I wrote a post last year about how to stay sane when working from home, but let me tell you—times have changed! Working at home with an infant is no joke. I determine whether my day is going well or not by if I get to shower and eat something that isn’t frozen waffles.
When I write blog posts, I try to be as honest as possible about my life and especially about what I wear. Since leaving a formal workplace, what I wear is significantly more casual. I’m definitely not an aspirational style icon over here, but I try to show a normal, budget-friendly wardrobe. I try not to dress up, take a few pictures and get back in my sweats in front of the laptop. If I show photos of what I’m wearing, I actually wore it. Sometimes outside even!
But, for those other times—the times I’m working at my desk and taking care of Isobel, I’m definitely not sitting around in a cute dress and heels. When I’ve tried to look for general WAHM (work-at-home-mom) tips, I either get directed to a page about how to do laundry efficiently (no) or how to choose a daycare. Unfortunately, if you’re at WAHM and you landed at this post hoping to find advice to help make it through your day, I can’t help you out much in the way of general tips and tricks. (I put a few below.) The best I can do for you is tell you to invest in a really solid coffeemaker.
As far as what to wear if you’re a mom working from home? I might be able to shed some light on the situation. It’s not particularly ground-breaking advice, but it is practical.
(I should note that this post could also apply to a stay at home mom or anyone who works from home, really.)
- My mental health is a lot more even-keeled when I get out of the house at least once a day. Whether it’s a walk outside, a trip to the grocery store or my personal favorite, going to the gym, it helps immensely. Don’t be tied to the desk/baby all day. I’ve found that going to the gym is easiest for me right after Isobel has been changed and fed in the morning. I leave her with Brandon and run to the gym for 30-45 minutes.
- On this same note, if you are trying to find a semblance of routine to fit in a shower and some personal grooming, the best time I’ve found to do it is after I return home from the gym. Brandon is still puttering around getting dressed and ready for work, so I can take a quick 10 minute shower, throw on some makeup, blow dry my hair, etc., without being all paranoid that Isobel might start screaming crying in the midst of shampooing.
- If you are breastfeeding, don’t be sucked into the overpriced world of “nursing clothing," whether it be shirts or camisoles. Nursing bras are great at first, but after a while, you don’t even need those. However, if you are pumping, a hands-free breastpump or hands-free pumping bra is a huge help. (You can type with two hands!) Some craftier souls cut holes into sports bras to make this work, but I just got one of these and it works great. They look ridiculous when on, but time is money.
- If you have a young infant, keep a Boppy and a swing/bouncer near your desk. Isobel can either be in my lap or swinging away while I get some work done.
If there is only one thing to take away from this post, it is this little nugget of advice: get out of your pajamas immediately in the morning or they will not come off all day. I don’t care if what you change into is the equivalent of pajamas. But keep Official Pajamas separate from Day Pajama Equivalents. I find that if I try to wear my pajamas during the day, I’m tempted to take naps constantly.
It is definitely possible to look pulled together AND be 100% comfortable at the same time. You also don’t have to spend hundreds and hundreds on overpriced loungewear to make this happen.
Here are my suggestions:
Grab a few grown-up hoodies that are well-fitted. You can wear them with lounge pants or leggings at home, but then throw on skinny jeans, ballet flats and a scarf to run out for errands.
The same things that apply to the hoodie above apply to an athletic-style pullover.
A few striped tees or sweaters are a good way to do casual-chic working from home. Buy them a little longer (tunic-length) to wear with leggings, or pair them with athletic-style pants. Add an oversized scarf and a several bangles if you want.
These tanks from Forever21 are genius. I love H&M’s long camisoles, but these are a close second. They are extra long (great!) and have a built-in bra (greater!). Layer them under almost anything or wear them by themselves. Did I mention they’re only $4.80 and come in about 20 colors?
Drape-front sweaters or cardigans are the perfect layer to add over a striped tee or camisole.
I’m not going to link to any leggings because I’m sure you all have a few pairs of those already.
But, you are going to want a few pairs of yoga-style pants like these…
If you’ve never been to an Aerie store or ordered anything off their website, now is the time to start! They’ve got pretty, stylish loungewear/athleticwear at reasonable prices and their clearance sales are great. These pants are on sale for about $17 right now and they also come in long lengths!
Keep it fast and simple. A bit of eyeliner and mascara paired with a neutral lipstick shade is easy and you can probably do it in your sleep. Add some color to your cheeks with a gel or cream blush—it’s foolproof and looks more natural.
I hope this helps you! If you have any tips to share, please leave a comment.
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