Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and more than 70 percent of moms with young children are working. We spoke with Christine Andrew, the fashion guru behind the super popular blog Hello Fashion.
Despite a rejection letter from FIDM + other obstacles along the way, Christine used her background in retail and sales to launch her clothing line, ILY Couture immediately out of college, and in 2011 she created Hello Fashion, an online space to market the clothing being sold on ILY Couture, and document her favorite fashion finds. Within a few years, Christine built a global community begging for her styling tips and a fashion empire, working with some of the most iconic brands in the industry.
Now she has over 1 million followers on Instagram and her fashion brand continues to kill it. In addition to all that she is also a wife to Cody Andrew (founder of Hello His), mom to Beckam, and proud stepmom to Wes and Mara. Like many working women, she runs her business out of her home which can be great but also comes with its own set of problems. She gave us her best tips on how to be productive when you are a working mom at home.
10 truths about working from home as a mom
1. No, you don’t have time to get ready every day
While I’m getting ready in the morning, my son Beckam will pull on my shirt every two minutes asking for a snack, his blanket, playdough, a car. No 2 minutes go by uninterrupted so taking 10 minutes to do your makeup and hair might turn into an hour if it gets done at all. It might be a few days before I get the chance to wash my hair or put on makeup, so I try to focus on the bigger picture and spending time doing the little things that will yield the longest lasting results. Spending 15 minutes with a good face or eye mask, getting lash extensions that last weeks so it looks like I have makeup on – all those can do wonders making up for a solid no-makeup week. I’m also really picky about my hair care routine to keep my hair healthy and strong.
2. Sunrise is your alarm clock
Because I’m trying to make the most of the time I do have with the kids, I try to get most of my work done while they are asleep. That means my alarm usually goes off at 5-6 am!
3. The guilt
I go back and forth between feeling like I’m working too much and missing out on moments with the family or not working enough and falling behind on deadlines. I realized… I don’t think there’s a right answer either way! The most important thing you can do is make the most of the time you spend either way. That means when I am with the kids, I make sure it’s meaningful and that they get 100% of my attention. Every once in awhile I catch myself multitasking, trying to do both at once, and find myself getting annoyed because then nothing gets done and nobody wins. I started getting a babysitter and knocking out as much work as I could during those few hours a week so I could be more present with the kids during the time I do have with them and it has made such a difference! Sometimes quality makes up for what you lack in quantity.
4. You perfect your go-to hairstyle really fast
My hair is in a messy bun 75% of the time because I don’t have time to get ready. (Dry shampoo you are my lifesaver!) I also always use the Nexxus nourishing hair oil for my ends. Infused with babassu and marula oils, this product is perfect when you are in a rush and need help hydrating your ends.
5. Joggers don’t have to look like pajamas!
Yes, one of the perks of working from home is getting to wear whatever you want. You can still get away with comfy clothes while still being chic. A fitted cropped jogger with a lace-up sweater is just as cozy as pajamas but still looks like you put effort into getting ready for the day.
6. You never get that “off-the-clock” feeling
Working from home means, by default, you take your work home with you. It takes a lot of practice to be able to turn it off sometimes. You have to set aside specific times when you can turn it off so you can still spend time with your family and still have a life too!
7. Invest in a clean house!
When my house is clean I’m a lot more productive. We have someone who helps clean a couple times a month and it makes such a difference! Whether you have someone every week, once a month, or just spend a few hours cleaning instead of watching TV, it’s so much better when things are fresh and clean! It doesn’t last long at our house, somehow the kids can a mess in 2 minutes, but the few minutes it is are heaven! Am I right??
8. It’s a roller coaster of emotions
The best days are the best and worst days are REALLY hard. On those unicorn, amazing type of days: work seems to run smoothly, the kids are so cute and extra smiley and snuggly – it’s perfect! And then on the rough days, it’s the absolute worst: The kids are melting down like crazy, something is awry at work, it’s that time of the month, I’m moody and grumpy – I want to break. I’ve come to realize that kids really do feed off your emotions. When you’re having those days, find a family member to help out for an hour, or turn on their favorite show so you can get 15 minutes of quiet and just go and meditate. I literally will walk away somewhere quiet and take 10 deep breaths and try to think of what I’m thankful for so I can try and change my attitude. There’s always something positive to focus on even when it doesn’t feel like it.
9. You don’t have to sacrifice your style
Whether you are working from home or not, no mom should have to compromise her closet! I wasn’t about to give up my heels just because I had a baby. Of course, I wear my fair share of sneakers but it’s all about balance! Putting an effort into your wardrobe and appearance shouldn’t be something you do just for your S/O, the office, or when you’re going out into public – if anything I think it does more for your own sanity!
10. You catch some of the best moments!
There are always hard days in mom-land but one of the things I love most about working from home is you also catch some of the best little milestones and mementos. Through the chaos, it makes it all worth it!
Find what works for you and your family! Social media can be a double-edged sword and make you think it’s easy, but a lot of times we don’t see people’s struggles. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! Whether you work full time in the office, stay at home with the kids full time, or are somewhere in between, it’s all about making the most of your time in whatever you are doing and enjoying moments along the way.