Running a business is challenging in and of itself. Throw in everything else that goes into working from home with your children underfoot, and it seems overwhelming.
Being a work at home mom is no walk in the park.
But finding balance is possible, and you can successfully juggle your work at home career with your family without losing your sanity.
Tips for Working at Home with Kids
1. Be as Flexible as Possible
Flexibility is key as a work at home mom. There will be days when the kids entertain themselves, no one tries to make pancakes on your living room floor, and there are no crazy accidents pulling you away from work at a moment’s notice.
Take advantage of those beautiful moments to get as much work done as possible.
This will help offset those times when the baby is teething and no one will nap.
2. Set a Schedule for Nap Time / Quiet Time
Speaking of nap times, making sure your kids have a consistent one will do magic for your work at home career.
Even if your kids have given up naps, a daily quiet hour where they have to quietly read or entertain themselves on a mat or bed is important.
This gives you time to work on tasks that may require more concentration or involve phone or video calls.
3. Create a Dedicated Office Space
Being able to work anywhere in your home is a huge perk of being a work at home mom.
However, a dedicated work space is helpful for attending video meetings, running group coaching sessions, or taking calls.
It can also be beneficial to your work habits, giving you a space where your brain goes straight to work tasks out of habit.
4. Invest in Busy Activities
Busy activities are those that keep kids busy with little to no direct involvement from you.
Some idea for busy activities include:
- Water table play
- Sensory bins
- I Spy books
- Play dough or magic sand
These activities give you precious time multi-tasking between supervising as a parent and being able to work alongside your children as they play.
5. Plan Your Day Intentionally
Whether you use a tool like a planner or Google Calendar, planning your day is essential. You need to know when that discovery call is scheduled for or when the deadline for that project is.
Intentionally plan your day, week, and month to work around the needs of your family.
One of the many benefits of being a work at home mom is the ability to work around your children’s needs and schedules, so be purposeful with your planning.
This may mean taking advantage of an upcoming visit from grandma or asking your partner to handle the next doctor’s appointment while you use that time to meet with a client.
6. Estimate It Will Take Longer Than You Planned
Always estimate that it will take longer than you initially planned.
Really anything involving children typically takes far longer than we plan, and there are always going to be last minute issues that need tending to.
The baby might need a diaper the second you intend to walk out the door and someone’s ball might knock over the glass vase just as you answer your phone.
Give yourself lots of padding in between the various demands of your day to reduce your overall stress when working from home.
7. Hire a Nanny
Sometimes it’s the right decision to hire help!
If you’re finding yourself with a pile of work you never quite get to or that you’re missing deadlines, it’s time to call for reinforcements.
An alternative to an in-home nanny is a part-time daycare or preschool program. These offer additional social benefits and may be a better fit if you find yourself distracted by your kids still being at home.
Whatever you do, finding childcare isn’t a sign that you aren’t cut out to be a killer work at home mom or that you’re failing in some way.
It just means you need a little help, and that’s okay.
8. Wake Up Early or Stay Up Late
There is something incredibly peaceful about working in the quiet before everyone in the house wakes up or just after they finally fall fast asleep.
The lights are low and the world seems to let out a sigh of contentment around you.
Many work at home moms swear by the productive burst of energy they get by waking up early or staying up late. Reserve tasks that require focus for whichever end of the day works best for you.
9. Take Time for Yourself
As much as planning and such will help improve your productivity (and sanity) as a work at home mom, taking time away from work is just as important.
Designate off hours for yourself where you completely clock out of work.
Turn off the cell phone, step away from your laptop, and devote time to yourself and your family.
That might mean you treat yourself to biweekly pedicures, set aside time to read a new novel before bed, or start a family game night tradition. Whatever you do, make sure it fills your cup.
10. Ask for Help
Just as it’s completely normal to admit you need childcare help to be your best work at home self, it’s also normal to need help in other areas.
Some days you just might need your own assistant.
Other days it’s a good idea to hire a housecleaner or invest in a robotic vacuum cleaner. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help.