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Ways to Find Time to Work at Home When You Have Kids

If you're anything like me, you work from home so you can spend more time with your kids, right? But working from home can be tough because you have to juggle finding the time to work so you can pay the bills, while still spending time with the kids. You might be left wondering, "Are there enough hours in the day?".

Ways to Find Time to Work at Home When You Have Kids

Ways to Find Time to Work at Home When You Have Kids

  1. Kids first, work next. I know this seems impossible (and counterproductive) to do some days, but if you spend even a half an hour giving your kid(s) your undivided attention, they're (hopefully) going to be more likely to let you get your work done when the time comes. For me, weekends are kid time. I know a lot of moms that use weekends for blogging time while their partner takes care of the kids, but since mine works weekends it just ends up working best if I make weekends fun. I remind them that I work hard all week so we can afford to go and do fun stuff on the weekends. We couldn't afford that $200 yearly Zoo membership if Mom didn't work hard throughout the week to make it possible.
  2. Give experiences, not things. Instead of buying the kids gadgets, we work together to brainstorm ideas so we can give them experiences. This means they have something to look forward to when Mom is finished working, instead of me saying "go play with your toys" (which they're bored of within 5 minutes). If they give me peace and quiet to get a few hours of work in on Friday afternoon, perhaps we will go to the movies that evening. This can get expensive if you're not careful ($50 for a trip to the movies for our family), so don't make it an all the time thing - make it a reward!
  3. Work while the kids are asleep. If your kids are little and they still nap, you have the perfect opportunity to get a few hours of solid work in. However, I'm betting your house is a mess and it's time to put dinner on - so I recommend working after the kids are in bed for the night. My younger kids go to bed at 7:30 and then my oldest stays up til 8:00. They know that if they want to stay up til 7:30 and 8:00 they have to keep themselves occupied in their bedrooms quietly for the last half hour of the evening. That means I get from 7:00PM until I can't keep my eyes open to work on blog posts, answering emails and PMs, networking, etc. Sometimes that is 3-4 hours of uninterrupted work time, which is golden.
  4. Become BFFs with your slow cooker. I'm serious. It takes me ten minutes to throw a bunch of ingredients in the Crock Pot, and then it just cooks for a few hours and BAM dinner is ready. There are so many recipe ideas on Pinterest. Go wild.
  5. Avoid time suckers. This means Facebook, y'all! I know that some of you - like me - get lots of networking and work completed on Facebook. The thing is, though, we also get a lot of chatting in. So basically, be careful about what exactly you're doing while on Facebook. Ignore your notifications unless they're work related, and stay out of dramatic posts that will suck you in. If you're the type to get sucked into Pinterest, or reddit, or any other social network, make sure you block these sites during your work time. Using a site like ColdTurkey might help!
  6. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Having a plan in place will help you save time and streamline tasks. For example, if you're a blogger your plan might look something like what I have typed below. My best tip for bloggers is to write in batches! Doing a few posts at a time will send your productivity through the roof, trust me.- Brainstorm blog post ideas
    - Find images for posts
    - Write posts (or hire a VA to write it for you)
    - SEO posts (Yoast is magic)
    - Promote first post on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and newsletter
    - NEXT POST...No matter what your plan is, it's just important that you have one. If one planning method doesn't work, try another - and another - until you get it just right.
  7. Focus on quality, not quantity. This applies to any industry, especially when you're posting on social media! Instead of posting 10 times a day, post 3 times a day but make sure the posts are all really high quality... things that will help your readers. You want to be known as a resource. Read more about giving "jabs" in Gary Vaynerchuk's book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (aff link). It taught me a lot about marketing, and was even the basis of one of the college marketing courses I took recently.The same goes for blog posts: 3 posts a week is plenty if they're amazing posts. I try to weave a few "real" posts in with my sponsored posts, and then I also make sure my sponsored posts are as interesting as possible - not spammy - so they don't waste my readers' time. Focusing on quality instead of quantity will increase your readership and decrease your workload tremendously.
  8. Hire a helper. Or two. I have a handful of Virtual Assistants I use on a regular basis (all graduates of my Virtual Assistant Training Program). Depending on your industry, a VA could do tons of things! I have a VA that helps me write sponsored posts, helps manage the ads on my blog, and also does reviews for me (she gets to keep the products). I have another VA that helps me with email, and yet another that helps me with all of the Facebook groups I own (which is like 30+ at this point... eek!). OH and another that helps me with my blog courses, and hangs out with me during brainstorming sessions. Each VA is great at what she does, and I only have to pay them based on the work they do. I don't pay any of them by the hour (though that is an option if it works for you), I just send them a quick email when I have a task for them and they let me know their price. If it works for me, I tell them to go ahead and start on the project.Another way to hire a helper would be to hire someone at home! I know many work at home moms that just can't keep up with the housework, and I don't blame them. If you can't get a wife like I did, you can hire a Mother's Helper. Even if she just comes by a few hours a day, she can hang out with the kiddos while she's doing laundry, dishes, and making dinner. I know rates vary on region, but I've seen ads for helpers for as little as $8 an hour. If you're working from home and being super efficient (which you're totally going to be since you read this post), you're making WAY more than 8 bucks an hour and you can afford that help! Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, which brings me to my next point.
  9. Invest in your business. I know this is tough, but if you're working from home you really do need to make sure you're using equipment that will stand by you - not a computer you have to replace every year, not a leaning chair that's going to give you back problems! You also need to make sure you're continually learning. I mean every single day, you've gotta learn something new. If this means buying a book (like the one I mentioned earlier!), subscribing to a membership service, or taking a class... do it! Obviously you'll need to make sure you do some research before jumping in and paying $299 for a conference or something, but in general you do need to make sure you're setting aside some funds to invest back into making your business better. For me, this means lots of gadgets, books, and conferences. Every single thing I purchase, I try to get my investment back on - and then some.
  10. Work remotely. If you absolutely can't slip away or get time away from the kids for work, bring them with! When my kids were younger, I spent hours upon hours in the McDonald's Play Place. Most disgusting place ever? Yes. But it was the one place I could go and be productive, get super fast wi-fi, not spend a ton of money, and wear my kids out all at once. The play areas are usually really small so my kids are RIGHT THERE - no wondering where the heck they went and having to search for them. Plus, they're exhausted after an hour or two, which means a very productive nap time for Mom!
  11. Include them when possible. Sometimes, you'll need an uninterrupted work space. Other times, you can get creative and include them in your work processes. This won't really work too well if you have toddlers, I guess, but I've always tried to include my kids when it comes to blogging. Whether they're helping me with a recipe, posing for pictures, or just keeping the dogs from chewing up papers in my office, I try to put them to "work" when I can. Now that they're older, Gracelynn (10) helps me write blog posts, and is even learning some HTML. Sapphire (9) is a handful, but sometimes she will help take pictures or stage them for our Etsy shop. Jenelle (14) has been making and packaging jewelry orders for about 3 years now. They can usually do more than we give them credit for, so try and give them a "job". Bonus: Feeling productive can also help their self-esteem!
  12. Unplug. Not tomorrow, not "when this project is finished". Literally, just take a few hours to unplug from everything. Turn your phone off - or at least turn notifications/texts to silent so you're not buzzing constantly. Step away from the computer, unplug all the gadgets ... just get away from it all. Even if that means heading outside to sit on the front porch, or snuggling up in a chair and reading a book, do something mindless that gives you a break from everything for a few hours. I promise if you let yourself relax - even just a little - you'll be more productive when you get back to working on your projects and such. Plus, your family will appreciate your undivided - unplugged - attention... trust me.

