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How to work from home with kids
I originally wrote this post years ago, but I thought it might be time to update and share it since the coronavirus has found many people working from home with kids. I’ve worked from home for years, and my kids have been home for the majority of that time. I noticed that a lot of people are wondering how to work from home with kids, so here are some of my best tips.
Is it possible to work from home with kids and keep your sanity?
No. Just kidding. Kind of. 😉 I’ve been working from home with kids for about eight years. When I started my first business, I had three kids at home, all under the age of six. So I do know a thing or two about working from home with kids.
I’ve also homeschooled my kids at two different points, which many of us are doing right now. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. As of right now, many of us are either homeschooling kids or working with the school doing alternative online education, adding yet another layer to working from home with kids.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make working from home with kids a little bit easier.
Set a schedule
It’s tough 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 parent are going to vary wildly depending on the age of your children and what kind of work you do.
Merely 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. We currently have a schedule in the dining room so that the kids know what to expect.
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 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.
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Hiring help may not be applicable or reasonable right now, but if it is, go for it! If you’re making enough money to justify it, consider hiring help. I haven’t done this myself, but maybe someday! 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 might hire someone to help with the kids while they’re home. This can either be a full-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.
Hiring a virtual assistant
Another option for busy work at home moms would be hiring a Virtual Assistant to help with essential tasks. Just because duties are essential does not mean that they can’t be delegated to someone else. For example, a Travel Agent like me might work with a virtual assistant to manage my social media accounts.
I do not currently work with a Virtual Assistant, but I have in the past, and I’m sure I will again in the future. Virtual Assistants can 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.
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 works very early hours, so I tend to wake up pretty early. I try to answer emails and get some work done before the kids wake up. My puppy wakes up with me, but that’s another story. 🙂
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 (maybe plan one for later!) but take a few minutes every day to do some yoga, read a book, or take a bath. Whatever kind of self-care works for you, make time for it.
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 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 is essential.
How to work from home with kids
I hope that this post gave you some hope that it is possible to work from home with kids. I think that working from home is one of the hardest things you can do as a parent. It is also one of the most rewarding. Even if you are working from home out of necessity, you can make the best of it.
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. Don’t forget to take time for yourself, and even set business hours if you have to.
Do you have any tips for working from home with kids? If so, please share them in the comments!
Who am I?
If this is your first time here, welcome! I’m glad you’re here. My name is Amy. I’m a travel agent/travel blogger who has been self-employed since 2012. Although I primarily share travel tips on this blog, I also share tips about starting a business and working from home.
Check out some of my other posts about working at home:
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