Links and products updated for 2020
I’ve been a work at home mom now for ten years. From working at the kitchen table, couch, closet, spare bedroom, and now the She Shed, I’ve made mistakes and had a lot of successes (hello, SPM!). Along the way, I’ve made notes of what tools have helped make life as a work at home mom (WAHM) more successful.
Many of you may be a WAHM, or perhaps you know one (or live with one). If so, then you know that the WAHMs straddle the world between working and mothering almost hourly. Whether it’s getting a call from school and rushing out the door or sitting with our laptops on the couch while someone suffers through the stomach flu. We’re one foot in and one foot out almost all day long. Especially in 2020, as so many have found themselves working AND teaching kids from home. Finding what works and is efficient is even more important right now!
I’m a minimalist at heart, so living with less stuff has always been my gig. But so is having the right elements around me. Since Christmas is coming soon and birthday’s come every year, I thought I’d create the Work at Home Mom Gift Guide. I’m also taking my OWN challenge to create a gift guide for my blog — it’s one of my favorite things to do!)
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The Work at Home Mom Gift Guide
Here’s my list! All the things I love, can’t live without and help to make this WAHM life a little easier.
Balance Ball — When I first started working more hours on SPM, I was sitting in a traditional office chair. My booty hurt so badly. I switched to my balance ball and my back or booty haven’t hurt since. You can get balance ball chairs, but I like the freedom to move on the ball. It does take some getting used to but after you do you’ll find that your legs and core seem just a bit stronger. Get the bigger one at 75 cm the smaller ones don’t help.
Music — small Bluetooth speaker (I’m in love with this one from Bose) or headphones. I use these headphones for trips and on flights they are amazing. Want to drown out the baby screaming or the loud talker? These babies do the trick. Seriously, I know they don’t seem like much, but they are SO noise cancelling.
She Shed — That’s the mother of all gifts! Or just a quiet space. Working at home is really hard! When I was working at the kitchen table I would get distracted. So this designated space in my yard allows me to work from home but be very clear about my space. My kids don’t mess with my stuff, but my husband does sleep out here on the couch when my parents are in town. Not because I’m mean, he really likes it.
With working at home comes sitting on your booty. And when you’re over 40 the metabolism just isn’t like it used to be. A few years ago, I made a conscious decision to invest in my health. We joined a gym 3 minutes away (no excuses for driving, I can walk if needed), and I hired a personal trainer. I have two 30 minute sessions per week. I show up and she tells me what to do and forces me to do it.
There have been many times I didn’t want to go because I had a super stressful day. Or I was processing grief. This was my entire spring and summer. Showing up, there were moments I was defeated, exhausted and could barely think. After a 30 minute session, I would feel still exhausted but revived and ready to tackle the next day.
I know this gift seems kinda lame but most people make goals for their business and neglect their health. I did and needed to make it a priority again. I can think clearer and I’ve lost 5% body fat over the last year! I have a healthy BMI now and feel awesome.
Now giving this as a gift may be tough, but it may be the gift you give to yourself.
Water bottle — I travel everywhere with a glass water bottle that has a plastic protector. Having a water bottle in my office that’s cute helps me stay hydrated when I’m at home or traveling.
Our business world can be defeating and suck the life out of you when you start to compare your growth to others. When I realized the comparison trap in my own life I started to build in things that brought joy to me.
I love the She Reads Truth app. It’s a great way for me to read scripture daily on my phone and use the prompts to pray. I also LOVE their artwork and have bought some to add to our home.
I also like starting off the morning right with my Rae Dunn mug my friend gave to me. The word for me a few years back was faith and boy did the year live up to its name (it could fit 2020 as well). At our going away party for our foster daughter, my friend gave me this beautiful mug with the word ‘Faith’ on it. I use that mug almost every day. It’s a reminder that stepping into the hard places is tough. We don’t always have a road map but I can have faith in the one who directs my path and has my best intentions. I need that beautiful reminder every morning.
This line of pottery is AMAZING. I want to buy one of everything. It would be a great gift for anyone.
This might also be a tough one to pick up for someone else, but coaching has been key to my business. Maybe you could purchase a strategy session for them with someone they respect. Listen for people they mention, look at the podcasts they are listening to, see if that person offers a 1-hour coaching session.
Valuable business books or an Amazon gift card to buy books. I know many times I’ll hop onto Amazon to make a list of the ones I want to buy and dial back because I feel like I shouldn’t spend the money. Having a gift card will make it easier to purchase. My favorite business books in my Amazon store.
RELATED: My favorite business books of 2019 (podcast)
Conference ticket — purchasing a conference ticket for someone would be a great gift, especially if they have been talking about it. I know they can buy this for themselves with their business money but if they don’t have much capital, this might be a good gift. Nothing can replace live learning. Here are my favorites:
- Social Media Marketing World — all levels of people working online and in social media. This conference rocks my world every time.
- SNAP — the conference for makers. If you’re a DIY, lifestyle, crafty person this conference is for you. Usually located in Salt Lake City.
While conferences still look different than they did pre-2020, many of them have moved to a virtual event. A ticket to one of the online summits or conferences (or cash to use towards one) would be a great gift!
Business travel can be tough and sometimes lugging around your computer and electronics can be hard on your back. I was traveling with this horrible, but super cute, bag from Target. My arm was killing me and I knew I needed a backpack.
My friend Katie loves Cath Kidston and had a super cool backpack for her job. I bought the Cath Kidston laptop backpack and I have never looked back or for another option. It’s spendy but the oilcloth fabric keeps it clean and I really don’t have a need to buy anything else.
This company is based out of the UK so if you order something to be shipped to the US make sure you join with friends so you can all eat the import tax and shipping.
Working in yoga pants every once in a while is okay, but if it’s every day you start to feel like you’re spending your life in your pajamas. I’ve made an effort over the last year to only buy clothes that I look good in as well as feel good in. Here is my favorite that I wear weekly.
Wit & Wisdom Jeans — these are the BEST! Bootcut, skinnies, they have a fit for every body type and they are not expensive. Watch the Nordstrom anniversary sale for deals.
Zella pants and sweatshirt — these are good for those yoga pants or cool days. Never choose a plain sweatshirt, add some pop.
Lucky booties — I’ve had these now for 3 years and they are one of the most comfortable pair of shoes I own. And yes, I put on shoes to work instead of slippers.
Toms Flats — Another purchase from a previous year’s Nordstrom anniversary sale. My feet get super cold so after October these retire but they are a summer and spring staple.
Summer Ellis necklace — I picked this up at her little shop when I visited Waco a few years back. It’s the perfect simple design. The one I purchased isn’t on the site but all of her designs are amazing and I love that she’s a small local business.
Experiences & Events
I need my friends. I’ve always been an extrovert who loves having deep conversations with people.
I build in a few trips per year with friends. We head out to Skamania Lodge for wine tasting or to the beach for a women’s weekend. Giving the WAHM mom time in her life to get away is so valuable to not only her overhaul health but to her creativity.
If getting away for the weekend just won’t work, consider giving a gift card for a morning breakfast out with friends or a pedicure. These are fantastic gifts that are life-giving. I need these in my life. Obviously things look different right now, but be creative here. Many places are open with limited occupancy or you could put together a gift basket to DIY a little self care at home.
So tell me, what are your favorite gifts for the WAHM or ones you would like to receive as the WAHM?