10 Slow Living Tips for the Work From Home Mom

Working from home mamas, this ones for you! If you find yourself in a season of being a full time stay at home mom and working from the comfort of your home, you know how hard it can be to stay on task. You’re not only juggling getting the kids up and dressed, preparing meals + snacks all day long and facilitating play, but you’re giving your time and attention to your online business or ever growing work to do list. It can be daunting and draining!

Part of what I’m passionate about when it comes to being a working from home mama is keeping my one year old son Beaumont involved in my day as much as I can. Instead of hiding away in my office editing wedding galleries or trying to cross tasks off my to do list as fast as I can, I try to consciously just live our life together throughout the day. Yes, these things need to get done, but I’m constantly asking myself “why do I need to rush to get this done?” Naturally I am a productive person. I want to get from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible, but I remind myself often it’s not always about that. If I have to break my hour long editing session into 20 minute increments and go for a walk or finger paint in between, who’s really losing here? I’m not just trying to be the most efficient productive work from home mom, but one who enjoys my work and more importantly shows my child I love what I do. Following are some of my favorite slow living tips and rhythms I frequently use to achieve a good work/life balance with my son Beau.

Firstly, I think we all need to remind ourselves on a daily basis what might be obvious….to slow down.

As I mentioned earlier, working with children at home doesn’t have to feel like a race. Set realistic deadlines in your business or work schedule, one’s you can succeed at long before you meet them, and enjoy the process of working along the way. I know that can be difficult if you don’t love your job, but that’s another topic in itself! The important thing to realize right now is our children grow to react how we react and interact with things. They will mimic us, good or bad!

Rest when they rest.

Any work from home mom knows that naps are pure GOLD. They’re often the time when we can be most productive because we have zero distraction and no little hands pulling us every which way. While I often take advantage of my son’s daily nap to get important tasks done, I have been choosing to take a different approach to nap time and resting when they rest. Meaning instead of doing a work task, I take this time to pour into myself; that can mean reading a book I’ve been wanting to, or working on a passion project I’m excited about lately, journaling, baking…doing something that gives me more energy instead of takes. When we’re back together awake and rested, we can get back on task and go about our day.

Maybe you’re thinking not ‘working’ during nap time would make your entire work day less productive. I think it’s important to go back and revisit what your dreams and goals are as a work from home mama. Is it to check things off the to do list as fast as possible so you can enjoy the evening with your family? Or seamlessly involve your child in your work day as much as you can. Every mama will have a different end goal to this so truly just use nap time as you see fit! There’s no right answer here, only your answer.

Foster independent play.

Our son is now at the age where he will independently start doing activities and entertain himself for short amounts of time. Although I always keep a close eye on him I take advantage of every opportunity he gives me when it comes to independent play. It’s not only good for them but it helps a working mama get more done!

Things I do to foster independent play:

  • Create spaces in each room for your child to entertain themselves. (he has some baskets of toys nestled under my shipping station to keep busy with when we’re in the office, our living room has a book corner and art/playdough in the coffee table, our bedroom has a play corner and his wooden play gym, and his room a small ball pit and other fun things to stay busy with.) I will alternate what he plays with in these areas every so often and like to be more on the minimal side. Children don’t need boundless choices when it comes to toys. They’re often more content when you offer less. We want to engage them, not overwhelm them.
  • Change your environment every so often. This isn’t always possible, but I mostly work off of a laptop so I am able to change things up when needed. If he get’s restless while we’re working in the office we’ll shift gears and go for a walk and then do some more work in the living room.
  • Let them be! There is something inside of us mothers that make us feel like we always have to entertain our children. The truth is we don’t. It’s good for them to be bored and helps foster independent play and imagination. When your child starts interacting with an environment or activity by themselves, take a moment to step back and just let them be. Studies show independent play can also help “build persistence and problem-solving skills, and teach patience and resilience.”

Map out your daily and weekly to dos at the beginning of the week.

