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How to Work from Home with Kids (And Not Go Crazy): 7 Sanity-Saving Tips

How to Work from Home with Kids (And Not Go Crazy): 7 Sanity-Saving Tips

Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed because you work from home with kids?

Momma, you're not alone. An astounding 9.8 million working mothers are suffering from burnout, a serious health condition with emotional and physical symptoms – including chronic fatigue, headaches and nausea.

56% of parents who work from home with kids in the house report that it’s difficult to say the least.

It’s hard to focus on your job while caring for young children or tending to the needs of older kids going to school online because of the pandemic. Not to mention everything you do to keep the household running smoothly day after day.

Imagine what it must be like for a single mom without any child care assistance at all.

Ironically, you probably chose remote work because of all the great benefits. No commute, frequent coffee breaks, laundry over lunch, and pants optional. And of course, you have more time with your family, which is great.

But somehow there is still LESS TIME FOR YOU!

It's okay not to have everything figured out. But it’s time to start working more efficiently and feel happy again about working from home with kids. It’s time for a healthier work-life balance.

Help is on the way!

We have some great life hacks to help you get through the work day with less stress and more success.

So keep reading for 7 of our favorite sanity-saving tips for moms who work from home with kids.

Tips to Work From Home With Kids

Even in today's society, there is a higher percentage of women that take the role of primary caregiver. And that's not even counting you wondrous single mothers out there.

So, we get it. You may feel overwhelmed with working and momming at the same time. That's not surprising or unreasonable.

Women are amazing creatures that can lift cars off injured children and multitask like a boss. You want to feel successful at everything you do and that includes both your work and raising your children. We think these tips will help you thrive as a work-from-home (WFH) mother, or at the very least help you on your way.

1) Self-Care

Self-care is key to the survival of mothers that work from home with kids. Compare it to riding on an airplane. They tell you to put on your oxygen mask before helping those around you.

Momma, you need to take care of yourself or you will run out of air.

When you feel like you are in a good headspace you are more able to stay positive, not sweat the small stuff, and tackle the tasks of being a mother and an employee.

Start your day with a workout, yoga, meditation, reading, or whatever you need to feel right.

Have a full bottle of water on your counter and drink it right away—even before coffee. People often find they can drink room temperature water quickly. Water will keep you hydrated, flush toxins, and help you to think clearly.

2) Get an Early Start

To find the time for your self-care we recommend getting an early start to your day. Use the time before your children get up to get your head in the game.

This means you will likely need to get to bed earlier, but having a good start on your day helps to relieve stress when dealing with getting your littles up and going.

If you allow enough time you can get in self-care and at least one task off your to-do list before the house gets buzzing. Whatever wake-up time makes you feel your personal best is fine, but it's most beneficial to have a “hard-start” time to your workday—just like you would when going into work.

3) Eat the Frog

Eat the Frog is a little gem often attributed to Bill Gates. The analogy is if you had to eat a frog you should do it first thing and get it over with vs. letting the idea fill you with dread. The concept is to find your hardest, most important task of the day and to get it done first.

This is vital for people who procrastinate, have unusual schedules, or unpredictable workdays. AKA a work-from-home mom.

You get bonus points if you can get this task done before your children wake up. It makes the rest of your day so much easier.

4) Create a Dedicated Workspace

If you are new to work from home with kids or just haven’t found the right dedicated space yet, pick a location and clear it off. Declutter. Gather your supplies.

Being prepared makes a big difference.

Ideally, this is a desk space dedicated to you, but you can make it work at the dining room table too. We recommend having a grab-and-go basket for your office supplies, paperwork, and even your laptop. Something sturdy yet stylish.

This makes it easy to quickly pack up, tuck it away, and transition to dinner prep.

The same is great for homeschooling your children. Use totes, rolling carts, or storage furniture to hide away school supplies and reclaim your space for family life.

5) Don't Skip Your Coffee Breaks

There are various challenges with working from home with baby, toddler, or school-aged children. But one thing is always universal. They want your attention.

Don't be afraid to take breaks, coffee optional, to reconnect with your children. Take a few minutes together to pause, enjoy a delicious snack, get some fresh air, or a stretch. These moments can be just the ticket to reset everyone’s mindset.

You need these breaks just as much as they do. It’s easy to become sedentary at your computer. Frequent breaks will help your eyes, body, and clear your mind to work more successfully.

6) Plan Meals

This may seem like a strange tip on how to work from home with kids but hear us out. When you go to the office, you don't have a pantry and refrigerator full of food to graze on all day. Some WFH moms find it easier to skip meals or on the contrary never stop eating.

