Thanks to the advent of technology and the wonderful invention of the Internet, many parents are enjoying the benefits of working from home with kids. After all, as a parent, you want to be able to spend as much time as possible with your kids. I work from home, and I love it. I get to experience so many wonderful moments with my son. However, while working from home with kids is certainly a blessing, it can also be a big challenge. In fact, it is often more difficult to do than working in an office setting. However, with some effective management, you can successfully work from home with your kids. Here are seven things that I do to make it work.
1. Wake up Earlier
The first key to successfully working from home with kids is waking up earlier. I set my alarm to 6 a.m., Monday through Friday; this is about 2 hours before my little guy wakes up. In these 2 hours, I can get a good bit of work done without distractions.
2. Nap Time is Prime Work Time
Nap time is when I get the most work done. It’s uninterrupted work time and I’m more awake, and my clients are also awake. Some of my best work is done during nap time.
3. Have a Plan
I have a very regimented schedule. I know what I need to get accomplished each and every day, as far as work goes. I make a list of things that I need to get done and cross off items as I complete them. I make sure I stick to my schedule and get at least 95% of my list done (though it’s usually 100%, but sometimes, unforeseeable circumstances do get in the way).
4. Work Later
If I can’t get everything accomplished on my to-do list during the day, sometimes I have to suck it up and work at night after my little guy goes to bed. While this is not something that I aim to do, sometimes, it just has to be done in order to meet deadlines. It’s the nature of the beast.
5. Don’t Work All Day
When you have little ones, you can’t just sit there in front of the computer typing away and not paying attention to them. One of the main reasons I work from home is to enjoy being with my child. So, every day, I make sure that I have something fun planned for us to do. At around 10:30, the computer gets turned off and we do our fun thing together. We have a picnic at the park, have a play date with friends, go to the library or just build a fort and read some books. It’s me-and-my-son time from the moment that computer goes off until nap time. We get to enjoy quality time together and it really makes both of us happy, and he is better able to cope when I have to work while he’s awake because he knows that he has dedicated mommy time each and every day.
6. Ask for Help
Sometimes, you just need to ask for help. If my husband is home, I ask if he can take the little guy for a while so I can get some work done. He understands I can’t be superwoman all the time, and I’m really grateful for that.
7. Plan Independent Activities
When I do have to work while little man is awake, I offer him independent activities to do. This can include coloring, playing with toys, sticker books, clay, or even watching an educational program. And, should he need help, I’m always able to put the computer down and help out.
Working from home really is a blessing. Thanks to these tips, it really works for my son and I. Do you work from home? What do you find helps you achieve a successful balance between your work and your kids?