Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Holiday Survival Guide for WAHMs

Tips to Keep the Joy in Christmas while Working at Home

My desk is an eclectic mix of notes for clients, my daughter’s Chemistry books, and the 2013 calendar waiting to be updated. Stranded between two job assignments are my Christmas to-do lists, waiting patiently for a few spare moments. Spare moments? Are those still available during the Christmas season for work-at-home moms? Yes – we just need to know where to search for them – and how to claim them.

Give a gift to yourself – time off

If you are fortunate enough to have projects for work that fill your time schedule, that also means that you have the added need of scheduling yourself a vacation. Let clients know in advance that you are unavailable (if only from the virtual workroom) for a specified amount of time around Christmas. As a cloud commuter I have clients from around the world from various cultures – but one thing seems to remain constant – clients are people, too, and they understand the need for holidays and vacations with families. Just be honest and reasonable (don’t leave them hanging with a project they thought would be finished before the New Year).

Divide and conquer

This mantra might not seem like the Christmas spirit, but sharing the load with others in your home can help to make the holidays more enjoyable for everyone. If your kids are old enough to handle chores, give them chores. But also enlist the help of everyone for the fun stuff, too. Holiday baking, decorating, and gift wrapping can all be shared tasks, and when you break tasks down into manageable pieces you’ll be surprised at how quickly the whole project is finished.

  • Use these printable badges and lists for your little on to become an Elf in Training – helping you get projects finished and feeling a part of the magic. Have your little ones cut out and wear the badges, and give them their own Elf in Training to-do list.
  • Set reasonable expectations. I used to do two entire days of baking for Christmas in one swoop. Now I have to be content with sneaking in a batch of this here, a pan of that there. Today was a pan of fudge made between helping the kids with schoolwork and doing the dishes. Then I cut and placed the fudge in decorative plastic baggies and put them in the freezer. I can add to my stash of goodies until I have enough varieties to start assembling for gift packages.
  • Have a Let’s Wrap it Up! party with girlfriends. Invite everyone to bring small containers of one kind of Christmas treat for a cookie swap, and laundry baskets or totes filled with the secret stashes of packages that need to be wrapped. You’ll have help creating a tray of cookies for Christmas Eve, get your presents wrapped, and still feel like you got to celebrate with your friends.

Fill Your Office with Joy

Whatever space you claim as your home office, add some Christmas spirit to your space. Set up a miniature nativity scene, keep a Christmas mug with mini candy canes (love to stir my coffee with these!), or just wear some festive and funky Christmas socks (the joy of cloud commuting).

For Convenience’s Sake…

Let go of your preconceived notions of how Christmas is supposed to look in your home, and be prepared to allow for some simple substitutions and conveniences.

  • Keep a selection of deli meats and salad toppings on hand for make your own sub night – no cooking required.
  • Turn on the Christmas movies with the kids, and curl up with the laptop next to them or work on your Christmas lists while listening to the Grinch. Multi-tasking is the saving grace of a WAHM.
  • Set up a card table for a Christmas work-station. When you have just a few moments to spare, you won’t feel like by the time you get everything out on the dining room table the moment is already gone.

She’s making a list and checking it twice…

Nothing makes me as giddy as a notepad, dribbled with my schedule, plans, and things to be completed. Christmas planning is almost impossible without making a list and checking it twice (or twice multiplied by fifty). If you’re a WAHM like me, some well-organized lists can make all the difference during the holidays.

  • Work projects for December – arrange these week-by-week so there are no surprises the Friday before Christmas. Make sure to account for the week after Christmas, especially if the kids will be home from school and you still have to log in some hours.
  • Shopping and running errands – I keep 4 separate shopping lists going during the Christmas season: gifts for family, special items and extras for friends, groceries for baking, and errands I need to complete (like getting to the post office).
  • Christmas fun and games – don’t look back at December with regrets because you chose to stay home and finish one more project when you really wanted to be ice skating with the kids or attending a Christmas play. Today I am taking the afternoon off of work to attend a Christmas music concert with my kids – not because I will be finished with work – but because in a few weeks the kids will be back to their regularly scheduled chaos and I want to make sure that the craziness is tempered with treasured memories of the season. Make a list of some of the things you want to do with your family this Christmas season, and take time to do at least some of them.

Related posts:

  1. 3 Organization Secrets for WAHMs
  2. 10 Tips to Survive Holiday Travels with the Kids
  3. Holiday Gifts Your Kids Can Make

View full post on Parenting Tips For Raising Successful Kids |

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