You may be wondering how to work from home with little ones without going crazy. Working from home with children is now becoming a new normal for many of us. Whether we like it or not, it is time to embrace these new changes. Here are my eight best tips to successfully work from home with little ones, including sample schedules to help you win your day.
As a full-time blogger and online ESL teacher, I’ve been fortunate enough to work from home for over two years now with my two little girls. And let me tell you it really is a challenge juggling both mom’s life and work life.
“No matter how clueless you may feel right now, pay attention to suggestions and opportunities that suddenly present themselves… Take the first step in the direction toward something that feels right and see where it leads you. And do it NOW.” —Jen Sincero
I’m not here to say who has it harder, work from home moms or a mom who works full time outside the home. Being a mom is hard. Period. But working from home has very unique challenges that take a certain finesse and patience to handle.
The advantages of being a work from home mom allows you to be present with your kids daily, have a flexible schedule and be your own boss. However, creating a balance between being a mom and working from home is definitely challenging. As a mom and a boss we want to do it all and we want to do it well.
There is no right or wrong way to balance your work, homeschooling, and mom life. The key is to do your best to stick to a consistent routine.
Let me preface this blog post by saying, I am sharing my experience as a full-time work from home mom. As a blogger, I work on my own time and my own schedule. So although most days I am creating content for my blog, email lists, or social media channels, I do have the flexibility to take time off when needed. I have a toddler and an infant, so my days can be unpredictable between sleep training, potty training, and just having little ones.
If you are reading this and have always worked outside the home, I promise you the tips I am about to share with you apply to your situation as well. Soon enough you will be a pro at juggling this work from home routine with your family in line.
8 Best Hacks To Be Productive As A Work From Home Mom
Set Realistic Expectations – What you are doing is not easy, so allow yourself to make mistakes. Do not stress if it isn’t working perfectly well yet. Give it time. And give yourself grace. It will work.
Prepare your meals the night before – Although you aren’t going to an office, it’s still smart to “pack” your lunch. When you are home, it is tempting to waste time making a really nice breakfast or lunch. Or on the flip side, you may find yourself grazing the kitchen for unhealthy snacks. Having your breakfast and lunches prepared ahead of time, makes sure you use your time wisely.
Set a Start and End Time – Beginning and ending your day at the same time every day will help you stay consistent. I suggest getting started early. When working in an office, you have a commute to help you wake up and feel ready to work. At home, transitioning from your pillow to a computer is much more shocking.
Create a Schedule – How many hours do you hope to work that day? Use a planner to block out your workday. I really love the Christian Planner. List your tasks by priority and always do the hardest tasks first. Schedule return calls, emails, webinars during nap time and if you can include your kids in some activities. For example, some days if I need to work while my infant is napping but my toddler is still awake, we both work together. We go into our home office, and I work on the desktop and my daughter “works” drawing on her chalkboard or practicing her spelling using her letter boards.
“It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in your hours.” — Sam Ewing
Separate Kid and Work Space – Creating a space for kids to play and for mom to work are essential in creating boundaries for work and play. Mom do not work on the couch or in your bed. Instead, work in a specific room or the dining/kitchen table. Choose the right work space to take your work seriously.
Plan for Interruptions – Kids don’t always understand that they can’t have all of Mom’s attention and tantrums are bound to happen at inconvenient times. If you’re on a business call, hit mute when you aren’t speaking or if the fussing doesn’t seem to be coming to an end, ask to reschedule the call.
Prioritize Your Health – While you are spending more time at home, this is a good time to prioritize your health. Juggling motherhood, work, and managing a household is tough. One way to reduce stress, feel energized, increase focus and mental clarity is exercise. You can stream several workouts safely from your home. I am a huge fan of Beachbody On Demand for the variety of workouts from dance cardio, weight lifting, yoga, and HIIT. You can try it now for free for 14 days.
