7 Habits Of Highly Ineffective Work-At-Home Moms

I read an article this morning called, 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Working Moms. I’m always so jealous of these articles. For once, I would like to write an article in which I say, Hey! I’m really good at this and this is what you need to do to be as good as me! Instead, I tend to default to, Jesus my life is a shit-show and here is what I think I am doing wrong.

Well, I’m not going to beat myself up over it anymore. I mean – a list like mine is just as helpful as one that actually has real tips on it, right? All you have to do is use my advice in a different way; basically, just read about what I do – then do exactly the opposite. If you are a work from home mom, here are some things that I find myself doing that you should probably avoid.

1. Drink a whole pot of coffee by 11 a.m.

This will ensure that your brain is constantly thinking of amazing ways to maximize your time, but your shaky hands will not be able to execute any of them.

2. Attempt to outsource daycare to your mother.

Free daycare plus a way to constantly have your parenting style questioned, which keeps you on your toes. Or annoys you so much you end up spending way too much mental energy yelling at your mother in your head all day because you don’t want to come off like an ingrate.

3. Make no real attempt to wean your breastfeeding infant and/or don’t replace your broken breast pump.

This will ensure that you spend at least half of your day running back and forth to appease your crying child and/or relieve your about-to-burst boobs.

4. Desperately rely on the 2-hour nap your toddler no longer wants.

This involves actually planning for that window of peace that will likely stop coming as fast as you can say Yo Gabba Gabba.

5. Never make a menu for the week to make your domestic life easier.

Instead drag your two hungry, grumpy kids to Publix a couple times a week to plan meals on the fly. Pro-tip: they make broccoli in those “steam-cook in the microwave bags in three minutes” now. This helps ease the guilt for whatever easy meal you are throwing together at the last minute. At least there is broccoli.

6. Never set your alarm clock to ensure that you have time to be creative while your vivacious children are still asleep.

This way you can prep for your day while also entertaining, feeding, dressing and loving your little attention hoggers.

7. Don’t catch up on housework and assorted chores on the weekend.

Why ruin your weekend? This way you can make your already over-scheduled week even harder.

(photo: Barabasa/ Shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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    • Frannie

      I already do most of this, except I don’t have anyone to help me watch my kids, and my poison is diet coke, not coffee.

    • Bethany Ramos

      This is 1000% true. And I’m sure you’re way more together than you think you are – at least I tell myself that!

    • Linzon

      I can only get work done while the kids are asleep, so of course if I’m actually productive from the start of nap time the baby ends up having a short nap, and if I laze around and slack off for the first hour in anticipation of his waking up then he sleeps for three hours. I guess I should be grateful both kids still nap at the same time, I don’t know what I’m going to do when the 3-year old stops napping D:

      • Jessica

        I’m glad I’m not the only one this happens to!

    • WriterLady

      I am a full-time freelance writer working for publishers. The one perception about WAHM moms that really annoys me is that the work is not as challenging or time-consuming. That is patently false. But, I definitely drink entirely too much coffee. That stereotype is spot-on for me. :)

      Other thoughts…

      The positives:

      ** I don’t have to get dressed up and take a long commute.
      ** My son is in daycare/preschool full-time due to my schedule. There is more flexibility regarding taking time off with a sick child. But, as with any employer, a particularly bad year of recurring illnesses means that you may have to take more time off than is agreeable with your client.
      ** I have the opportunity to try new experiences and work with a range of clients.

      The negatives:

      ** One week, I may have 25 hours’ worth of week. The next week, I may have 75 hours’ worth of work. The all-nighters have almost sent me to the loony bin. Additionally, significant overtime hours usually are not paid accordingly.
      ** Unless the client is a major publisher (which, fortunately, most of my projects have been through), payment may not arrive anywhere near on schedule. This has created extreme distress on occasion.
      ** Despite a solid work history, there is always the nagging fear that the workload and offers will dry up.

      Regardless of the pros and cons, I feel very fortunate to work in an industry that affords me this tremendous opportunity. Generally, I love what I do. This is probably evident from my very long comments and posts on this wonderful site!

    • Jessica

      Considering the most time-saving tip (to delegate) on the 7 habits of the highly effective list is essentially to hire help, your list is much more informative and useful to the rest of us. Seriously, the author of the original 7 habits article thinks she gets more done because the nanny bakes cookies? How about the fact that she has a nanny in the first place?!

      • WriterLady

        Agreed. My former friends and colleagues who freelance on a part-time basis do not have a nanny or daycare provider. It is much more difficult to get things done under these circumstances. Personally, we could not afford a nanny, but we do use a full-time daycare/preschool center. We also have only one child, which makes it easier–both from a logistical and financial standpoint. If I had even a second child, the cost would make it harder to handle this arrangement. I believe this to be true of people who work outside the home as well.

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