Do you have any tips for working from home while kids are around? Share them in the comments, please!

Ellen - Excellent tips that work well for busy Moms everywhere … awesome post!

Please Put Your Oxygen Mask on Before Assisting Others. Thank You.

You know how, when you fly, the stewardess (can we still call them that?) tells you in case of an emergency you should put your own oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs? Same thing applies in life - and in motherhood especially. I know many times that we, as mothers, think about everyone else before we even start to think about ourselves. Truth is, though, that we can't be super woman unless we are in tip top shape. This post is sponsored by Massage Envy as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.



My Top 3 Parenting Fails

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My Top 3 Parenting Fails

So, I asked you guys on Facebook what you’re good at - and not so good at - when it comes to parenting. The answers didn’t surprise me much, since your weaknesses seem to be mine as well. In this sponsored post on behalf of Minute Maid®  ,we’re going to talk about parenting: why our “fails” aren’t as bad as we think they are, and why we should focus more on what we’re #doingood at.


Tips for Bringing Your First Pet Home #ShedHappens

The girls' first dog was Isis. They had a few pets before her, but they were all odd pets... like a ferret, a few turtles, a few rats, and even a chinchilla. We adopted Isis from a breeder (she was a runt and he just wanted to get rid of her), and we adopted Titus through a Facebook group - he was headed to the pound. Before you adopt your first pet, there are a few things you should know.

This post is sponsored by Swiffer® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am helping spread the word about Swiffer but Slap Dash Mom only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Swiffer is not responsible for the content of this article.

Tips for Bringing Your First Pet Home

Start with the basics!

Make sure you have: a collar and leash, ID tag, food and water bowl, and a bed or crate depending on the pet and situation. You want your pet to feel welcome, but also to be safe. Our dogs are the type that enjoy being crated at night (when they're not busy stealing our blankets), and when we aren't home. Some pets will go crazy in a crate! It's best to have one just in case.

Give your dog time to sniff out his new home. If you’ll be crate-training, leave the crate open to help your new friend become acclimated with his or her new space.

