Working from home can be a blessing for many parents, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to balance work time and family time while at home, especially when there are children involved.
A work-from-home parent has to juggle their work responsibilities while also taking care of their children’s needs. Children require attention and care, which can make it challenging for parents to focus on their work tasks.
One solution for a working parent is to hire a nanny or find alternative child care options that can help them manage their work and household responsibilities. This way, they can ensure that their children are taken care of while they focus on their work tasks.
Understandably, this isn’t an option for all parents especially, when first starting your work-from-home journey.
Therefore, today I wanted to share some practical tips and strategies for working from home with kids as a work-at-home mom that has more than a decade of experience in just this.
Now, let’s jump into exploring how to work from home with kids successfully.
- The Baby Years: Tips for Working from Home with Infants and Toddlers
- Communicate with Your Partner: A Key to Successful Remote Work with Kids
- Set Clear Boundaries
- Create a Schedule for You and Your Kids
- Create a Dedicated Home Office: Setting Up a Productive Workspace at Home
- Utilize Technology and Tools to Help You Work from Home
- Plan for Interruptions and Unexpected Events
- Research New Tips, Toys, and Schedules to Keep Kids Busy
- Work in Short Bursts
- Pick Something to Let Go Of
- It’s Possible to Successfully Work from Home with Kids
The Baby Years: Tips for Working from Home with Infants and Toddlers
If you’re a parent of young children, working from home can be a challenge. It can be difficult to balance your work responsibilities with the needs of your little ones, especially during the baby and toddler years.
During the baby days, I found that I was able to work during nap time because newborns and infants sleep a lot. However, during the toddler years, things get a little tricker since they are not only awake more, but they’re also more mobile.
Here are my best tips for how to work from home with kids during the baby years successfully:
Childcare is essential when you’re working from home with young children. While it may be tempting to try to juggle work and childcare on your own, this can quickly become overwhelming. Consider hiring a nanny or babysitter to help with childcare while you work from home.
If this isn’t in the budget, get on a work schedule that allows you to work when your partner is home or when older children can assist until you’re able to hire out for childcare.
Even if you only hire out for childcare a few days a week for a few hours it will allow you to take care of important work tasks without having to sacrifice scheduled family time activities or your sleep.
Create a Designated Workspace That is Safe and Baby-Proofed for Your Little Ones
Creating a designated workspace that is safe and baby-proofed is crucial when you’re working from home with young children. This will allow you to focus on your work without worrying about your little ones getting into things they shouldn’t.
Make sure that any cords or wires are tucked away so that they are out of reach of curious hands. Use safety gates or playpens to create a safe space for your child while you work. And make sure that any hazardous materials (like cleaning supplies) are stored safely out of reach.
Schedule Work Around Your Baby’s Nap Times and Try to Be Flexible With Your Work Hours
During the baby and toddler years, nap times are precious! Take advantage of this time by scheduling important tasks (such as an important conference call) during these periods. This will allow you to focus on your work without interruption.
It’s also important to be flexible with your work hours when you’re working from home with young children. While it may be tempting to try to stick to a strict schedule, this can be difficult when you have little ones who need your attention. Instead, try to be flexible and work around your child’s needs.
How to Work From Home With Kids Successfully
Being a work-at-home parent may sound like a dream come true for many parents. However, the reality is often quite different than what we imagine. Balancing work responsibilities and the needs of our children can be challenging, and interruptions are inevitable.
I’ve personally worked from home with kids since my oldest was a toddler. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to work from home with kids successfully over the years and adapt to pregnancies, and starting the child-raising process over multiple times over the years.
If you’re serious about working from home with kids, you’ll need to do the following things:
Communicate with Your Partner: A Key to Successful Remote Work with Kids
As a parent, working from home with kids can be challenging. It can be difficult to find a work-life balance. However, communication with your partner is crucial to successful remote work with kids.
Schedule Quality Time
One way to ensure successful remote work is by scheduling quality time with your partner. This will allow you both to share responsibilities and ensure mental health. By setting aside time for each other, you can create a harmonious environment for everybody.
Plan Ahead for Important Calls
It’s essential to plan ahead by communicating with your partner and creating a team approach. Respect each other’s work schedules and prioritize important calls together. By doing so, you’ll be able to avoid disruptions during important meetings or phone calls.
Love and Support Each Other’s Needs
Working from home with kids can be stressful at times, but it’s important to remember that you’re in this together. Love and support each other’s needs by taking turns caring for the children while the other works. This will help alleviate stress and create a more positive atmosphere at home.
