Summer is fast approaching, and many works from home parents are wondering how they are going to juggle having kids at home and also being productive work wise. Well, I’m here to say that although it may not be an easy task to do, it can be done and done fairly well. I hear all the time that people need to have set working hours in which they do things in order to get it all done. I’ve found with three kids, and another family business in operation for it’s next to impossible.
It CAN be done! It just takes working together!
1) Pray about what your priorities need to be for the given day.
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way! There had been many days when I’ve had a full on a plan for what I wanted to get done for the day only to hit one road block after another. That led me to be totally utterly stressed out to the very core. This leads to more frustration within me. That wasn’t very productive for me or my family. However, once I started praying about what my days should look like I noticed a huge change in my life and my families.
Having toddlers picking up things and putting them where they belong is quite helpful. (When you start them to doing it early, they will ALWAYS do it!) My six-year-old can do laundry from start to finish, and he does a remarkable job. My two-year-old help match up socks and is attempting with all her might to fold the clothes too. My ten-year-old can cook, do dish, laundry, clean floors, babysit his siblings (with me within earshot!), and many other tasks.
The job of maintaining a house does NOT rest on one person. If it does in your household, then you are one very SUPER human in my book if you’re attempting to work from home too with kids in tow. I did attempt to do it all for a short period, but my husband put a screeching halt to that real quick like.
[Tweet “He made it clear, “we all eat, live, and help create the mess; therefore, we all are equally responsible for taking care of what needs to be done.””]
3) Kids need to be entertained!
It’s just their nature. They have to have a way of expending their energy. I LOVE to be able to let them play outside while I work if there is any way in the world to make it happen. So, McDonald’s playgrounds with the FREE Wi-Fi is one of my best friends. Taking them to the park, and using my cell phone’s HOTSPOT Wi-Fi is also a great thing. If I don’t have the ability to use Internet, I do take a good old fashion pen and paper and write up blog posts while I watch them play. I also have it set up to where I can work outside in my yard.
Many times over the summer, my niece and nephews have come over and keep my kids well entertained for hours on end. During those times, the house or yard may be LOUD with kids making a bunch of ruckuses, but I have learned the fine art of tuning them out until needed. I have been able to get a lot of work done during those time frames. (So, the power of using older kids to watch younger kids with you next them is a wonderful tool!)
4) Exchange playdates with friends!
Many parents I know will exchange babysitting duty so that one of them can work while the other one watches the kids. It comes in very handy. I can remember when I was a teenager, that three couples would hire me to watch all of their kids on one night! Then I’d give them a discounted rate because I had so many kids to watch and a guaranteed income each month twice a month. Granted, when you have ten kids on your hands it’s a lot of work, but to know that you will have a day to work in peace in exchange it’s well worth it!
5) Summer Vacation Bible Schools
Let me tell you, these events are totally utterly awesome!! Kids love them, and parents do too. They get revved up for God, and parents get the chance to have a couple hours of freedom for FREE! Of course, I have a tendency to get wrapped up in wanting to help with the activities and watching the kids! (I love seeing little kids getting excited about God and hearing their viewpoints on it all!) Yes, it means traveling expenses, but you can also usually find a quiet place in the church or location to work too.
6) Rainy Day Activities
We have game systems in our home to keep our kids well entertained. However, we also have Netflix, which is filled with loads of shows for the kids to watch. They can also watch a bunch of educational shows on there too. Reminder, Netflix can be watched on almost everything now from smartphones, tablets, laptops, game systems, and many DVD players. It’s worth every penny! They do have it set up to where you can just choose the KIDS option and just let them choose. Plus you can also create different user names and that way no one has to worry about their spots being lost on their shows.
If you don’t want your kids to be in front of a TV or playing video games, then check out many of the online educational programs that are out there like Clever Dragons, Supercharged Science, CTCMath.com, and so many more! Pinterest is filled with activities for kids to do on their own too.
7) Take Advantage of Library Summer Events
Many libraries offer a summer reading program for kids. Those programs also usually come with a schedule of events that the kids can go to, which usually last from an hour to two hours long. You can work in peace while they do those things too. I know my kids LOVE the summer reading programs. Once we found out about them, we’ve done them just about every summer. I’ve enjoyed watching many of the events they have done in our local library.
8) Set Up a Work Space
Notice I said an space because for a long time I didn’t work at a desk or in an office. I worked from my couch. However, I trained my kids to know that during “Mommy’s work time” they were not to bother me unless necessary. They may have been right by my side, but they didn’t ask for my attention in any way unless they had to. However, I did limit that time frame to an hour to two-hour time frames. (Kids can only go short periods of time without needing something!!)
9) Make the MONEY first
When I say this, it sounds like an obvious tip, but I know MANY people who have failed to do that. When I go to buckle down to really WORK, during my quiet work time (which for me is usually after my kids go to bed at night), I do whatever sponsored posts or work I have been hired to do FIRST! Nothing else gets touched until what has to be done is DONE!
With that being said, I check social media, email, Skype, and do all of my blog hopping usually all throughout the day because those are easy things to do with my kids interrupting me a thousand times a day. So, it may seem like I’m on my computer all day long, but in reality I’m NOT.
10) Don’t Add Pressure to Yourself
Here is another tip I learned the hard way! When we work from home we tend to want to snatch up all the opportunities we can get our hands on because unless we work for a major company (which I don’t only because I don’t have a landline at home!) we have no idea where our next bit of income is going to come from. Yet, I’ve learned that really doesn’t work out to well. Because I’m consistently looking for that next job. I’m consistently feeling like I have to keep up with the big bloggers!
I’ve learned that when I put God and my family first and I honor him, he sends the jobs to ME. He provides me what with what we need. (I’m not saying I don’t do my due diligence and check my reliable resources daily because I do, but I don’t have my hands and eyes glued to my computer all day long anymore either.) I actually schedule my time to work. It’s usually on average of about 5-8 hours a day total. However, some of my work is done on my tablet or smart phone, so that I can take my kids with me and I can interact with them. I also make sure my kids are involved in my blogging world. My oldest has helped with marketing. He’s even written quite a few blog posts himself. My middle son has a strong love of creating videos. However, I haven’t done much with that like I should because he’s really awesome.
We need to remember WHY we chose to work from home in the first place. It wasn’t to make the big bucks, and if it was then you found a ticket I haven’t found yet. (If you have it, please tell me how to do it without me spending a single cent of the money I DON’T have to make it happen!) It was to be able to actually watch your kids grow up and spend time with them. This summer and every other day is really your chance to do it! Kids only grow up once, and you can’t place a price tag on that!
What are some tips that you’d like to add to this?
If you have a blog post already written about this feel free to share it in the comments.