Like many parents, I am a working mom. Working from home with kids (and also running my own business), however, has its challenges.
I work from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and then spend the weekends with my family but I still need to get things done! Here are some tips for staying on top of your workload when you’re also trying to be a parent:
|Working from home with kids can be challenging, but it is possible to find a balance and create a successful routine.
|To work from home with kids effectively, it is essential to establish a dedicated workspace, set realistic expectations, and communicate your needs with your employer and family.
|Strategies for managing childcare while working from home include enlisting the help of a partner or family member, setting up virtual childcare, and planning activities for kids during work hours.
|Staying productive while working from home with kids requires effective time management, prioritization, and technology that makes tasks easier to accomplish.
|It’s essential to make time for self-care while working from home with kids. Take regular breaks, get exercise, seek social connections, and support.
1. Make a Schedule and Stick to It
To start, you need to make a schedule and stick to it. You can’t just wing it—that won’t work and will make things chaotic again.
Create a routine that includes everything you need to do during the day: family, friends and yourself; work, play and exercise; chores and errands. Then put all those activities into your calendar according to the time available so nothing gets missed.
Creating a productive work environment at home with kids can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it is possible. Learn some useful tips for creating a comfortable and inspiring home office environment to maximize your productivity and enjoy a more efficient workday.
2. Establish Routines
Establishing Routines: Setting up a routine is one of the most important things you can do when working from home.
It will help your kids feel more comfortable and it will help you get more done, without having to worry about constant interruptions.
I have found two key elements to be helpful in establishing routines:
- Establishing specific times during the day for certain tasks (such as meal time, reading time and play time)
- Creating a schedule that allows for flexibility throughout the week
Establishing Routines with Brand Name Tools
|Create a daily schedule for work and family time.
|Establish consistent work hours to maintain a regular routine.
|Use timers or apps to break up the workday and manage time effectively.
|Set time boundaries with family and use tools to communicate availability.
|Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack
|Make time for self-care and relaxation as part of your daily routine.
|Headspace, Calm, Nature sounds
This table outlines some suggested routines and brand-name tools that can help establish consistency and productivity when working from home with kids. These tools can help parents keep track of their schedules, manage their time, and communicate effectively with their colleagues and families.
3. Be Kind to Yourself and Make Time for Self-Care
Working from home with kids is never a breeze, but it can feel especially challenging when you’re also juggling the demands of your full-time job.
In addition to all the normal stresses of parenting and maintaining a household, you have to add on top of those the extra stressors that come with working from home: isolation, loneliness and lack of direction (to name just a few). It’s critical that parents who work from home make sure they are taking care of themselves in order not only to be better parents but also so that they can keep their sanity while doing so!
Here are some simple ways you can take care of yourself while still taking care of your family:
As a parent working from home, balancing work and parenting can be a real challenge. However, with some smart tips and strategies, you can make it work. Check out our article on balancing work and parenting for some useful advice on how to manage both roles successfully.
4. Own Your Home Office Space
It’s important to create a space that is comfortable, inviting and conducive to work. If you’re in a smaller home, consider renting out a storage unit for all of your things (and if you’re using an office in the basement or garage, make sure it’s temperature-controlled). You’ll also want enough room to move around and set up various equipment.
If this isn’t possible due to space constraints or if your kids are too little to be left unsupervised with their toys consider setting up a second home office somewhere else in your house where they can play during work hours. This will allow them access to toys while keeping them away from Mommy’s workspace.
Maximizing Your Home Office Space with Brand Name Tools
|Choose an appropriate space that is conducive to work and free from distractions.
|Invest in comfortable furniture and a supportive chair to prevent discomfort.
|Herman Miller, Steelcase, Humanscale
|Organize your space with filing cabinets, storage boxes, and other organizational tools.
|FilingSupplies, The Container Store
|Optimize your lighting and use natural light to your advantage.
|Phillips Hue, Lifx, YeeLight
|Personalize your space with decorations, art, and other items that inspire and motivate you.
|Etsy, Society6, Unsplash
This table outlines some tips and brand-name tools that can help you maximize your home office space when working from home with kids. By investing in comfortable furniture, creating an organized workspace, and optimizing lighting, you can create a space that is conducive to work and productivity. Personalizing your space with decorations and art can also help inspire and motivate you throughout the workday.
5. Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are many benefits to working from home with kids. For one thing, you can work during nap time or before bedtime.
You’ll also be able to save on childcare costs and spend more time with your children. However, there are some challenges that may come with working from home with kids:
- There is no separation between work and personal life
- The temptation for distractions is great (especially if you have a smartphone)
- Staying organized can be challenging when juggling everything on your own
When you’re working from home with kids, it can feel like every day is a new challenge. However, there are many ways to make it work and create a successful routine. To learn more about how to survive and thrive while working from home with kids, check out our guide on working from home with kids: the ultimate survival guide.
