I’m sharing how I manage to work from home with kids. It’s no perfect system, but it’s the tips I have for what works for us so far!
Do you need some help when it comes to working from home with kids?
Well, I got you covered mama.
Because today I’m talking all about how I manage to work from home with kids. I have a toddler and a baby (who used to be a newborn lol) and it’s NOT easy!! I wouldn’t say it’s perfect by any means… but we have it somewhat figured out.
When I’m not blogging, I’m also working with clients – so having a system is VERY important for me. If you are drowning, I hope you have some action steps by the end of this post!
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Set realistic expectations
Before I begin this post, I want to remind you to PLEASE set realistic expectations – of you, your kids, and your lifestyle.
It is merely impossible to work an entire days worth all at once unless you have a nanny to take your kids. It’s also impossible to work 16 hours around them.
You need to consider what your lifestyle looks like, how your children operate, and then set daily goals of how much work you can get done each day. Then work around it.
And above all else… be kind. To your kids AND yourself. It’s not easy working from home with kids – but you can do it mama!!
Develop a work schedule
This is one that I really struggle with but it seems to be getting easier with time. Set specific times that you try to sit down and work. I have a few times a day that I do this lately and it really helps.
→ Block out your obligations and responsibilities
First of all, block out your obligations and responsibilities. What windows will you leave open for soccer practice, dance recitals, and doctor appointments? Make sure to block those out first!
It might be wise to also block out meal times, bedtime rituals, and relaxation. Don’t forget about yourself, either! Make sure to block out time to workout or work on self care (even if that’s just reading a book alone).
Block all that stuff out before trying to set a schedule for yourself.
→ Consider when you are most productive
Now, we all have times when we are THE MOST productive. It might even change depending on what you’re working on.
Maybe you’re most productive super early in the morning before the kids get up or maybe it’s late at night after they have gone to bed. Maybe you’re a better writer at night and a better designer in the morning.
Consider what periods of time are best suited for you, your life, and your tasks.
→ Fill in the blanks around that
Now – create your schedule! Work around your life and fill in the blanks so you have set times to work. For many moms this means, before they wake up, after they go to bed, and naptimes.
Me personally… I do a mix of that and utilizing playtimes. I am in the midst of trying to get up at 4-5am (so far I’m down to 6:30am) so I can work for about 3-4 hours while they are still sleeping. Then when BOTH kids are happy and playing together, I’ll work some more. I do this 2-3 times a day for about an hour or so.
My kids cosleep and NEED me to go to bed with them and they notice if I get up and wake up crying for me. So for us, working after they go to bed just doesn’t work. But when they’ve already been asleep all night, they don’t notice me get out of bed in the morning.
It has taken me a lot of trial and error to find something that works, but so far this is working. I just need to try and get up earlier 😉
Manage your time wisely
We as mothers have such small windows of working time that it’s SOOOOO important to manage our time appropriately. If we don’t, a week has flown right past us with little to show for it. Make sure you are managing your time!
→ Prioritize what needs to get done
First and foremost – PRIORITIZE. What tasks are most important? What will have the greatest impact RIGHT NOW?
I always start with income producing activities first. This includes things like working on client projects, working on content to sell to other bloggers, hustling to find NEW clients to work with, etc.
The next on my list is things that will grow the blog part of my business. I’ve been guilty of not spending time wisely here. Instead of creating content… I get caught up with other bells and whistles.
I’ve made it a point to be much more intentional lately and realize what is a priority for me. Which is my clients and growing this blog!
→ Plan your task list before you sit down to work
And the worst thing you can do is try and “wing it” when it comes to working. I currently use a tool called ClickUp and it is AMAZING!! I will write a more thorough review at some point regarding how I use it… but it helps take MASSIVE projects and break them down.
By doing this in every area of my business, I know exactly what I am working on each day. I can even glance at it before I sit down by checking the app on my phone.
→ Keep moving yourself forward
Lastly, KEEP MOVING FORWARD. I have sucked at this up until the last year or so. I have had so many websites, spent 6 years spinning in circles, all because I get hung up on details, learning everything, and not executing.
It is useless if you don’t keep moving forward.
Make a rule for yourself about how much content you can consume in a day. Make a rule about what needs to get done FIRST before you try this new thing, or tweak this, or change that. I can spend all day spinning my wheels.
It’s important to keep moving forward WHILE you do those things.
Consider your environment
I might go without saying that your environment plays a HUGE role in how much you can get done – especially when you have kids at home. There are two very important things to consider here: your level of distractions and the workspace you currently have.
→ Get rid of distractions
This is almost laughable with kids… but still needs to be said. We can’t always get rid of the distraction of having kids but there are other things. Try to eliminate other things around you.
This could mean silencing your phone – I put mine into do not disturb mode. Closing tabs that aren’t needed on your computer. Turning off the TV – I actually set mine to play Spotify Focus playlists on the xbox. Or anything else that grabs your attention while trying to work.
BONUS TIP: try and set kids up with activities before each work session. Depending on the activity, this could give you up to an hour or two of work time while they play.
→ Create a workspace
Okay you caught me… I don’t really have a workspace. But I recognize what having one would do. I used to have a desk decorated with things that light me up and make me so happy.
It really helps you focus and get more done. If you have smaller kids… you could put yours in a corner off the side, or in a separate room near where your kids play with a baby gate so you can still hear if they need you.
Get help where you can
I think one of the more important parts is to get as much help as you can. It’s SO HARD to work from home with kids so if there is a way to get even a little help, I HIGHLY suggest it! Here’s a few ways you can ask for help if you’re not sure where to begin.
While the most obvious, this one will have the greatest impact. Kid-free time is honestly AMAZING. You can power though to-do lists, get things done that require focus, and just feel more productive. I suggest doing one of the following at least 1-2x a week.
- Ask your spouse or another family member to take the kids for an outing
- Hire an in-home babysitter to keep kids occupied in another room
- Enroll your kids into daycare part-time with a center you can trust
→ Household chores
Now, I don’t know about you… but I spend a lot of time on chores. Laundry, picking up toys, dishes, and SO. MUCH. MORE. I am yet to try hiring out help in this area, but it would honestly be amazing.
You can also communicate to your spouse that you need help and see if they can clean, cook, or shop for you while you work. Or see if some local friends or family are up for the job.
I have started utilizing our local delivery service for grocery shopping – that alone has been so helpful. It’s less time I’m doing other things so I can focus on my business and taking care of kids without adding even more to my plate.
→ Business tasks
Last but not least – try and lighten up your workload. Depending how much you work, this could really make a difference. Try and hire out some of the more tedious tasks or things that you don’t HAVE TO do yourself.
I suggest asking in facebook groups vs upwork, however. You will get a more skilled individual vs cheap VAs from overseas.
You can have them do things, such as:
- Scheduling your social media
- Writing your blog posts (what I do for clients)
- Designing marketing graphics
- Tackling email and customer service
- Moderating your facebook group
…. and so much more!
I promise – you can do this mama. You just need to have the right system in place!