Working from Home with KidsNov 08, 2014
I'll say this straight up... working from home with kids is BLOODY TOUGH!
There are days when all you'll think is "if I can just make it to nap time without losing my temper, slipping on discarded food or scrubbing crayon off the walls, it will be a miracle and I can get some work done." Then when you DO finally make it into that silent moment of tranquillity, you are devastated to find your work phone in the toilet and your paperwork decorated with illustrations of goodness-knows-what pink and yellow scribble.
But my darling, you're not alone! Sooooo many women are choosing to work from home these days and their jobs range anywhere from small home-based business owners, to crafters, party plan consultants and even those who have been brave enough to negotiate working from their home office and reporting in to their head office each day.
And WHY have the majority of mums chosen this option?
Well, it's the amazing flexibility that it gives us so that we can be at home with our children and families but still contribute to the family income. It allows us to keep one foot in the workforce but also be there for all of the important milestones for our little treasures. Some days, working from home is a miracle and a blessing. Other days, not so much. Holy moly, I've experienced BOTH.
Working from home with kids is a major balancing act and it requires an awful lot of organisation and determination, which our children seem to understand beautifully and respect totally and completely #shitparentsDONTsay
The good news is, that there are some things that you can do to ensure that you are able to have the best of both worlds. Happy, calm children AND a booming business. But like anything, it is something that you must set up and trial, refine and persist with.
Here are some things to try:
- Set up a designated work space IN SIGHT of your children. Establish boundaries about this work space so that they know that once mummy sits at the seat, she can't be interrupted (unless there's blood or a snake or something). BUT try not to be there longer than 10-15 mins at a time.
- Nap time is work time - Go hard! Have you read my eBook yet? By setting your top priorities the night before, you will be able to commence focused, uninterrupted work during nap time. Your child doesn't nap? (I hear ya sister) -
- Teach your child about rest time and both their role and your role for this time.
- Message bank was introduced for a reason!! Use it! The world will NOT end if you decline to answer a client's phone call. They will leave a message and you will ring them back.
- Involve your kids in your business. Do they have a work space near yours? There may be one or two opportunities a day where you can all sit down and 'work'. This is the perfect time to return emails or calls. You can still be chatting and interacting with your children while returning emails and they can be busy 'working' creating gorgeous pictures or using electronics during this time.
- Never interrupt play time or meal time with your child to make phone calls or answer emails. Wait for your designated times to do this. Your kids need to know that your focus is 100% on them. After all, isn't that why we work from home?
- Always knock off on time. Never work longer than you anticipated.
- Time share with other mums. Is there another mum in your local area that also works from home? Can you arrange to time share with them? Perhaps if she takes your kids for a play date for an hour or two on one day, you can reciprocate on another day. This allows you to meet with clients, make phone calls and attend events - and the kids will be so busy having fun that they'll think you're the best mum in the world!
- Work when your partner or a relative can be with the kids. Sometimes this might mean unusual work hours, but it really is for the sake of having the best of both worlds!
- Encourage independent play and always always always supervise them. Perfect for when you have to make a phone call!
Above all else, just remember that children are the most important part of your day. They will still be there if and when your job is not. Work with your kids' schedule and be willing to be flexible. Be honest and upfront with them about what you're doing and why you're doing it. Some days it will work like magic and others, not so much.
Teach by example and be the best mum for them and the best worker for you. Working from home with kids can be joyful.
It's all about planning hard and living easy! #PlanHardLiveEasy