6. Manage Screen Time Like a Boss
Now that you’ve learned how to set up a room for working from home, it’s time to face the big question: What do you do with your kids? In order to make this transition as painless as possible for everyone, here are some tips on how to make sure they’re doing something productive with their time.
Set Time Limits
First things first: It’s important that you set time limits for screen time so that your children don’t become addicted or over-indulge in YouTube videos and Netflix series.
You should also make sure they’re not spending too much time on their phones or watching TV when they could be doing homework or playing outside.
If you want them involved in what you’re doing at work—and I recommend this so that they’ll see the value of hard work—make them part of the process by letting them help out with whatever task needs completing at that moment.
Managing Screen Time Effectively with Brand Name Tools
|Establish screen-free zones and times in your daily routine.
|Moment, Unplugged, BreakFree
|Create a separate user account on your computer for work to limit distractions.
|Windows 10 User Accounts, Creating User Accounts on MacOS
|Use software and browser extensions to block distracting websites and apps.
|Freedom, StayFocusd, Cold Turkey
|Take regular breaks from screens and use the Pomodoro technique to stay focused.
|Tomato Timer, Forest, Marinara Timer
|Use built-in tools to manage screen time on your devices.
|Apple Screen Time, Google Family Link
This table outlines some tips and brand-name tools that can help you manage your screen time more effectively when working from home with kids. By establishing screen-free zones and using software to block distracting websites and apps, you can stay focused and productive throughout the workday. Taking regular breaks from screens and using built-in tools to manage screen time on devices can also help to reduce eye strain and promote overall well-being.
7. Don’t Break the Bank on Home Office Supplies and Equipment
When it comes to buying supplies and equipment for your home office, there are a number of options when it comes to saving money.
Buying used or refurbished is one way to save money on such purchases, but what if you don’t want to deal with someone else’s old stuff?
Well then try buying second hand furniture. Office furniture is often expensive and in great demand meaning that if you buy something used (or even refurbished), you can get a great deal on something that would have cost an arm and a leg otherwise.
When it comes time for computers and other tech equipment, purchasing used is also an option. In fact, many people don’t realize this but you can actually find desktop computers worthy of being used at home in office supply stores!
These PCs may not look like they’ve been through much wear-and-tear on the outside, but internally they’re solid performers with plenty of storage space available inside them!
If all else fails there are always ways around paying full price for what’s necessary: one example would be buying refurbished machines instead of new ones; another might be shopping around until finding one good enough quality before making a purchase (this method works especially well when considering computer monitors).
A comfortable and inspiring home office environment is essential for productivity and overall well-being, especially for those working from home. Find out how to create a workspace that supports your goals and improves your workflow by reading our article on creating a productive work environment at home with kids.
8. Set Clear Expectations With Your Loved Ones
As you become more comfortable with the idea of working from home with kids, it’s important to set clear expectations with your loved ones.
Be open and honest about your needs. Don’t be afraid to say no if you need a break (even if it’s just for an hour).
Make sure your family understands that they need to help out around the house more than usual, especially when you’re busy with work tasks or taking care of other responsibilities.
If you know that a family member is coming over during a time when they’ll be disruptive, let them know ahead of time and see if another day would be better for everyone involved.
You might also want to ask them specifically what they would like from you in terms of helping out maybe their favorite meal isn’t on the table for dinner? Or maybe there are some chores that need doing before guests arrive?
9. Have Your Child Take on More Responsibility at Home
Give your child a task to do. Whether it’s helping with the housework or tidying up, assigning them a job will help them feel useful and more confident around other people (and they can earn money, too).
Let them help out with the cooking. If you are making dinner, let your child chop vegetables or set up the table for everyone.
Have them help with the tidying up. If they spend some time putting toys away after playing with them and throwing clothes into laundry baskets then they will feel like an important part of family life and less likely to get upset when asked to tidy up their things
Staying organized is the key to success when working from home with kids, but it’s not always easy to do. To help you stay on track and manage your time effectively, read our article on tips for staying organized in your home office, which features practical tips and useful resources for getting organized and staying focused.
10. Create a Homeschooling Plan
The first step to creating a homeschooling plan is to choose the subjects you and your child are interested in learning.
If they don’t want to learn anything, that’s okay too—you can still do it! The next step is to create a schedule where you can specifically set aside time for each subject. You’ll also want to consider whether or not this schedule should include breaks between subjects, lunchtime and dinner time (and the corresponding cleanup), homework time etc..
Once the schedule is decided upon, it’s now time for the fun part: figuring out how your child will learn these things!
Use technology like Google Classroom or Kurzweil 3000 if needed; just make sure they’re engaged with whatever activity they’re doing at that moment because what good does an education do if no one learns anything from it?
Finally establish rules about behavior within the home so everyone knows what’s expected from them when
11. Take Regular Breaks or Allow Your Child to Take Breaks From Remote Learning
Taking regular breaks is essential for your productivity, and it’s important to ensure that you don’t lose track of time or let your mind wander during a break.