While there are so many ways to map out tasks for the week I’ve found this method my favorite. I have daily tasks I do “everyday’ (ie. instagram, pinterest, answering emails, etc…) and weekly tasks I dedicate to each day of the week to help me know what I need to be doing and when. A lot of the time I will try to do all my daily tasks in the first hour of the day and later move onto the more in-depth tasks I have to get done. If I don’t get something done on my list that particular day, I will shift it to another day or my ‘grace day’ (a day during the week I leave open for pickup work). Not having a super strict hour by hour schedule has helped me get things done in a way that works for both my son and I. Everyday holds something a little different, so sticking to a rough schedule of tasks but being flexible is key!

Below is a free pdf print of how I lay things out!

Free Printable Download: Daily + Weekly To Dos

Set timers and don’t multi-task.

Choosing a task to complete and setting a timer for 20 minutes has been a game changer while working from home as a mom. You can choose how much time you think is appropriate for however old your child is, but I have found 20 minutes is good for even me to stay focused and productive while my son can self-play before needing some engagement again. Try to do your task and that’s all. Shy away from multi-tasking during your timed sessions because studies have shown multitasking “reduces your efficiency and performance.” It may seem like an efficient idea on the surface, but typically takes more time to complete something than if you would have just given it all your attention.

Wake up early.

If you aren’t an early riser or your child is, this one can be hard! Speaking from experience though, when I add a couple extra hours to my day I always feel more productive and happy with my outcomes in general. Sometimes I will set my alarm for 5:30am so I can have a couple extra hours of doing whatever I see fit to get done that day. My son typically wakes between 7:30am-9am so this gives me a solid chunk of time to cross some important things of my list when needed. I sometimes love to challenge myself with a 7-day challenge of waking up at 5:30am. It’s always a good kick in the pants if I’m feeling in the slumps.

Involve them in your work.

Let them watch. Let them help. Let them learn! Mama, they aren’t just learning how to run a business at a young age but to follow their dreams! We have to remember we are the ones who get to show them that. This relates closely to our point of slowing down and asking yourself “whether you really need to rush to get things done.” Involving little ones often slow us down in general, but trust me when I say you will never regret letting them help you. Their curiosity and helpfulness will come full force if you give them the space to be your little assistant.

Create community with other like-minded working moms.

This is huge for any mom in general, but I have found it’s especially helpful if you connect with mothers experiencing the same season as you. Sharing experiences is one of the ways we learn and grow as mothers. We ask questions, suggest our favorite books, and share our wins! We all need a cheerleading squad of mamas to win in life with. Facebook groups, Instagram, or your local coffee spots are great places to meet like-minded mamas.

Create healthier relationships with your phone and technology.

The hard truth is our phones and other technology can be a distraction to us in general, but especially when working from home. You may innocently turn on your favorite Netflix series while batch editing emails or open instagram only to end up scrolling the app for 45 minutes, but trust me when I tell you your time could be used so much more efficiently for work and play. As working mamas we’re already juggling little hands pulling us every which direction, trying to get work done and keeping everyone alive while we’re at it! We don’t need to fight constant overstimulation and comparison on top of it all. In general, spending time in online spaces won’t bring out our full potential as much as things like books, nature, traveling, or the company of inspiring people. Below are some boundaries I use to help with my tech relationships:

  • Avoid feeling the urge to wear your phone or take it with you to every room.
  • Turn off non time sensitive notifications
  • Limit your screen time habits
  • Mute and block negative accounts and delete apps that suck you time in wasteful ways.
  • Trade high tech for low tech ( replace your phone alarm app with a real alarm clock, Curate a collection of books or magazine for things like cooking recipes and inspiration, etc…)

Remain flexible and give yourself grace.

The most important point of all! Mama, remain flexible and give yourself the grace you deserve. Sometimes it’s hard being a mom in general, but working from home only adds to the mix! Everyday is different, some filled to the brim with work tasks while others the slow journey we’ve been longing for. Remember to breath and allow your heart a few seconds to settle. Finding the slowness in the chaos is possible, even when you have to reach to find it.

Finding the slowness in the chaos is possible, even when you have to reach to find it.


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