Set Clear Boundaries
Working from home with kids can be challenging, but it is not impossible. One of the most important things you can do to make it work is to set boundaries that work for both you and your children.
Establish Rules for Quiet Time
When working from home with kids, interruptions are inevitable. However, you can minimize them by establishing rules for quiet time. This means setting aside specific times when your children know they need to be quiet or occupied elsewhere. For example, if you have an important call or deadline coming up, let your kids know that they need to play quietly in their room or another designated area.
It’s also essential to communicate these rules clearly with your children so that they understand why quiet time is necessary. You might consider creating a “quiet box” filled with activities that they can do independently during these times.
Create a Schedule for You and Your Kids
Working from home with kids can be challenging, especially if you are not used to it. However, creating a schedule that works for both you and your kids can make things easier.
Set Specific Working Hours and Stick to Them
One of the most important things you can do when working from home is to set specific working hours and stick to them. This will help you stay focused on your work and avoid distractions. It will also help your kids understand when they need to be quiet or occupy themselves.
When setting your working hours, consider the times of day when you are most productive and when your kids are likely to need the most attention. For example, if you have young children who nap in the afternoon, that might be a good time for you to focus on work.
Involve Your Kids in Creating a Daily Schedule
Another way to make remote working from home easier is by involving your kids in creating a daily schedule. This will give them a sense of ownership over their day and help them understand what is expected of them.
Sit down with your kids and discuss what they would like their day to look like. Ask them what activities they enjoy doing and what times of day they prefer doing them. Then, incorporate those activities into their daily schedule.
Schedule Breaks Throughout the Day for Both You and Your Kids
Taking breaks throughout the day is essential for both you and your kids when working from home. It helps break up the monotony of sitting at a desk all day long while also giving everyone some much-needed downtime.
When scheduling breaks, try to include activities that everyone enjoys. For example, take a walk outside or have a dance party in the living room.
Create a Dedicated Home Office: Setting Up a Productive Workspace at Home
Working from home with kids can be challenging, but creating a dedicated home office is the best way to help you stay focused and productive.
When working from home with kids, it’s essential to have a designated space where you can shut the door and focus on your work. Without a dedicated home office, it’s easy to get distracted by household chores or interruptions from family members. Having a separate workspace allows you to mentally switch gears into “work mode” and helps you stay on task throughout the day. You’ll be able to physically separate yourself from household distractions and better balance work responsibilities with family time.
A comfortable workspace is key to staying productive throughout the day. Invest in an ergonomic chair that supports good posture and make sure your desk is at the right height for optimal comfort. Keep your workspace organized by minimizing clutter and keeping supplies within reach. A clean and organized workspace can help reduce stress and increase focus.
Finally, remember that creating a dedicated home office doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Even if you don’t have an entire room to devote to your workspace, consider carving out a corner of a room or setting up a desk in a quiet area of your house. The key is to have a space where you can shut the door (both literally and figuratively) and focus on your work without interruptions.
Utilize Technology and Tools to Help You Work from Home
Working from home with kids can be a challenge, but utilizing technology and tools can make it easier to balance your business and family needs.
Keeping track of your work schedule, appointments, and personal commitments is essential when working from home with kids. Scheduling tools like Google Calendar or Trello allow you to manage all aspects of your life in one place. You can schedule reminders for important tasks, block out time for focused work sessions, and even plan fun activities with your family.
Furthermore, there are many online resources available for parents who work from home. From blogs to forums, you can find support and advice on everything from managing your time to dealing with distractions. Joining a community of like-minded individuals can provide you with the motivation and encouragement you need to succeed.
Plan for Interruptions and Unexpected Events
One of the biggest challenges when working from home is dealing with interruptions and unexpected events, such as school closures for school-aged kids, or even a sick kid, that can disrupt your work schedule. However, with some planning and preparation, you can minimize these disruptions and make the most of your workday.
Plan Your Work Schedule Around Your Child’s Routine
The first step in dealing with interruptions is to plan your work schedule around your child’s routine. This means identifying the times when your child is likely to need your attention, such as meal times or nap times, and scheduling your work accordingly. For example, if you know that your child usually takes a nap in the afternoon, you can schedule an important meeting during this time.
Take Breaks Throughout the Day to Spend Time With Your Child
It’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day to spend time with your child. This not only helps strengthen your bond but also gives them the attention they need while allowing you some much-needed rest from work and sitting in front of a screen. You could take a short walk together outside, play a game like solitaire online or read a book together for 10-15 minutes at regular intervals throughout the day.
