While I love being able to stay home with my kids, it is a struggle now that I’m also working from home. Depending on the age of your kids, there are different ways that you can sneak in your work. It can be hard to juggle it all, so you must be careful in your planning to be sure you get your work done and still spend enough time with your kids.
The biggest thing that has helped me with working while at home with my kids is planning. I hate running up against deadlines, so I work ahead whenever possible. You never know when things will change.
Work during naptime
My kids are at the age where they don’t nap every day anymore, but when they do, I make sure to sneak in as much work time as possible. I miss the days when they napped daily, and I had a huge chunk of time. Kids change, and you need to adapt. If they don’t nap, I still set up something else for them to do so that I can work for a bit. While more interrupted, I still get some things in.
Work at bedtime
After my kids go to bed, I usually get a couple of hours to work uninterrupted. Sometimes this changes if someone wakes up, but for the most part, I can get a lot done at this time. The problem tends to be that I have a hard time winding down when I work so late, so this is a constant balance of going to bed earlier some nights to make up for this.
Everyone has a work time
Since my kids are older, I can have them both doing ABC Mouse. All three of us have work time. I can get some work in during the morning, and they can be learning.
Have them do a workout
My kids enjoy many of the workout videos on YouTube, so sometimes I will put one of those on for them and sneak in a bit of work while they are distracted. They must be in the mood, though, so sometimes the tactic works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Send them outside
I love that my kids are now at the age where I can send them into the backyard without me needing to be with them. I will often sneak in some work while they’re out playing.
Have them play together
While sometimes this time is short, especially if they start fighting, I can usually sneak in some work while my kids play together. This success depends on how the day is going.
Put on a movie
While not always an ideal solution, if we’re having a rough day, no one is napping, or I have a ton to do, I will put on a show or a movie for them while I work. Usually, this works to distract them for a bit.
Work on your phone
While not ideal, I do sometimes write on my phone. I figure whatever words I can sneak in there will still help me get things done. If my son wants to sit with me, I can have my phone out and still be working.
The biggest thing to remember about working from home is that kids constantly change things. Along with planning ahead, it’s important to be flexible. Your plans may not always work, and you’ll constantly be adjusting.
Working from home with kids around can be stressful because it can feel like you’re getting pulled in all directions. It can also be gratifying because you can stop and take a break to play with your kids. You can work outside too. While it’s a constant balancing act, it can be a great thing at the same time.