Planning set meal and snack times is important when you’re working with kids at home. Children thrive on structure, so having a set breakfast, snack, and lunchtime is beneficial for more productive work times and getting in those essential break times, too.

We recommend that you meal plan for the week. This includes snacks. Be sure you have all the items you need, so you aren't wasting time on unnecessary grocery runs. Crockpot meals are great for busy work-at-home moms.

Dump it, push the button, and get back to work.

Also, consider having a snack bin in your pantry or fridge with acceptable options that older children can grab for themselves at snack time. Try to purchase healthy options versus comfort foods.

With a little bit of snack and meal planning, your week will run much smoother. And you will avoid the dreaded question of what's for dinner.

7) Time Block

What is a good work-at-home mom schedule? That's the million-dollar question, isn't it?

We've already discussed above that you should get an early start, to eat the frog and have some self-care before the kids get up.

This could mean waking up as early as 5:00 am. Yes, really.

Getting up this early is a lifestyle change, but it is a sure-fire way to get much-needed, uninterrupted time.

Time Your Social Media

One vital piece of advice is to make a no social media rule for your morning. This can include YouTube, emails, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google, emails, and more. The list of possible distractions goes on and on.

It's easy to go down the social media rabbit hole, so don't even invite it into your morning where it can interrupt your most productive time. Schedule a time for emails after lunch.

And if you choose to enjoy social media when you are on break, schedule the length of your breaks. Give yourself a hard stop as if you were in the office.

Work at Home Mom Schedule

The following is an example of just one possible schedule you may follow while you work from home with kids:

  • 5:00 - 5:45 Wake up, Drink water, Yoga
  • 5:45 - 6:45 Eat the Frog, Get a big work task done
  • 6:45 - 8:00 Get kids up and ready for their day
    • Unload/load the dishwasher
    • Start a load of laundry
  • 8:00 - 8:45 Drive the kids to school, set up home school activities, breastfeed, or set up toddler activities
  • 8:45 - 9:45 Work
  • 9:45 - 10:00 Snack
  • 10:00 - 11:30 Personal time with kids
    • Homework help, Tummy time, or Toddler learning activities
  • 11:30 - 12:30 Lunch
    • Move clothes to the dryer
  • 12:30-2:00 Nap time for toddler
    • WORK
    • emails
  • 2:00 - 3:00 School pickup, Snack time, or Outdoor play for older children
  • 3:00 - 4:30 Homework help, Chores, Cleaning
  • 4:30 - 5:30 Meal prep, or Other home activities
  • 5:30-6:30 Family Dinner
  • 6:30 - 7:00 Baths
  • 7:00 - 7:30 Bedtime routine
  • 7:30 - 8:30 Older children read independently while you get ready for bed
  • 8:30+ Work until you can't

Numerous factors will affect the way your schedule works. The demands of your particular job, the age of your children, whether they attend school in person or online.

Just understand that it isn't so much what your schedule looks like, it is more about the fact that you have a schedule. By creating time blocks for your work and your family you are committing to each. This gives you focus and mental preparation.

Don't try to focus on both at the same time. That usually leads to frustration and feelings of failure.

It's important during your scheduled time for work with kids home, that you have activities planned and prepared for them. The activity needs to be engaging, yet easy enough for them to do independently, and always have a solution for early finishers.

Final Thoughts on Tips to Work From Home With Kids

We can’t stress enough how working with kids at home needs a plan, and some fun too. Planning for possible problems before they happen is way less stressful than reacting to them.

Have personal goals, let the kids set some too, and then celebrate with each other as you meet them (even if it’s not the entire list). Just remember they're kids and don't understand the stresses you experience. Hugs, smiles, and laughs will help fuel both of you through your day.

We hope these tips on how to work from home with kids help you not only survive but thrive during this season of life.

You will save lots of time by having a plan from the moment you roll out of bed. Knowing what to expect can relieve questions, doubt, and stress for both you and your children.

You are one of the lucky mothers that get to work from home. Working from home with baby, or your toddler, is such a blessing.

You save money on child care and you have the flexibility for sick children, class trips, and more. Don't forget that you chose to work from home for that flexible schedule and less stress, so don't sweat the small stuff.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick to the plan every minute of every day. Be kind to yourself. Forgive your failures and rejoice in your successes.

And if you still aren't happy with your work-from-home situation, possibly it isn't the right position for you. At MotherWorks.com we have countless remote job opportunities with employers looking for people just like you. Explore your options with us and check out our blog for more great tips on remote work.

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