You always wanted to be a work at home mother. You probably discussed it with your partner and made a strict budget to allow you to do so. If you are a single mother, you may have analyzed this and planned it with greater detail. You even fantasized how wonderful it would be, but there are a few things you may not have considered in the desperate desire to tell your boss you’ve gone on permanent vacation.After the initial few weeks, the newness and excitement will wear off, as it does in most things in life. You’ll settle into a new lifestyle. The only problem with the new lifestyle may be that you have no routine! I know what you are thinking. Schedules are meant to be broken. Children don’t always cooperate, especially when you have more than one. While this is quite true to a degree, there are a few simple things you could do daily to setup a routine that you and the children can adjust to. You have to remember, this is new to them as well. Someone else has been in charge of your child(ren) while you’ve been away from home working in the past.First, be realistic. Make a list of things you must accomplish on a daily basis. Get together with the childcare provider you were using and find out what schedule the child(ren) followed there. Try to keep with the schedule the child(ren) are already accustomed as closely as possible as far as nap times and meals. Plan your most crucial tasks at nap times. Turn the ringer on the phone off temporarily (unless the task is making phone calls) to avoid distractions or waking sleeping angels. Tasks that can be accomplished with the children should be done around the same time each day. This helps the child feel comfortable and know what to expect from day to day and eventually you will have less resistance and more cooperation. If there is something the child can do to help, include him or her! This keeps them busy, entertained and gives them a sense of importance. It also gives you one less thing to worry about. Obviously, don’t give the child something that requires perfection.You’ll also encounter problems outside of the home that don’t involve the children. Your friends and family may be excited that you are home or think that since you are, you have time to do errands that they don’t have enough time for. You will need to be firm, but gentle, and remind them that you are still responsible for bringing home a paycheck and that you have your own obligations to meet. Don’t fall into the mentality that so many have, “I work for myself so I can do whatever I want, whenever I want”. That is destructive thinking and will be your downfall. The truth is, working from home takes more discipline and dedication than your full time job away from home did. You will find that something you expected to take an hour will realistically take 2-3 times longer. If you don’t respect your business and treat it as a business, then don’t expect friends and family respect it. It may take them awhile, but they will realize you are right and will show you respect and consideration in the future.Apply some basic principals from the conventional work force to your new WAHM position. Were you allowed to show up for work late? Were you expected to comply with a dress code? Were you given breaks and a lunch period? Let’s talk about why these things are important and why you should continue to adhere to them.Set your alarm and get up every morning before everyone in the house. These precious quiet moments are vital for starting the day productively. Take this time to plan your day. Enjoy the peaceful quiet and get a head start before the children wake up. When you are not rushed, you will be calm and more able to handle the stressful situations the day will present. You will be ready to start your business day on time and be productive. Sleeping late will only cause you frustration and the feeling that you will never accomplish the things you need to do before the end of the day.Get dressed everyday! Try to make it the first thing you do. We all know that working in your pajamas sounds inviting. Sure, that may be great on weekends, but you need to be ready for anything and everything on your “open for business” days. Being prepared is the key to preventing frustration and being able to snap up golden opportunities.Take a break occasionally. Breaks are meant to prevent fatigue and to refresh you. When you stop to make lunch for the children, make something for yourself and sit down to eat with them. Clear your mind for a moment. You’ll also be giving the children attention they need and crave, which will satisfy their need for mommy time and assurance of security. When lunch is over, you will be ready to focus and work productively. Some days are more stressful than others. When possible, if you can schedule the extra break, lie down and rest with the children. Sometimes a little rest is all you need to get back on track.Apply some of these suggestions and let me know how well they worked for you personally!