What to do when working from home doesn’t work

If you want to get more accomplished and make headway, you might need to step out of the house

What to do when working from home doesn’t work

When I first became a mom, I thought I had discovered the holy grail: I could maintain a career from home!

It sounded amazing—like the perfect integration of work + life that I always dreamed about.

The problem, though, was that for me, it just wasn’t working.

I slowly realized that for me, getting focused work accomplished at home with my little one, (even if I have a babysitter with him in the next room) is nearly impossible.

I’ve realized that at any moment, my child will want me if he knows I’m in the next room. And it takes herculean restraint not to step out the door and give comfort when I hear the cries. I’ve also had a few too many phone calls while my son screamed bloody murder and beat me with a stuffed animal. #goodtimes

Does any of this sound familiar?

But here’s the amazing thing I’ve discovered: a Mom with only three hours for her work can accomplish more than most people do in a traditional work day.

So if you want to get more accomplished and make headway, you might need to step out of the house and get some focus.

I’ve started to work outside the home, and it’s made all the difference.

Here’s 3 ways to get quality work done as a busy mama:

Get out of the house!

“Work from home” sounded totally enticing to me, until it happened. I found that staying inside my house was actually detrimental to my efficiency at work.

Thus, leaving the house for an alternate work space helped create a separation in my mind that this was really “work time.”

But here’s the upside: No one works faster or more efficiently than a mom with a time limit.

In other words, you don’t have to be gone too long to get a lot accomplished. I often encourage moms who are starting a business to carve out two mornings a week to step out of the house with her laptop and get working.

Two mornings a week hopefully doesn’t feel too overwhelming on the heart or the wallet, and carves out much needed space to get something done without disturbance.

Most mamas I talked to are amazed by what can be generated by stepping away from the home space.

Find a space that works for YOU

A photo posted by Anne Sage (@citysage) on

Once you’ve committed to stepping out, the question is where do I go?

I’ve discovered that different spaces work for me for different reasons. When I’m writing I must be in a coffee shop.

I don’t know if it’s the coffee or the hum of voices that help me focus, but words flow through my fingers in the coffee shop atmosphere.

For my DC, NYC and LA Mamas, Le Pain Quotidien is my favorite place to eat healthy food, drink organic coffee and work alongside other people with laptops.

But when I meet with my community manager and we dive into our events, content and social media strategy, we love to work out of the Grind, a great coworking environment for entrepreneurs.

The space is full of light, innovative people…and good coffee.

With Vanilla Almond milk, we get a lot done.

Best of all, you can become a member at no cost and simply pay a day rate.

This allows me to go when it works and never feel like I’m losing money if I don’t make it in; an important feeling for a Mama starting her work life again.

Believe in your dreams—and value them

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If you tell yourself that what you’re working on has no purpose in the world or you downplay it when you talk to people (“oh it’s nothing, just something I dabble with on the side”), well then that’s how it’s going to feel.

Even if you can only give six hours a week right now to your idea, OWN the importance of that time and what you’re creating within it.

If you don’t believe in the power of what you can create, even as a busy mom, then no one else will, I assure you.

As the end of the day, it’s the quality not the quantity of your output.

I would rather give six focused, productive hours a week to my ideas than fifteen that are distracted, noisy, and ridden with tears (mine and my child’s).

As women, sometimes we even question if it’s good to leave our children in the hands of someone else to pursue our own ideas.

Here’s what I’ve decided: Spending time with the caregivers has made my son more well-rounded and more open to people in general.

But most importantly: I want to be a model for my son.

I want him to know what a woman looks like who runs after her passions and creates something.

I also want him to respect me as a woman and I think it will translate to the respect he has for the woman he will partner with one day.

Lastly, I want you to know that I understand how hard this juggle can be. Sometimes it all works and some days it. just falls. apart.

Having the compassion for yourself to begin somewhere, and to have confidence in the mark you’re making on the world—at work, and at home.

Randi Zinn is founder of BeyondMom, a NYC-based resource helping mothers find wholeness and wellness.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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What went viral this week: Pregnant Disney Princesses + an airline nightmare

Now, more than ever, we need to hear those good news stories.

Last week was a week.

We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world—we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .

And right now both kinds of stories are going viral.

Here are the viral stories you need to read right now:

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