WAHM Expert: – Every Mom Deserves a Happy Hour!

We are pleased to announce that Shannon Huges of HappyHourMom is our new Work At Home Mom (WAHM) Expert! This is her first post and we know you will welcome her and her wonderful knowledge and understanding of moms everywhere!

Every Mom Deserves a Happy Hour!

By Shannon Hughes, Buttoned Up’s Work At Home Mom (WAHM) Expert!
A series to help every mom become a Happy Hour Mom!

Step One | Get Organized

Stay-at-Home Mom: Merriam Webster describes a housewife as a married woman who is in charge of her household.

Working Mom: Refers to women who are mothers and who work outside the home for income in addition to the work they perform at home in raising their children.

Work-at Home Mom: A crazy person who thinks she can do it all!

Okay, well not exactly. After recently joining the Work-at-Home Mom club, that is exactly how I feel. Now do not got me wrong, falling into the other two categories doesn’t make you any less crazy, but the insanity that comes with working at home was something I had not thought through. I, as with many, thought of the opportunity to work from home as a blessing, the best of both worlds–I can work and add to the family income, while staying home and being with my little goobers. What I didn’t think through, was the fact that I am now Mommy, Wifey, and Employee all on the same watch. So, technically, I am working at about 33.3% for each. Eek, and that doesn’t even cover ME time. You don’t have to be a math whiz to see where the problem lies.

The first week was rough. I mean ROUGH. I was in WAY over my head. Between meals, emails, clean up, proposals, more meals, more emails, getting the girls out of the house, conference calls (on mute of course–as the girls are bickering in the background), grocery shopping, checking in with my boss (and praying the 2 year old isn’t going to have a meltdown while she’s on the phone, which she always does) getting dinner ready, doing the bedtime thing, anxious to get them down so I can get some real work done, and then realizing I need to squeeze in time for the hubby, and then realizing even more that I am so exhausted I hardly have the energy to brush my teeth let alone get some quality time in. Whew, I couldn’t even fit that into a proper sentence, let alone a 16 hour day. So of course, something had to be done before I lost my mind, my hair, AND my husband. The solution? Organization.

While I always considered myself a relatively organized individual, working from home is a whole new ball game. I realized that I couldn’t do three things at 33.3%. (duh). Instead, I would need to get organized so that I would be able to do one thing at a time, giving each task 100% of my effort. I sat down one evening (on the toilet while the girls played in the tub) and wrote down a schedule for the next day. I focused on little things like setting the coffee timer the night before, laying out the clothes, and creating a simple schedule that I could use to allot time periods to complete specific tasks the following day. The most important aspect of organization for me was getting my desk in order. The area is kept clean and in order at all times–you will be amazed at the difference this makes. For some reason a cluttered corner leads to a chaotic work day. My favorite organizational tool? My mom was having a yard sale and I got to rummage through the “junk” the night before, only to find a pack of four cork boards that have changed my life. These four small cork boards (12”x12”) became my saving grace after a week of hair-pulling chaos. How, you ask?

I arranged the four cork boards at my desk and designated one for each of my responsibilities. I have a board for “Family,” “Work,” “HappyHourMom.com,” and “Important Tasks.” Each night I sit down and, on note cards, write down short 1-3 word tasks that need to be done in the following day(s). Each time I complete a task, I remove the note from the board. It allows me to clearly see what my priorities are for the day or week, and I am even able to find time for my daily happy hour*. As something comes up, I add it to the board and am able to rest easy because I know it will get done and I don’t have to keep it on my mind. So often at night I would lay in bed, wide-eyed, as my mind went over all of the things I needed to get done over the next few days. It’s as though my mind is no longer imprisoned by the many things that need to be completed in my life–no matter how big or small. Once something hits the notecard and is put on the wall, I can rest easy. It is also a great way for my husband to have an idea of what things need to be addressed/completed. It is amazing what four cork boards have done for my life and my family. I think I have avoided therapy by implementing the use of Cork Boards for $12.49 (and mine were actually free). Sounds like a steal to me!

Shannon Hughes

*HappyHourMom.com is a place for moms to find ways to take that ‘hour’ a day needed to themselves each day. Whether it be finding relaxation, or an outlet to voice your opinion and find great new products, HappyHourMom.com is waiting for you. Don’t you want to be a Happy Hour Mom? Sign up TODAY!