When you work from home with kids, life can get hectic. Ok, let’s be honest. Life can get crazy.
On any given day my to-do list may include finishing a proposal, writing a blog post, making dinner, taking kids to a sports lesson, spending time with my husband and kids, etc.
Maybe your list looks similar. Or maybe you don’t work from home yet and are wondering if it’s even possible since your plate feels so full.
Here are some ways I’ve found to work from home with kids without going crazy.
Find a job that matches your
skillset and your kids’ n eeds
My career has changed through the years based on my current skills and my kids’ needs. When my kids were young, I taught music lessons. Now that they’re in school, I work part-time outside the home and often work on my blog or extra tasks in the evening.
While those jobs work well for me, they may not work well for you. So, what types of jobs you could do that you already have the skills or could learn the skills for? Would those jobs fit into your family life and your kids’ needs?
Could you freelance and write articles when your kids are asleep? Or would you be a good customer service rep and work from home when your kids are at school?
When I have a job that fits both me and my family, I’ve found that everyone is happier and less stressed out.
Build a stable work routine
My kids thrive on routine. And honestly? I do, too.
One thing I’ve done is to set a dedicated time to work. That way I know when I’m working, I’m working, and when I’m not working I’m with my kids.
When I had younger kids working as a transcriptionist, I would work around four hours a day. Two hours during nap time/quiet time and two hours after the kids went to bed.
My work time was restricted to those hours, and it didn’t bleed into the rest of our day. That left plenty of time for playing, reading, park trips, etc.
Make a (backup) childcare plan
One of the reasons I chose to work from home, especially when my kids were younger, was to be home with them and earn money without paying high childcare costs.
Even though I could do most of my work with my kids home, there have been times I’ve had to arrange alternate care when things have come up.
Here are some ways that I’ve handled childcare:
- Work when my kids were sleeping or having afternoon quiet time
- Have my piano students’ moms watch my kids at my house while I gave lessons at a reduced rate
- Do some work at the library or coffee shop when my husband was home with the kids
- Swap babysitting with a friend
- Pay a high schooler to babysit my kids after school or in the summer
- Pay for preschool
Do you know how you’ll handle childcare, and do you have a backup plan?
Create a dedicated “office” space
I’ve found that having a dedicated “office” space is important for when I work from home.
Having a dedicated office space has a few advantages:
- Working at the same space each day signals to my body that it’s time to work
- I can keep all of my work stuff organized in one place
- When I’m working at my “office” it can signal to my older kids that I’m working and they may need to entertain themselves for a few minutes
You may be lucky enough to have an office room in your home. If you don’t have a full room, you can use a corner desk or even work on the couch.
I’ve personally never had a full room to use for my office. Instead, I’ve worked at a desk or on my laptop on the couch in my room.
Find ways to increase your p
I’ve found that by increasing my productivity I can reduce the hours I spend working and increase my income. This gives me more time to spend with my kids.
Some of the ways I’ve increased my productivity include:
- Prioritizing my most important tasks and cutting out unnecessary work
- Creating processes to streamline repetitive tasks
- Learning how to become faster at typing, researching, writing, etc
- Investing in tools that help me work faster
What would be the easiest ways for you to increase your productivity?
Meet your deadlines early
Want to know what really stresses me out? Procrastinating on deadlines.
If I’m afraid I’ll miss a deadline, I get stressed and work more hours. And then I may be more impatient with my kids when they ask for something.
I’ve found that meeting deadlines early not only reduces my stress and makes for a happier home. It also benefits my clients or company because they know they can depend on me to get my work done. This has meant better opportunities and increased stability working from home.
Embrace the chaos and enjoy this stage of life
Even with the best-laid plans, crazy, hard days happen. Your kids are sick, or you have a heavy
But amidst the chaos, beauty happens as well. We get big sloppy kisses from our toddlers or an “I love you, Mom,” from our ten-year-old.
So while this stage of life and motherhood may be busy. It’s also wonderful. I’ve gotten to see my kids grow and be right there with them.
How do you manage working from home?
I’d love your thoughts on how you balance working from home with motherhood.