress up pretty. Today I give a presentation while my five year old boy sits in the office like an angel, right? And wearing heals, makeup and the right suit will help the others in the office take me more seriously... I hope. Thanks for this.