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We recently embarked on a home project that I knew would be disruptive to my work-at-home mom life. To help others, I share my tips for work-at-home moms when you’re completing home projects.
Our home has 18-year-old carpeting that wasn’t great when it was brand new. From the moment we stepped foot in our home during the open house, we knew we’d have to replace it.
Fast forward two years and our lives look so different. We have a crazy one-year-old running around. I work entirely from home and that living space is crucial to my productivity.
So we planned carefully. My husband had Veteran’s Day off of work so he also took off the Friday before to make it a 4-day weekend. We meticulously planned out the project to ensure that by Tuesday, everything would be back in place for me to return to productivity.
But then, nothing went right. One of the guys who was supposed to help with the project had something come up. He’s an engineer so his input was going to be extremely helpful. So now it was just my husband and his dad working on the project. We got help from family for our one-year-old so I could step in more on the project.
However, uneven floors, difficult corners and unexpected delays hit. Ultimately, my office was not returned to normal before the workweek began. Here are my tips for how to stay productive during home projects.
Tips for work-at-home moms during home projects
Little ones struggle with disruption just as much as we do. Try to keep that in mind when you think you’re losing your sanity. Here are my top 5 tips for work-at-home moms during home projects.
- Ask for help: we called in our family members throughout the project. They helped play with our little guy and get him out of the work zone. Plus, I had no kitchen for meals, so family members also helped on that front, which gave me more work time.
- Babyproof another space: we’re blessed to have a finished basement. We moved all of my son’s toys down there. Sadly, this is also where lots of the furniture and odds and ends from the main floor had to go while we did the flooring project. It was a difficult space to babyproof entirely though. I still had to be a bit more attentive to his needs than normal, but he had space to run and play. That’s crucial for a one-year-old.
- Get out of the house: I did some crockpot cooking, but it’s astounding how much we rely on having an oven for cooking. I realized midway through the day that I had a main course that should be served over rice…but I couldn’t make rice. We needed instant rice that we could cook in the microwave. Instead of driving to the store, which is a mile away, we got the stroller out and went for a run. This got us outside, gave us something to do for about 45 minutes, and occupied the little guy in a safe space.
- Try to keep your normal routines: we still went to baby storytime at the library, met up with friends on a normal schedule, and napped at home. This is all crucial to keeping baby in their normal routines. This way, he napped on time, went to bed on time and kept a full belly. He eats best at home where there are fewer distractions and my one-year-old can get into some serious hangry tantrums if we throw off his meal and snack schedule.
- Make it fun for little ones: He and I took a trip to visit a friend from out of town for a day. It was a fun playdate for him and we got to see friends we don’t often see. Plus, I went to the local second-hand children’s store and bought him some new toys. For $15 I was able to get new toys that we can just donate after the project is done if they don’t hold his interest long term.
Conclusion and helpful toys
While home projects make for a pretty crazy life, try to stay calm and make a plan. Our plans helped us survive the crazy time with as little disruption to normal life as possible. Additionally, new toys help. Here are some of the toys that I used in my tips for work-at-home moms during home projects.
My son was so proud of himself when he built with these. It was a really fun new activity for him.
To go with the Mega Blocks, we got him a truck he can push around and built on top of. It adds more ways to play with the blocks.
Our little guy has been pulling our shoes around the house by the laces. It was certainly time for an actual pull toy. This one is a blast.
While he can’t play this game on his own yet, my son loves strings. He enjoys these lacing cards and it’s great for fine motor skills. I placed the lace through the hole and he would finish pulling it through.