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Is it possible to work from home with kids and keep your sanity? I am going to be honest with you, it’s still something that I am working on! As I am writing this blog post, there are five kids aged ten and under in my house. Phrases like “he hurt me!” and “I’m hungry” and “moooooooommmmm!!!” are heard every 12.5 seconds (or less.) I don’t have it all figured out, but I do have some tips to make sure that working from home with kids goes a little bit smoother!
How to work from home with kids and keep your sanity
Set a schedule
It’s really hard to work from home, take care of kids, and run a household while maintaining your sanity. One of the best things that you can do is to have a schedule. If your work is flexible, it may be best to work in shorter increments throughout the day, instead of trying to sit down for a few hours. Schedules for a work at home mom are going to vary wildly depending on the age of your children and what kind of work you do.
Simply having a schedule will make life a little bit easier. Set aside time to work, time to do anything that needs to be done around the house, and time with the kids. For example, if Wednesday is library day, maybe you could go to the library after breakfast and then everyone can come home and spend quiet time reading while mom gets some work done. If you’re laughing at the idea of kids being quiet – it’s okay. It’s good to have a plan, but remain flexible. The key to a good schedule is consistency, and the kids will get used to it the more that you do it.
Get the kids involved
Make sure to get the kids involved when you’re doing the household chores. I am a firm believer that kids should help with chores, and that it helps them learn life skills. When you create a schedule, create a chore list and assign age appropriate chores to all of the kids. Even little ones can do simple tasks like picking up their own toys, or “cleaning” something with a rag or baby wipe.
Older kids can help with tasks like folding laundry, cleaning up after dinner, and vacuuming the floors. For us, it’s easier for everyone to have specific chores. That way, when it comes time to do them, everyone knows what to expect.
If you’re making enough money to justify it, consider hiring help. It isn’t something that I have done, but I know several work at home moms who have hired help and never looked back. Consider hiring someone to come in and help with the house, especially if your children are very young and can’t help as much. Others who work from home with kids often hire someone to help with the kids while they’re home. This can either be a fully time nanny, or a teenager who comes over and helps by playing with the kids or takes them to the park if you need some quiet time to work.
Another option for busy work at home moms would be hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to help with tasks that are important, but that can be delegated to someone else. For example, a blogger or photographer may want to hire a VA to handle their social media accounts. Virtual Assistants can be hired to do just about anything, so no matter what you do from home a Virtual Assistant might be able to help you! Hiring help should only be done if you’re making enough to justify it, but it can be a lifesaver for someone who is drowning in everything that is involved in working from home. You can find Virtual Assistants at Upwork or Zirtual.
Shameless self-promotion: I also do VA work for both bloggers and photographers, so if you feel like you’re in over your head, contact me!
Work when you can
It may seem obvious, but work whenever you can. If you have young children who take naps, use that time to focus on your work rather than the things that need to be done around the house. Make household chores a family thing and use the time when they’re napping, before they wake up, or after they go to bed to focus on work.
My husband is working a lot of hours right now, so I try to make sure to get the important tasks done before the kids are up. For me, I find it easier to get things done in the morning, instead of stressing about it all day and doing it at night. I realize that this isn’t for everyone, but it’s one tip that works for me!
Related post: How to be a morning person
Don’t forget to take time for yourself
It gets crazy, but don’t forget to take time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a 3 day spa retreat (unless that’s what you want!) but take a few minutes every day to do some yoga, read a book, or take a bath. If you’re married, don’t forget about your husband either! Get a babysitter or swap watching kids with a friend and go out on a date night.
Take some time off
If you’re self employed, it can feel like you’re “on the clock” 24/7. The problem is that being on the clock doesn’t mean you’re getting paid, and it can really wear you out too! Make sure to take some time off. If you have clients who contact you at all hours, enforcing some kind of office hours (if you can) may be a good option. Most moms who work at home do so because they want to spend more time with their families, so make taking time to be with your family without work distractions a priority!
I hope that this post gave you some hope that it is possible to work from home with kids and maintain your sanity. I think that working from home is one of the hardest things you can do as a mom, but also one of the most rewarding. The key to successfully working from home with kids is all about figuring out a schedule that works best for you and your family. Make sure to keep everyone involved in keeping the household running, and don’t forget to take time for yourself, and even set business hours if you have to.
P.S. If you like this post, I bet you’ll like my weekly newsletter. I tend to write about more personal stuff in the newsletter, so make sure to sign up if you’d like to get a peek into our crazy lives! I’ll also send you a free copy my Daily Checklist, which helps me figure out my goals every morning and get more done every day.