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Thinking about going from a SAHM to a WAHM, but not sure how to get started or what to expect when becoming a WAHM?
Working from home with kids is no joke, but it can be so incredibly rewarding – both for you and for your family.
If you’re interested in making money from home as a SAHM, with kids by your side, these 7 steps for becoming a work-at-home mom, plus tips for what you can expect from WAHM life will help you prepare for and navigate your new journey successfully!
Step #1: Decide What Criteria Your Money-Making Idea Needs to Meet
There are so many options for making money as a SAHM these days, from taking surveys, working as an employee for a remote-based company, all the way to starting your own online business.
The possibilities can be overwhelming, so before you read up on all of them, start by defining your WAHM criteria that will not only help you narrow down your options but give you a strong starting point to begin with.
You’ll be less overwhelmed and save so much time by doing this first, so don’t skip it!
Here are some of the criteria that I suggest a money-making idea fits before adding it to your list of possibilities:
- Is flexible in nature to fit into your SAHM life
- Is worth your very valuable time
- Is affordable or free to get started
- Has been vetted and is trustworthy
- Seems like something that you enjoy and can commit to
Add more criteria as you see fit, then continue to the next step!
Step #2: Audit Your Current Schedule to Determine Your Availability
Whether you’re so busy you can hardly keep up or you’re bored to tears, your current schedule matters a lot when you’re wanting to make money from home as a SAHM.
Before adding a new commitment to your calendar, take a look at how your current schedules work for you, how you can optimize your time, and then where you have room left in your calendar for your new money-making idea.
Here are some baseline questions to get you started:
- What are your biggest time sucks?
- What are your 1-3 priorities throughout all areas of your life, such as homemaking, parenting, self-care, etc?
- Where can you simplify and streamline things, such as cooking and cleaning?
- What can you delegate or do without so you have more time to make money as a SAHM?
After you’ve noted your answers, decide how much time you can realistically devote to your side gig or business on a daily and weekly basis, and add that to your criteria above.
Step #3: Establish Foundational Routines and Systems
Routines and systems will be your best-friend as a WAHM! You will stress so much less and get more done when you have your daily tasks set up in a predictable pattern and you know what to expect. Routines combined with optimized systems make your day flow so much better! This applies to everything from routines within your home to routines and workflows in your job or online business.
You can create routines and workflows for pretty much anything, but I suggest first establishing 3 key routines that act as a foundation for the rest and can be built upon.
Start by identifying both your biggest time-sucks and priorities from the previous tips to create routines for. I suggest starting with a type of morning routine whether that is centered around breakfast or something else so that your day starts off strong. I also recommend some kind of night routine to help you end the day on a good note and also set yourself up for the next morning (which is especially helpful if you’re not a morning person or have busy mornings.)
Some foundational routines that I recommend establishing first are:
- In the morning
- Around nap time or quiet times
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- At night
Just remember to keep expectations appropriate, especially when it involves your kids. It will take time for everyone to adjust and even then, life happens, so make sure they’re also flexible!
Step #4: Create Your Flexible WAHM Schedule
Now that you’ve got a good understanding of how your day will go, when you can work and when you want your routines to take place, it’s time to create a flexible WAHM schedule.
The key is to be realistic and flexible, so don’t overthink it and don’t over-strategize (trust me, it doesn’t help anyone or anything!) Consider this your “draft schedule” because as you implement it, you’ll likely end up tweaking it. Taking action is the only way to get clarity though, so try your best and trust the process!
Let’s quickly talk about planners, calendars, and tools
There are so many free and paid options when it comes to planning and scheduling your WAHM life. From paper planners like The Living Well Planner or The Business Anchor Planner, digital options like Google Calendar to project management tools like Trello or Asana, there’s plenty of options to suit you.
Personally, I use both paper and digital planners and tools because I love the “ritual” of putting pen to paper, but my WAHM life also thrives on the convenience of digital tools. I do recommend starting with free or very low-cost options first, especially if you’re new to planning your day. You don’t want to feel too committed to a certain planner or tool even if it’s not working for you just because you paid for it.
Whatever you decide to use, don’t get too attached to your schedule either, because being too rigid in your time management will only stress you out.
