Time Management – The Transition from SAHM to WAHM

When I had my daughter, I went from working two jobs to becoming a stay at home mom. Now, a little over two years later, I am making the transition from a stay at home mom to a work at home mom. For some reason, this terrifies me! My main concern is time management. It’s not as if this attribute is a weakness; quite the contrary. When I worked outside the home I used several time management techniques. As an educator, time management goes hand in hand with classroom management. I used techniques daily to keep my classroom running smoothly, and yet, here I am completely panicked.

Why am I so scared? What is it about becoming a WAHM that has me so worried? After talking with my husband, I realized my true concern: making sure that I am present for my daughter. Being home with my daughter is a blessing, and it’s important that I am giving her my full attention. I don’t want to be so consumed with my work that I am paying more attention to my computer than her. This has kept me up many nights worrying. My thoughts are always the same: Can I do this? Will I be able to balance and manage my time well?

Honestly, I am not sure. How do I build a successful business (or businesses in my case), without having them become too busy? Yes, I said too busy. Of course I want to be successful, but it has to be limited. Before I even began this transition, my husband and I discussed the end result, which is being able to work without taking our daughter to daycare. In my opinion, this goal is very ambitious. Not because it hasn’t been done, but because I am trying to launch two businesses simultaneously. I have spent countless hours searching and reading articles which apply to WAHMs. Reading true accounts from real woman who work from home while remaining present for their children has made me feel hopeful. My main goal is to create a balance between quality family time, work, and sleep.

Sweet Summer Nights
Family Time

So here are a few techniques I plan to implement as I make this transition:

1. Buy a planner

2. Block Scheduling

3. Use a timer

4. Set limits on how much I work

I purchased a simple planner for 88 cents from Wal-Mart. It works perfectly for everything I need. In fact, I have it pretty well filled with all my notes.

Block Scheduling is a technique I have read a lot about in reference to owning your own business. People use block scheduling to layout their tasks for the week in terms of days and hours. For example, responding to emails could be set for Mon., Wen., Fri., from 1-2pm. I plan to sit down in the coming weeks and list my daily tasks in order to implement this technique. I feel that block scheduling will give me the balance I truly desire between SAHM and WAHM.

Using a timer is one technique I am very familiar with. I used this daily in the running of my classroom. Setting a timer will keep me focused on the task at hand. Sometimes I tend to get distracted from my original goal, so this will keep me on point.

Setting limits on how much I work is probably the most important technique. I am currently in the beginning stages of deciding how often I should work. Its important I still have time to focus on my family and daily tasks in the house. I plan to start slowly at first, figuring out the right balance for myself.

My hope is by implementing these techniques I will find that perfect life balance. I am excited to start working again, but I want to make sure I don’t become overwhelmed. Are you a WAHM? Do you feel you have achieved the perfect balance in your life? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts!



Nikki is new to the area. She graduated from the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Campus in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education. She married her husband the same year. Nikki loved the creativity of teaching and continues to bring that same creativity as a stay at home mom. During the day you can find her chasing after her precocious toddler. By night she is a Pinterest junkie! She enjoys getting out and spending time with her family!


  1. I too am searching for the right career that will keep my family and work life in balance. I have an almost 3 year old and have been away from my former career as a hairstylist for almost 4 years. Many might say that I am already in the right profession because I can set my own schedule and so I have been considering going back to it. I am nervous though, about being myown boss because I always worked for someone else who took care of appointments, laundry, checking out etc. I probably just need to DO IT! And stop thinking about all the negatives. But after doing hair for 13 years, I felt the need to take a break and really consider what my dream job might look like. You get to an age where youryears of experience give you an itch to see what else there is you want to accomplish in life. So I have accomplished the goal of having a child and now I am considering one more, but part of me wants to have something of a career figured out because I know now that I need something for me outside of being a mom. I just can’t decide if I should try for another now, or wait until I have a job lined up. As with a lot of people, I worry how another child will change our finances too. I don’t think we know yet how much the one we have is going to cost us. I am not complaining, mind you. I just think I lost a part of myself when I became a Mom, and I am still searching. I have found that being a SAHM has given me time to explore, but it also has given way to guilt about not contributing financially, a feeling of isolation, and low self-esteem due to all the thankless tasks that a Mommy does day in and day out. Having that second child is my hang up. I don’t want to wait too long so that my children are too far apart, but will I go crazy if I am at home all the time?? So much to figure out!

    • After reading what I wrote, I realize I didn’t even wish you well with your new endeavors! I think it is great you have researched so well and that you know what you want to do. I don’t think anything will ever be as easy aspre kids, but you will figure it out as you go and just prepare yourself that there’s going to be new challenges ahead! Fear not! I know that is what have been told numerous times now. There are lots of successful wrk from home Moms out there to connect with as I am sure you are doing! Good luck!

      • Hi Kim, thank you for the kind response! It was just what I needed to hear! Like you we are debating a second child and concerned how that will impact both our finances and the businesses I am starting. I debated waiting until after a second child to begin this journey, but there is no telling when that will happen. So here I am making the transition. I am nervous for the current transition, as well as the transition when we do have more children. I too feel the guilt for not contributing to finances and the isolation from the working world. We love our jobs as Moms, but its also nice to have adult conversation and feel successful as women. These decisions are never easy. I finally had to give myself the push with a little pep talk from friends and family. I say, find what it is you are passionate about and take the plunge! Good luck in you endeavors! I know you will do well!

  2. My husband and I have a local small business that was established long before our daughter came along. Being a WAHM seemed like the perfect scenario, but boy is it hard! She’s almost a year and I am struggling to keep up with my duties. Being present for her is the hardest thing for me as there are always texts and emails from clients to deal with. One year in and I certainly don’t have it figured out, but I’m beyond grateful for the time this arrangement has given me with her.

  3. Hi Rebecca, I myself can already see the challenges that this change will bring. I realize there is not a perfect balance, but I am hoping to find a way to make it work. I appreciate your advice! I feel it has given me insight into the life of a WAHM. You are right, technology is always at our fingertips! So I may have to consider adding a power down time to my list! Thank you again for your insight! I hope you find a balance that works for you!


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