You should also make sure that your children are taking breaks from remote learning and are not just watching videos or playing games on their devices all day long.
Some adults may think this is an impossible feat, but if you find the right balance between work time and screen time, it can actually be quite doable!
12. Utilize Structured Activities During the Day so You Can Get Work Done
Use a calendar to plan your day.
Schedule time for the kids to do their homework.
Schedule time for your work, including the stuff that has nothing to do with your kids but still needs to be done (like laundry and cleaning).
Schedule some time for yourself — even if it’s just 15 minutes, put it on the calendar! You deserve some rest as well! And don’t forget about family time: if you have young children, make sure you’re making an effort so they feel loved and supported by all members of the family no matter what else is going on in any given day.
13. Keep Up With Housework Throughout the Day Instead of Letting It Pile Up
It can be easy to let housework pile up when you’re working from home. That’s why it’s a good idea to set aside time each day to take care of housework, rather than letting it build up until the end of the week.
If you have a list of daily chores in mind (such as dishes, laundry and vacuuming), then make sure that they are done at least once per day.
It may also be helpful to do these chores as soon as they need doing so that there isn’t any extra work left over at night or on weekends. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t do more than what your body can handle – if something feels too hard then ask someone else for help!
14. Stay Active Every Day, Even If It’s Just for 15 Minutes!
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to feel like you need to be there for your kids 24/7. Of course you do! But it’s also important to stay active yourself, so that you can maintain your energy and avoid burnout.
One of the best things about working from home is that you can work at any time of day—even while they’re sleeping!
However, if your kids are awake during the day and up early in the morning (like mine), then it may not be possible for them to nap at all during these hours. If this is true for your family as well, then I recommend taking a 15 minute walk around the neighborhood after lunchtime each day (or just before bedtime).
This will help keep both yourself and each other fit while allowing everyone in the family some much needed alone time!
15. Get Creative with How You Support Your Mental Health As A Parent and as A Professional
You can also create a to-do list for each week, and set goals for yourself. This will help you stay accountable for your work and personal tasks.
You can also track your progress by using an app like Todoist or Apple Reminders, which allow you to easily organize your life in a way that makes it easy to accomplish all of the things on your list.
By setting goals and sticking with them, you’ll start feeling more motivated about what needs to be done around the house—and this motivation will spread into other areas of your life too!
If there are days when it feels like nothing is going right in terms of keeping up with housework or managing stressors at work, try creating some sort of distraction that keeps kids busy while still being mentally stimulating (like art projects). This will give everyone some time to recharge so they can come back stronger tomorrow!
16. Create a To-Do List Each Week and Set a Goal
You’ve got four kids and a busy job. While you may not be able to control how many tasks feed your inbox each day, you can control how many tasks you take on during the week.
If you want to work from home with kids, it’s important to create a weekly to-do list and set goals for each day.
To create a weekly schedule:
Get out paper or use a spreadsheet (I prefer paper)
List all of the projects or tasks that are due in the next seven days this should include any meetings or appointments that have been scheduled in advance of your first day at work.
Then, prioritize those most important items by writing them down first in ink! I know it seems obvious but sometimes we forget when we are buried under pressure or excitement over our new business venture (or being able to work from home!).
We hope these tips and tricks will help you navigate the challenges of working from home with kids.
In any case, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. You’re going to have to find what works best for your family and yourself so that everyone can be happy!
Here are some useful resources to help you work from home with kids:
SHRM – Working from Home with Kids: How to Manage the Impossible: This article provides practical tips for parents who are working from home with kids, including advice on managing schedules, setting boundaries, and dealing with distractions.
International Schools Partnership – Tips for Working from Home with Children During COVID-19: This blog post offers some helpful tips on how to juggle parenting and working from home during the pandemic, including how to create a workspace, set expectations with your kids, and stay productive.
Wrike – How to Work from Home with Kids: A Survival Guide: This comprehensive guide provides tips and strategies for working from home with kids, including time management, self-care, and managing distractions.
What are the biggest challenges of working from home with kids?
The biggest challenges of working from home with kids include managing your time effectively, setting boundaries between work and home life, and dealing with distractions and interruptions.
How can I stay productive while working from home with kids?
To stay productive while working from home with kids, try to set a schedule and stick to it, create a dedicated workspace, use technology to your advantage, and prioritize your workload.
What are some strategies for managing childcare while working from home?
Strategies for managing childcare while working from home include enlisting the help of a partner or family member, setting up a virtual babysitter or tutor, and planning activities for your kids during your busiest work hours.
How can I communicate my needs to my employer while working from home with kids?
To communicate your needs to your employer while working from home with kids, be honest and transparent about your situation, set clear expectations about what you can realistically accomplish, and ask for flexibility when you need it.
What are some self-care strategies for working from home with kids?
Self-care strategies for working from home with kids include taking frequent breaks, getting regular exercise and fresh air, setting aside time for hobbies or relaxation, and seeking out social connections and support.