Now that is a million dollar question. If there was magic formula that I could share with you all, I am pretty sure I would be a very wealthy lady right now (and then I wouldn’t have to work at all)!
The one thing I do know for sure is that working from home with kids is NOT EASY. You have to be so organised to get just a little bit of quality work done, and even then there is no guarantee. You could wake up to high temperatures and vomits, throwing even the best made plans out of the window.
Not to mention that fact that kids have a sixth sense and seem to get their most needy the minute you sit down in front of a computer or pick a phone. They just KNOW and will demand your attention at the very moment you’re about send an important email and completely throw your concentration!! My two year think my computer chair is a ’round-around chair’ and is for pushing her around in circles along the floorboards, not sitting on for working (especially not by me). If any of my kids catch me editing photos they want to sit on my lap and look at hundreds of old photos of them – meaning I get nothing done!
I remember the days when Mr D tried to work from home when Master J was little and I was home on maternity leave with Miss H. He used to get dressed up in his work gear, wave everyone goodbye and head out the front door. Only to sneak back in through the back door, bolt up the stairs and lock himself away in his office. If he didn’t do that I would be forced to vacate the house all day otherwise he would have had a toddler hounding his office door yelling “DAAAAAADEEEEEE!!”
The other distracting thing about working from home (which doesn’t seem to bother the men folk that I’m aware of) is HOUSEWORK. I bet if I asked you to put your hands up if you had to clean the kitchen, put on a quick load of washing and make all the beds before you sat down to work, there would be a fair few of you with arms up right now. Am I right???
If you really need to get some work done I don’t believe that working from home with kids is the answer.
However, sometimes we have no choice in the matter so I’ve put my thinking cap on and come up with a few tips on how to
survive get some work done at home.
- Plan ahead and make sure you have a set time each day/week where you sit down with no distractions at all. For me, I find that this time is while Miss L is having her daytime nap. I can usually get at least two hours done during this time so I make sure that I don’t get side-tracked by the vacuum cleaner. I do my less ‘serious’ work when she is awake, so that if she needs me it’s not the end of the world.
- Hide – like Mr D did. If the kids don’t know you’re home then they won’t bother you. Just make sure that there is actually someone else there looking after them.
- If you find it hard to concentrate with lots of distractions at home, then go and sit in a cafe or library that has free WIFI. You’ll often be much more productive there.
- If you have school age children, then consider after school care on a few days. My older two LOVE the after school facilitates at their school and they go twice a week on the days that the toddler is at daycare. That way I have two full days with no children around to distract me and I only have one 5pm pick up, rather than several spread across the afternoon.
- When you can’t work from home, don’t try. You will just get frustrated and that won’t help anyone. If I know that I will have the kids around me (like the school holidays), then I just switch off the computer until they are in bed. It’s simply not worth it.
Do you work from home with kids?
Do you have a secret formula?
I would LOVE to hear your tips.