Pet-proof your home. Just the same as if you were bringing a baby or toddler home, be sure to put away cleaning supplies, medications, and other hazardous items your pet could get into. This also includes breakables that are at the floor level. If your pup is anything like ours, you'll need to make sure it's ALL put up!

swiffer #shedhappens

Get a brush for daily grooming, and make sure you have a Swiffer Sweeper or Duster on hand to trap and lock pet hair with a quick swipe. One of the biggest responsibilities of owning a pet is cleaning up its mess! And let me tell you, even short haired dogs like Isis and Titus can shed a buttload. Yes, that's an exact measurement.

With Swiffer, pet parents can get a thorough clean in minutes, so pet hair mess never becomes an obstacle to bringing home your child’s first pet.

This holiday season, Swiffer and Bark & Co. want to help more families and pets experience the love through pet adoption – and have more time for play and less time for clean-up. Swiffer and Bark & Co. are donating 10,000 Welcome Home Kits to participating shelters across country and Swiffer is making a $50,000 total donation to select shelters to support their needs this holiday season.

swiffer shed happens

Swiffer is also teaming up with Scott Foley to celebrate Family’s First Pet and the fur-ever friendship that comes with adopting a child’s first pet. New pet owners are invited to share a photo of their new fur-ever family and everything in their Welcome Home Kit box with @Swiffer and @BarkBox to show how they are ready for when #ShedHappens.

swiffer welcome home kit

The Welcome Home Kit Includes:
  • Swiffer 360 Dusters and Swiffer Sweeper Refills
  • Coupon for a Free Swiffer Sweeper Starter Kit and a Free Febreze Product
  • Bark toy and treats (!)
  • Sample of Fresh Pet food (and a coupon for a future purchase)
  • Welcome Home Booklet to help you start your journey as a new pet parent

Tips for Bringing Your First Pet Home

Visit the vet!

One of the first things you want to do after bringing your new pet home is take a trip to the vet. You'll need to talk to them about immunizations (be sure to get the rabies vaccination - and the rabies tag!), proper food choices, and overall wellness advice. They can do a thorough screening to make sure your pet is happy and healthy before you bring him or her home.

Have a chat with the kiddos!

It's important to remind the kids that pets are pets. For example, Gracelynn likes to get all up in the dogs' faces. Fortunately, they're really fine with it and just slobber on her until she stops... but if you're adopting a pet or don't know its history, it's important to be even more cautious.

Teach kids what pets need: food, water, daily walks, etc.

Kids usually love to teach pets tricks. Look some videos up for fun tricks, or just start with the basic "sit", "stay", and "come". Have lots of treats on hand! Some pets are easier to train than others.

Be sure to establish house rules before the pet arrives, and talk to the kids about where the animals should go potty (outside? litter box?). Also, if you have rules about furniture, be sure to let them know right away. The sooner your pets know whether they're allowed on the furniture or not, the better. It's easier to prevent a habit than to break it! Trust me, my two dogs are hogging the couch right now... I know from experience. :)

Tips for Bringing Your First Pet Home

The most important thing to give a new pup? LOVE!

This post is sponsored by Swiffer® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am helping spread the word about Swiffer but of course I only share awesome stuff. Swiffer is not responsible for the content of this article.

Stephy - Your Fur Babies are so pretty :)

Mother Daughter Winter Bucket List

We don't really experience winter here in Arizona like most of the country does, but it still gets pretty darn cold - especially compared to our 120 degree summers! Some of these ideas might not work in your neck of the woods, but I'm betting many will!

Mother Daughter Winter Bucket List

Mother Daughter Winter Bucket List

1. Take a nature walk! Don't forget to bring a camera. I <3 my Sony A6000.
2. Make ornaments and put them on the tree. If you love glitter as much as we do, make glitter ornaments.
3. Watch a movie - at home or at the theatre. We love going to the movies, but it gets expensive.
4. Go ice skating. They set up an ice rink and fake snow here in Arizona.
5. Have a picnic inside.
6. Bake cookies.
7. Play board games.
8. Make Lego and Princess crayons.
9. Donate toys to charity - clothes, too.
10. Read to each other! We like taking turns - each of us reads a paragraph (or page).
11. Make homemade dog treats.
12. Find a local shelter to volunteer at. Really, this should be done year-round!
13. Do a Secret Santa exchange, with a twist. Buy a gift, wrap it, and do a few rounds of "Hot Potato" to see who gets what.
14. Visit Goldfield Ghost Town (or another ghost town) and make a day of it.
15. Set goals for the new year. Write them in a journal, and put it away until summer - then check your progress.
16. Learn Sign Language - even if it's just a few basic signs (or a few more if you already know some).
17. Drive around and look at holiday lights! We have a huge "to do" here in our town, where an entire neighborhood puts on a nice little show. It's called Loop of Lights.
18. Make a new tradition. (Still trying to figure out what we'll do for this one.)
19. Have breakfast for dinner.
20. Bake treats for a neighbor.

What are you adding to your Winter Bucket List?