When I first found out I was pregnant EVERYONE was interested and wanted to give little tips and advise. Veteran mommies and kid-less friends alike had stories of their pregnancies- or a friend of their’s. I’ve heard a hundred tales of morning sickness and back pain. One thing no one ever mentioned was work. How it changes and how it can be more difficult, especially if you’re working from home.
For me it comes to a few key points and tricks I have learned from my wonderful friend and photographer Amanda Hedgepeth. She has taught me so much and because of her I have been able to come up with my own system of semi-madness that works for me and my new little family- to-be.
Here are a few of those little tips to help you out on your quest for pregnant sanity:
1. Make a Schedule & Set Working Hours- This seems so basic, but it really is a lifesaver! You may be the type that needs a play by play, but for me, just having a rough outline is enough. This is partly due to my husband’s crazy schedule and how it rotates (one week he works 5 days, the next he works 2 days). Having a rough schedule allows me to get things done and still be able to spend as much time with him as possible.
For instance, I have an alarm set for 8am Monday- Saturday and one set for 9am everyday. This makes me wake up at 8am no matter what 6 days a week and ensures that even if I feel exhausted and sleep in, I’ll be up by 9am. Not only does this mean that I will be able to start work early enough, but it also means I’ll have breakfast about the same time everyday.
I also know that I will need to get food out for dinner around 2 or 3pm and start cooking around 6 or 6:30. I also know Nick will be home around 5:30-6. It may not sound like much, but to me this means my working hours are from about 9:30 to 6pm with a break around 2 or 3.
How I usually feel in the mornings.
2. Learn to Multitask- Some people (like me) are natural multitaskers. We have to be doing at least two things at once (like writing a blog, listening to stand up comedy and eating a quesadilla). At the very least, multitasking allows me to eat while I check emails- or write blogs. It also ensures that I am covering my bases.
3. Turn off the distractions- For some it’s the tv, for others it’s Facebook or Pinterest. Either way, turn it off, grab a glass of water and maybe a snack and get to it! I have an alarm clock on my desk to keep me on track and stop me from looking around too much.
4. Workflow- This is a little piece of heaven once it’s done. The process…not so much!
This is where my OCD kicks in. I write down EVERYTHING! From blogging to editing to laundry. I broke down my workflow by day and made sure to include my cleaning list since I tend to forget things otherwise. This is just my way of doing things, make sure you do what works best for you. I like to clean everything at once, but at this point, I just can’t do it anymore. In order to make sure I’m not only checking emails and editing sessions, I made sure to break up my cleaning list and add it into my daily workflow. I put each list in a plastic cover so I can use a dry erase marker to cross things off when they’re done.
This doesn’t just help me, but my husband as well. If I ask him do help me with chores, all he has to do is check the list for that day and see what hasn’t been crossed off yet. It makes our lives a lot less stressful and helps us communicate better (meaning I’m not yelling at him for not knowing what needs to be cleaned.
I also have a weekly workflow list and one for monthly tasks. Think of it kind of like a scheduled checklist. Instead of just writing down what you need to do this week or month, you break it down by day or week. Feel free to put anything important on here. I have vacuuming down everyday, just to make sure I stay ahead of the dog hair!
5. Schedule time for fun- It sounds a little weird, but it necessary! Don’t just assume that you are going to stop working when you say working hours are over, though a loving spouse can be a great way of reminding you to shut down shop! I schedule every Sunday off, with the exceptions of sessions right now. I also try to make that at least one day during the week is a “cleaning only” day while my session level is low. This gives us time to be a family and just hang out and enjoy each other’s company for a day without worrying about work. We also try to do something special at least once a month, like going to the Sea Life Park. This is SO much easier once you schedule a day off.
Since we are so far from family, both Nick and I have decided that when family is visiting, we will be taking time off to spend with them. This may be harder for some people, but living 5,000 miles away in a vacation spot makes it a bit easier for us to know ahead of time when people are coming.
These organization tips are the secret to giving yourself more time to relax and enjoy your family. And a more relaxed mommy-to-be means a more relaxed, healthier baby-to-be! By creating systems for daily, weekly and monthly workflow and schedules for your time, you will have to schedule your life around your work less. Your friends, spouse, doctor and clients will love you for it
and you will be that much happier (and have time for a slice of pie)!!!