Guest Post: Practical Advice for Self-Employed Stay at Home Mums

Many mums choose to stay at home to work whilst the kids are little and that is a lovely parenting choice. Children benefit from the love only a mother can give but when trying to balance working with children vying for your attention, it can drive you mad in a heartbeat. Actually, you are not alone as there are increasing numbers of women who made the choice to work from home and there are ways to solve most of the issues you are facing. Here is some practical advice for self-employed stay at home mums.

Scheduling Is a Must

This bit of advice comes from stay at home working mums from around the globe. One thing you can do right away is work out a schedule where you’ll be able to maximize your time whilst the kids are asleep. No, you don’t need to stay up all night working but rather schedule the most labor intensive work during nap times and perhaps early evenings when the kids have just gone to bed for the night.

Try to Work Days When Dad Is Home

Many working mums make it a priority to work the hardest on days when dad is home to mind the kids. Most dads really enjoy time spent alone with the children as they are off at work the rest of the week. He will need quiet time as well, so perhaps his time away can be during an evening when you are at home and a night when there is nothing pressing which you need to get done.

Hire an Au Pair

Another great resource is to hire an au pair, even if only to work part time on those hours that need your attention. Some are live-in girls who can be more flexible in terms of the hours you need them to be available. You can find au pair in London with quite easily and by listing any special needs you have, you can often be matched with the perfect au pair within just a few short days.

Trade Days with Other Mums

You may know other stay at home mums who would be more than happy to trade days with you. One or two days a week she minds your children and then you reciprocate. It doesn’t necessarily need to be another work from home mum and sometimes this is even better for you! She just might want to trade off on an evening to spend time with her husband which is ideal if you work during the day! She watches your kids on a day when you’re working and you mind hers when you don’t need to be working. In trendy circles it’s called a ‘babysitting co-op.’

These are just a few bits of practical advice but just know that it really is possible to balance work (at home) and raising a family. It might take a little more planning in the beginning but once you’ve got it down you’ll feel so lucky to be one of the mums who can say they were a stay at home mum during those early, formative years. Just keep at it mum, keeping your sanity is a process but one you can manage.

Mission Impossible: Potty Training Edition

Have you ever been in the process of potty training a toddler and felt more like you should be on an episode of Mission Impossible?

potty training

photo from

Believe me, I know just how you feel.

We are in the process of potty training Parker, and it is NOT going well. Today is Day 5 with no diapers, and {fingers crossed} so far he’s doing pretty well. However, he’s started other days off well and ended with dozens of accidents, so I’m not holding my breath that today will continue to go so well.

Last week, Parker got a diaper rash that was so bad it actually took skin off his leg. It looked like he had sat on an oven it was so bad. Bad mom that I am didn’t smell his poopy diaper and he sat in it too long. I had no idea and I felt incredibly guilty afterward.

I also decided then and there that we’d have no more diapers for Parker. And I was serious. His rash was so bad that I could not justify putting him in diapers again. He’s ready to potty train – he stays dry all night long, he {usually!} asks to be changed after he wets or messes his diapers, and he’s smart enough to know what needs to be done.

{Interjecting: He and my MIL and were talking, and she told him that diapers were for babies. He responded with, “Well, if they’re for babies, then why do they make BIG diapers? Smart Alec. But, see what I mean? He’s definitely smart enough to know what he’s doing.}

So, that was the end of the diapers. Into big boy underwear he went. (He’s so tiny that even size 2T big boy underwear hang on him!) I wasn’t looking back.

I don’t use Pullups or any type of diaper-type item when potty training. Not even at night. How will a child learn that peeing {or worse!} in their pants is gross if they can continue to use “underwear” like a diaper.

I knew it was going to be a challenge – I just had no idea how much of a challenge it would be.

Day 1 was Sunday, and it was a complete and utter failure. We ended up leaving church after Sunday School because it was just too hard and he was having too many accidents.

Days 2 and 3 were full of accidents. He just didn’t understand the concept of going on the potty.

Yesterday was Day 4, and I think it finally started to click. Yes, there were accidents, but not as many.

Let’s hope it really does get better from here on out. And it will. With most of my kids it took about a week for them to become pros on the potty. Jace was an exception. He was terrified of going #2 on the potty, so it took several months to master that part. He would hold it for days and days, refusing to go. It was horrible.

If you are in  the process of potty training your child, I’ll give you some advice: DON’T GIVE UP and DON’T GIVE IN. If you start potty training, don’t resort back to diapers. Yes, it’s messy, and No, it’s no fun, but if you want to get them trained quickly, it’s the only way to do it. The first 5 days {give or take} will be absolute he**, but it will get better, I promise. But, if you give in and put them back in diapers, they’ll win, and you’ll set yourself back at least another month. Decide to do it and do it. No looking back.

I’ve potty trained 4 {working on #5!} of my own children, and I’ve worked with hundreds of potty training kids in daycare centers over the years. If you have questions about potty training, leave them in the comments.

So, how’s potty training going in YOUR house?