Now let’s talk about time blocking and time batching
One of my favorite time management tips for any WAHM is to use both time blocking and time batching. When used together, these two systems will revolutionize your WAHM schedule and totally increase your productivity.
Time blocking is setting aside a specific amount of time in your schedule to focus on a single project or task.
Example: Blocking off 6:00 – 7:00 am in your schedule to work on social media marketing only.
Time batching is working on similar tasks at the same time instead of “trickling” them throughout the week or month so that you’re not diluting your focus and wearing your brain out by jumping from one different task to another.
Example: Designing social media, Pinterest and blog graphics all at the same time instead of designing just IG posts, writing captions, then scheduling, and repeating for each platform.
Using both time blocking and time batching together would then look like this: from 6:00 – 7:00 am you’re designing social media and blog graphics. Then maybe from 1:00 – 2:00 you’re repurposing your blog post into emails, captions, and so forth.
How to create a flexible, yet structured WAHM schedule
Step 1: Start by identifying your highest priorities, when you’re at your best to work on them, and when you’re less likely to be interrupted.
Step 2: Put those blocks of time into your schedule/planner.
Step 3: Repeat with your foundational routines, then your medium and low priorities.
Step 4: Schedule in and plan for white space to use as a time to catch up or not do anything at all (this is the flexible part of your planning).
Step 5: Take action and troubleshoot as needed.
Step #5: Master Your Mindset
This is everything when you’re going from being a SAHM to a WAHM! There will always be unexpected things coming up when working from home with kids. Things won’t always go according to plan and there will be times when you feel out of control as you learn to juggle the WAHM life.
But the one thing you can control no matter what is your mindset, and trust me – you will want to work on this!
Mastering your mindset means lots of things, from having appropriate expectations for you and your kids to ditching working-mom-guilt, and much more.
However, my two most important tips are remembering your why and striving for integration over balance.
The truth is, there’s really no such thing as an ideal “work-life” balance – especially as a WAHM. So instead of working towards that, work towards integration of everything. The WAHM life is so much better when everything works together as an ecosystem instead of being divided and “balanced.”
Which is why the next step is so important.
Step #6: Invest in Help and Support
At some point you will probably want help and support whether it’s with childcare, a business mentor, a simple course, house cleaning services, meal kits, or something else.
You’ll be juggling a lot as a WAHM, and you deserve to hand some stuff over to free up your time and ease your mind.
Maybe you will start off doing it all by yourself, but that’s not sustainable and can lead to burnout. Get ahead of overwhelm by investing in help and support as you need.
Step #7: Enjoy and Trust the Process to Becoming a WAHM
All in all, going from a SAHM to a WAHM is an experience that can help you do something outside your role as a mom, contribute to your family finances, and so much more.
Sure you will have moments when you’re questioning why you signed up for this whole making money from home as a SAHM thing, but it can be well worth it.
Remember your “why” and enjoy the process from being a WAHM newbie to a seasoned pro!
What to Expect from WAHM Life
Setting yourself up with appropriate expectations as you transition from SAHM life to WAHM is so important, yet often understated – which is why I added in an entire section for it! 😉
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you can generally have these expectations as a WAHM:
- There will be interruptions and distractions
- Some days you’ll fall behind schedule and need to use the pockets of your day to get work done (possibly from your phone, too)
- You will have low-vibe days
- You may need and want help with your day to day responsibilities
- You may want to start your own business or side hustle
- You may want to invest in business support
- You absolutely will need to invest in yourself (self-care and the like)
- You may change your mind from one money making idea to another
- You will need boundaries with people who take advantage of your time
- Not everyone will understand or be supportive (but that doesn’t matter)
- You may end up hating the WAHM life or absolutely love it
Summing It All Up
There you have it, friend! 7 steps to going from a SAHM to a WAHM, plus what you can expect when working from home with kids.
There was a lot of information to set you up for success for becoming a WAHM, but here’s the gist:
Step 1: Decide What Criteria Your Money-making Idea Needs to Meet
Step 2: Audit Your Current Schedule to Determine Your Availability
Step 3: Establish Key Routines and Systems
Step 4: Create Your Flexible WAHM Schedule
Step 5: Master Your Mindset
Step 6: Invest in Help and Support
Step 7: Enjoy and Trust the Process!
What was your biggest takeaway? Let me know in the comments!
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