A Guide to Master the Work from Home Grind

At 11:05 p.m., my comfortable, planned-out life came to an abrupt halt. The governor made her announcement to close all K-12 schools which meant my little one also didn’t have daycare, since the daycare he attends is associated with a school. My mind immediately went into plan mode to try to figure this out. I soon found out working from home was an option, thank god, but what does that look like when you are a mama? Sure, if I didn’t have my son with me, I could crank stuff out all day, but that’s not the case. I also am way better at accomplishing tasks in a work setting versus my comfy couch. I decided to make a plan so I can still crank out my work life while also caring for my toddler. So without further adieu, I give you the Lansing Mom Guide to Master the Work from Home Grind.  

Make a Space

When deciding where to work at home, this needs to be well thought out. There is a reason there aren’t beds or couches in your office or cubicle– nobody would ever get anything done! Think about that as you plan for where to bust out your laptop. I recommend a place that’s quiet, well lit, and allows you to sit up. There shouldn’t be distractions like the TV or your kids running around in circles near you. I am sure this is easier said than done, but try to find a space like this so you can really focus. Since I’ll be working while the peanut naps, my space is the dining room table. It’s away from the comforts of the living room and provides enough space to lay out my laptop and necessary documents. Find your space and make sure it works for your working needs. 

Make a Schedule 

Attempting to work from home while your kiddos are with you is no easy task. It is crutial to make a schedule so you know what times are for work and what times are for play. If you have older kids, you can plan time for them to work on their studies while you do work. Kids crave schedules, so this will help them retain some sanity as well. If you have younger children who demand more of your time, you’ll have to be creative. Set aside some time before they wake, if possible, and then make sure to schedule work time during their nap. If you have a kiddo who refuses to sleep, try distracting them with a movie so you can sneak in some work. It has to work for your situation, but making a schedule will help you stay disciplined.

Set Priorities 

There is no way you’ll be as productive at home as you would be in the office since your little ones are joining you, so you’ll need to really focus your attention on what’s important. Set a list of what is most important to least. Is there a deadline you need to meet ASAP? That should come first. Don’t start with what’s easiest; start with what needs to get done. Chances are the immediate will be the most daunting, but once that is done, you’ll be on a roll and more likely to get a lot more completed. 

Treat Yourself

There are perks when you are in a work-from-home situation! Bust out those yoga pants or leggings, leave the make-up in the bathroom, and let that crazy hair fly. Are you one who looks forward to that morning cup of Joe? Still incorporate that into your day. Do you soak in your lunches while at work? Do the same at home. Allow yourself things to look forward to in between tasks. This will motivate you to get through each item and will provide the necessary breaks your mind needs. 

Be Realistic

You have to know there will be setbacks when you work from home. You may sit down to work and the baby wakes up, the siblings are fighting, or someone gets sick. Your schedule might get thrown off or another unexpected twist may throw a wrench into your plan. I think we’ve all learned that some things are just out of our control, so knowing your plan might not work out the way you thought is important for your mental well being. Trust me, your boss is well aware you won’t get everything done, and if he or she isn’t, please send them my way. 

You are a mom first, over an employee, and it’s ok if the latter is lack-luster during these times. Just give it your best and know it isn’t forever. Visualize your plan and try your best to stick with it. Start small and work your way into a routine. Most importantly, allow yourself forgiveness. You’ll get done what needs to get done and it will be enough. You’ve got this, Mama. 

Need some entertainment for your kids during this time? Check our guide to activities here! For more tips to working from home this guide will help you master it!

Jessica Walter
I am a working mom who left the education world after 7 years to pursue my business career. I work as a product developer at a local insurance company and love it. My husband and sons are my world. We struggled for 3 years with fertility prior to adopting our first son. Later, we really wanted him to have a sibling so pursued IVF using donor embryos (because we firmly believe love makes a family) and were then blessed with our second son. When I’m not working or playing the wife/mom role, I love to run, read, bake, write, and tinker with photography. We all have a story to share and I hope some of my experiences will help others.



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