It’s a slippery slope toward sweatpants and sticky-notes when you’re working at home—regardless of whether you’re managing a household, staying virtually connected to a corporate office, or building your own mompreneur empire.
So we asked two influential WAHMs—Amy Swift-Crosby (former editor-in-chief of Ladies Who Launch and founder of Smarty LA, and Carley Knobloch, career and life coach to moms)—for some inspiration and advice on how to keep it together, with style.
“Don’t get stuck in a Staples rut,” says Amy Swift-Crosby. “My favorite places to buy cool office supplies are See Jane Work, Russell and Hazel, and Muji. Create an office vibe. The key is to mix and match: CB2, West Elm and Target all offer great basics; yard and tag sales can fill in the gaps with more original, wabi sabi sensibility. Honor the place you make money with—I know it’s cliché—fresh flowers. It’s sort of the equivalent to wearing sexy underwear when your husband is away: no one will really appreciate it, except for you. But it will change your mindset. Dress for work. If I find myself in a nightie after 11am, I feel less motivated and serious. Even a wife beater, colorful bra, skinny jeans and some lip gloss will absolutely change the way you approach your calls and meetings. Make office hours. Start at a certain time every day, take a lunch break, and don’t check email before bed. It’s a slippery slope: boundaries are essential.”
CARLEY KNOBLOCH’S TOP 5 MUST-HAVES FOR EVERY WAHM:
1. The Distraction: Offi Mag Table Perfect for keeping little ones busy while you fire off that proposal.
2. The Mantra: Keep Calm & Carry On Wall Decal This British post-war sentiment is an apt battle cry for work-at-home moms. Plus, I love the wall decal idea: low commitment and works with any wall color.
3. The Delegator: The Would You.Pad and Chore.Pad Working moms have wa-ay too much on their plate, and are notoriously bad at asking for help. Get dad and the kids to share the load with these clever task pads from Buttoned Up.
4. The Taskmaster: Magnetic Timer I use a timer like this for everything from inspiring a burst of productivity (how many emails can I answer in 10 minutes?!), to keeping the kids’ TV time in check (that’s enough Elmo!) to timing a toddler time-out. This one has a cool retro dial and comes in lovely colors.
5. The Muse: The Carton Vase This new vase from CB2 is an elegant yet whimsical reminder of my “Why” for working: the little milk-guzzlers in my family who inspire me everyday.