Monday, February 25, 2008

The Multitasking WAHM Writer

Most Moms whether they're working Mothers, SAHMs (stay at home moms) or WAHMs (work at home moms) quickly become very good at multitasking. When I had a career in an office I was really good at multitasking. Those skills come in handy as a wahm who writes at home while raising a family and trying to keep a house.

While the tasks are a bit different now than they were in my old cubicle, I've gotten better than ever at getting multiple things done in short spurts of time. I am also now quite good at forcing myself to get focused when I only have a short bit of time to write. Sometimes I only get ten minutes to get down as much as I can before I get an interruption. This results in my trying to make the most of my time all the time.

While I'm writing for a living I can do many things to save time. Here are a few that help and a few that I find I can do quite effectively if need be.

I can...bounce a crying or a happy baby on my knee as well as rock a small child to sleep. (The pitter patter of the keyboard can be very calming, it seems)

I can breastfeed a baby (when I nursed my baby I spent a lot of time at the computer. For the sake of typing, that baby was on the left I could easily surf and I've gotten to be quite the quick little single-handed typist when need be...(As a result I had a left side slightly larger than the right side. Thankfully it evened out when I weaned!)

Fold laundry from the basket beside me while I wait for screens to load.

Cook dinner by coming back and forth from the computer. I've gottenlots of use out of a kitchen timer which saves me from burnt dinners!. A crockpot is a wahm's best friend!

-Dust the environment around me or organize clutter waiting for screens to refresh.
-Have a conversation with dear husband or dear children without missing a beat on the keyboard
-Talk on the phone (for those with high speed...)
-Moisturize my skin (big tube of hand cream on the desk
-Do manicures or pedicures while researching/reading for work
-I've managed to read stories to kids through working as well by encouraging toddler on lap to point to pictures and tell Mommy what that is while I do less strenuous tasks on the screen like research or clerical stuff
-Exercise while working. Sitting at a desk all day ain't great for sculpting the abs and keeping the junk outta your trunk so sit on stability ball while typing, do squats or lunges while waiting for downloads or jump on rebounder beside the desk while waiting for computer programs.

Some days nothing gets done and that's ok because it means I've hit a deadline or spent extra time having fun with the kids but on tricky days my best defense is to multi-task and lower the housekeeping standards. Other days I encourage the kids to play a cleaning game where my preschooler uses a feather duster or waters the plants and my tween does a half a vacuum job (half a clean rug is better than a fully dirty rug!).

Do what you need to do but make sure you also take some time for you!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Learning Lessons In WAHM Balance

Balance ain't easy when you work from home. You're conflicted between the kids and the deadlines and you have to manage it all. People think you're home all day so you have time to chat and the house should be spotless. In reality you're often pulling your hair out, staying up way too late working, getting up before everyone else for work and trying to entertain and earn all at the same time. The house can be trashed for days on end, it seems. It's a fine balance. My almost four year old has endured this life for almost 2 years and doesn't know the life of a Mom who works outside. My 12 year old knows both and prefers this one!

I have finally convinced my little one that I work for a living at the computer and this along with his recent 'sort of' understanding about needing money to buy things surmised that endless amounts of cash could conceivably ooze from my CPU the other day when I said I didn't have enough money for something.

"Mommy, why don't you go work some more on the computer."

Truth be told, I do have the power to get endless amounts of cash outta this PC and I LOVE that!

Funny how he goes from begging me to take a break to the other extreme of marching me straight to my desk so I can buy him a new book or new v smile game :D

I often balance work and kids by working while I talk to them. I do have to stop and double check they're not about to do something I didn't meant to permit or to check and make sure I'm not writing what I'm saying though. He did make me smile the other day when on my lap talking to me and watching me type by saying, "Mommy you're an awesome writer."

Thanks sweetie pie :)