Have a Backup Plan in Case of an Emergency or Unexpected Interruption
Despite all our best efforts, unexpected things can still happen. That’s why it’s important always to have a backup plan in case of an emergency or unexpected interruption. This could be having a trusted family member or friend on call to look after your child if you need to attend an urgent meeting or deal with an unexpected situation.
Be Flexible and Adjust Your Schedule as Needed to Accommodate Your Child’s Needs
Finally, it’s crucial to be flexible and adjust your schedule as needed to accommodate your child’s needs. Children are unpredictable, and their daily routines may change. Being flexible means being able to adapt quickly when things don’t go according to plan. Remember, the most important thing is not just getting as much work done as possible, but also being there for your child when they need you.
Research New Tips, Toys, and Schedules to Keep Kids Busy
As a parent working from home, keeping your kids entertained and occupied can be a challenge. However, with a little creativity and planning, you can make sure that your kids are happy and engaged while you work. Here are some tips to help you research new toys, activities, and schedules to keep your kids busy:
Create a Designated Play Area
One of the best ways to keep your kids entertained is by creating a designated play area for them. This could be a corner of the living room or even an entire room dedicated to playtime. Make sure that the space is safe and child-friendly with plenty of toys and activities for your kids to enjoy.
Limit Screen Time
While it may be tempting to let your kids watch TV or play video games all day, it’s important to limit their screen time. Instead of relying on screens for entertainment, encourage your kids to engage in fun learning activities like reading books or doing puzzles.
Plan Activities for Each Day
To avoid boredom during the week, plan different activities for each day. For example, Monday could be craft day where your kids get creative with art supplies. Tuesday could be game day where they play board games or card games like Spades. Wednesday could be a baking day where they help you make cookies or cupcakes.
Work in Short Bursts
Balancing work and parenting can be a challenging task, especially when working from home with kids. It requires a lot of patience, dedication, and top tips for staying focused. One of the most effective ways to stay focused is by working in short bursts.
Working in short bursts means dividing your work into smaller tasks that you can accomplish within a specific time frame. For example, you can work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break before starting again. This technique is known as the Pomodoro Technique and has been proven to increase productivity.
Undivided attention is key during these moments, so minimize distractions as much as possible. Turn off notifications on your phone or computer, close unnecessary tabs, and avoid multitasking.
Lastly, when working from home with kids, it’s essential to prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. Focus on completing high-priority tasks first before moving on to less critical ones.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to balance work and parenting, but it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself to get everything done in one minute. Instead, focus on the moment and make the most of your time.
Pick Something to Let Go Of
Working from home with kids can be a challenging task. It requires a lot of patience, flexibility, and organizational skills to manage both work and family responsibilities. One of the essential strategies for managing expectations while working from home with kids is to pick something to let go of.
Identify your favorite work tasks and prioritize them
Identifying your favorite work tasks and prioritizing them can help you focus on what’s important for your job while also allowing you to spend quality time with your kids. Make a list of your daily or weekly tasks and rank them based on their importance. This way, you can ensure that you’re completing the most critical tasks first while also making sure that you have enough time for your family.
Let go of the expectation of a perfectly clean home
As much as we want our homes to be clean and organized, it’s not always possible when working from home with kids. Instead of stressing over a perfectly clean home, try to focus on maintaining a tidy space that allows you to work efficiently without distractions. You can involve your children in cleaning up after themselves, which will teach them responsibility and help lighten the load for you.
Consider hiring a virtual assistant or delegating tasks to older children
If you find yourself overwhelmed with both work and family responsibilities, consider hiring a virtual assistant or delegating some tasks to older children who are capable of handling them. This way, you can free up some time for yourself while also ensuring that everything gets done efficiently.
It’s Possible to Successfully Work from Home with Kids
Working from home with kids can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. With the right strategies and mindset, you can seamlessly balance your work and parenting responsibilities. From setting clear boundaries to creating a dedicated workspace, there are several tips that can help you successfully work from home with kids.
During the baby years, working from home with infants and toddlers requires extra attention and care. You may need to adjust your schedule according to your child’s nap times or hire a babysitter for a few hours. As your child grows older, you will need to communicate with your partner about dividing responsibilities and creating a routine.
It is important to set clear boundaries between work time and family time. Creating a schedule for yourself and your kids can help you stay on track while also ensuring that you have enough time for family activities. Having a dedicated home office can create an environment that fosters productivity and minimizes distractions.
Finally, managing expectations by picking something to let go of is essential when working from home with kids. This could mean hiring additional help or adjusting work deadlines accordingly.
By implementing these strategies into your daily routine, you can effectively balance both worlds without compromising either one.
Are you just toying with the idea of becoming a WAHM? Check out my post on Stay at Home Mom Jobs.