Ask for Help – Having two kids under the age of 2 or even one kid at 6 months can be overwhelming at times especially when trying to meet a deadline. Consider asking the neighborhood teenage babysitter to come and sit with the kids for a couple of hours on the days you need a little extra help. Schedule a play date with a mom that doesn’t mind taking the kids on her own.
Sample Schedule with a Toddler and an Infant
- 5:00 am – Wake up / Mommy Work Time / Breakfast
- 7:00 – 8:00 am – Kids Wake Up/ Breakfast / Get dressed
- 8:00 am – Morning Walk / Kids Play Together Independently / Light Housework
- 10:30 am – Infant Takes a Nap
- 10:30 am – Noon – Snack time / Learning Videos With Toddler
- Noon – Infant Wakes Up / Lunch Time
- 1:00 pm – Toddler Nap Time or Quiet Time
- 1:00 – 3:00 pm – Exercise / Get Stuff Done / Homeschool
- 4:30 pm – Start Dinner
- 5:00 – 630 pm – Dinner / Family Time
- 6:45 pm – Infant Bedtime
- 7:45 pm – Toddler Bedtime
- 8:00 pm – 10 pm – Mommy Work Time
- 10:00 pm – Wind Down
- 10:30 pm – Bedtime
As you see from my schedule, I only work about 4 hours a day. My number one job is a mom first. Then a full-time blogger. I sometimes complete small tasks from my phone while my girls are playing together.
Our favorite learning videos are currently ABCMouse.com and Kid Start Spanish DVD set. I also look up science activities online and fun craft activities on Pinterest.
Need additional ideas to keep your young ones entertained while you work? Check out my recommendations in my Amazon shop.
Your schedule may look more like this if you have a preschool-age child.
Sample Work From Home Schedule With a Preschooler
- 7:00 – 8:00 am – Wake Up / Breakfast
- 8:00 -10:00 am – Get Dressed & Learning Time
- 10:00 -11 am – Morning Walk or playtime
- 11:00 am-2:00 pm – Lunch / Nap Time / Mommy Work Time
- 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Snack Time / learning videos
- 3:00 -4:00 pm – Art & Independent Play
- 4:00 -5:00 pm – Afternoon Walk
- 5:00 -7:00 pm – Dinner & Family Time
- 7:00-8:30 pm – Bath Time & More Family Time
- 8:30 pm – Bedtime (other parent puts little one to sleep)
- 8:30 pm – Mommy Works
Or like this, if you have a child in elementary school
Sample Work From Home Schedule With An Elementary Student
- 7:00 – 8:00 am – Wake Up/ Breakfast/Tidy Room/Get Dressed
- 8:00 – 9:00 am – Language Arts (Reading Comprehension & Writing)
- 9:00 – 10:00 am – Science
- 10:00 -11 am – Morning Walk
- 11:00 am – Noon – Social Studies
- Noon – 1:00 pm – Lunch
- 1:00 pm -2:00 pm – Math
- 2:00- 3:00 pm – STEM
- 3:00 – 4:00 pm – Art/Creative Project
- 4:00 – 5:00 pm – Afternoon Walk
- 5:00 – 7:00 pm – Dinner/TV / Family Time
- 7:00 – 8:30 pm – Bath/Chores/ Free Time
- 8:00 pm – Mommy Works
- 9:00 pm – Bedtime (other parent takes over)
Are you working from home with your kiddos due to the corona virus? How are you adjusting?
Being a WAHM (work from home mom) is great but don’t forget to schedule some “ME” time in for yourself to recharge. This situation isn’t forever even though on your toughest days it feels like it. You got this Mama!
Take a day or at least a few hours every now and then to forget work, get away from your kids and spend some quality time with yourself. Go to a salon, have drinks with friends, garden, read a book – do anything that makes you happy and helps you to relax.
Remember that no matter how busy you are, you should never give up on finding time for yourself, because it will help you be a better mother in the long run.