If you are looking for advice on how to work from home with kids, then you have come to right place. Grab some coffee, a cozy seat and let's get down to it.
I have actually been working from home on and off for a little over a year now and there are things that I have found that have worked for our family that I wanted to share in case anyone was still struggling.
The main thing that I want to remind you before we get started is that all these tips may not work for you, but it could help you get a better idea of what will. It took us a long while to get into a good flow of getting all the things accomplished in a day and even now, not every day goes exactly as I would like it to.
I still have many melt downs, tantrums, fighting and everything else that could make a day go wrong, but tomorrow is a new day to start all over and try again. Don’t give up!
And with that…let get started!
1. Wake up before the kids
Did you just roll your eyes from reading this over and over in all the blog posts? Well, it’s listed for a reason…IT IS SO WORTH IT!
I found that when I wake up early (which is hard some days because my youngest has a sixth sense and follows me downstairs at the butt crack of dawn) I feel so much more calm and ready to take on my LONG list of things to do.
My husband has even see the change in me that he has started to wake me up when he does or just before he leaves for work.
And what you do when you get up is totally up to you! I take that time to just have some coffee when it is quiet, workout, read, or even catch up on some work tasks that I have been putting off.
If this is the only thing you take away from this post, GREAT because it really is a good one, and if you still aren’t convinced then try it for a week.
2. Get dressed for work
That seems so weird doesn’t it? Getting dressed to walk 10 steps to your computer (or at least that is how far my laptop is from my bed).
I thought this was a crazy idea too and a complete waste of adding to the pile of laundry that is still a mile high when we aren’t going anywhere…what is with that?!
But really hear me out, when I get dressed, I actually feel like I am going to get things accomplished in my day.
It’s like the fitness professionals when they tell you that getting into your workout clothes will help you to do your workout every day (or something like that).
And a bonus to getting dressed is you don’t feel frumpy all day long.
3. Keep a routine
Now I was going to say set a schedule or keep a schedule but that was so hard for me when I tried it. I even went and put a timed schedule in my Google Calendar to ping my phone when it was time for the next thing and it actually stressed me out.
If that is something that works for you then awesome! Definitely do that and it’s totally free!
If you are like me and just go with the flow for the day then I would say that doing a routine is a better option for you.
Let me give you an example of my routine…
5:30 Wake up (quiet time before the boys get up)
6:30 boys start waking up
7:00 breakfast, chores, get dressed, brush teeth
9:00 start homeschool
11:00 Lunch/read aloud
12:00 quiet time (work time for mommy)
2:30 boys have snack, art, read, games
3:00 outside, run errands
5:00 dinner or dinner prep
6:00 daddy gets home
7:00 tv time
8:00 boys brush teeth, pjs, read, bedtime
8:30 wrap up work stuff, make a list for the following day, relax
I was very relaxed with the time and it was really only to give you a general idea of how we do our routine in a day. Some days look different with scheduled activities or hikes with the boys versus other days.
In the end the boys know what come after breakfast time, when its time for lunch, quiet time. And what is great thing about having this routine is that they know during quiet time, mommy is working and they need to stay in their rooms quietly.
4. Set a quiet time
Ok so that brings me the next big thing that has helped me work from home, setting a quiet time.
My three year old is to the point where he doesn’t always need a nap every day…which is so sad for me. He is getting so big but I felt like I was also losing that precious quiet time in the middle of the day.
Let’s face it, nap time is almost as great as bedtime.
I decided we are going to continue doing quiet time after lunch even after he drops his nap because it’s the time that I get the most work done.
When we first started doing quiet times, I would let the older two boys watch tv downstairs or go outside. After we moved, we switch things to less tv and they had quiet play time in their bedrooms.
To help them get used to this, I set a timer to let them know when they could come out and if they were too loud or came to ask me if they could come out before the timer, I told them I would add more time.
When my youngest doesn’t nap, it is more of struggle for him to stay in his room to play but I give him toys that he can play with only during that time which has helped so much too.
5. Meal plan/Prep
I know we aren’t talking about meals but this actually helps save us so much time and slow cooking is your best friend on really busy days.
Far too many times I would get so caught up in what was going on in a day that I would get to dinner time and either didn’t have the energy to cook or it was too late to cook and the children were becoming savage with hunger.
And while ordering out every once in a while is great, I found we were using it as a crutch so much more than I thought we would staying home.
I have started taking the time to meal plan before going to the grocery store every week and then prepping some things in advance or doing a crock pot meal so that we are saving money and still eating a nutritious meal.
Plus, this is one less thing for you to think about every single day! I don’t know about your kids but mine have no problem reminding me that they need to eat for the millionth time in a day.
And an extra bonus, when there are snacks ready to go or quick meals that means that you are able to get more work tasks done instead of taking up the time with chopping or cooking.
6. Ask for help
This last one is actually the hardest for me to do.
Even when I was a brand new mom with my oldest, I felt that I should have no problem doing everything on my own and that I would be just fine. I was capable.
While we are all very capable of doing things ourselves, there really isn’t any harm in asking for a little help from time to time.
Maybe you have a big project that is due and you are behind or not where you want to be with getting it done. You have important meetings coming up and you’re afraid your boss is tired of your kids interrupting them in the past. Who knows the reason, honestly they are aren’t important to anyone but yourself.
If you are like us (military family) and you don’t have any family or friends near you to help, look into a mommy helper. There are lots of reputable businesses who help you find a babysitter or someone to come and help with the kids.
We thought about doing this for a short time and while I wasn’t too keen on a stranger watching my children, I felt better knowing that I was still at home with them if anything happened.
And we didn’t go through with a mommy helper in the end because we found out that we were moving, not that we had a bad experience. There are a couple moms that I know who do this and it works really well for them.
And that's it!
Those are my 6 tips for how to work from home with kids. I really hope that they were helpful to you and I would love to hear about anything that has helped you working from home with your kids so please leave a comment below.