working from home with kids
Image credit: Life of Dad

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.

Working from home with kids
Just when you think you have a free day ahead of you – they get sick!
working from home with kids
and then you could end up like this for a looooong time

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!!”   how to work from home with kids

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.




20 comments on “How to work from home with kids?”

  1. Great read! interesting thing is I am currently trying to find an avenue I can head down to be able to work from home in the future when more babies come so I can be around for them!! – Now to find a job to do this!! xx

    • That’s another million Dollar question Kirsti – finding decent job that do work around kids are pretty hard to come by. I am very lucky that I am able to work around my kids and that I don’t have to be the bread winner. x

  2. I can really relate to the ‘sixth sense’ thing! I work from home too and obviously I try to do it when the kids are not here or in bed, but if I try to sneak a trip to the computer when they’re home they totally sniff me out! Or, I creep out of bed early with everyone snoring and BAM – three little people sitting on my lap banging keys. It’s very tricky to get the balance right, but I still prefer it to working in an office.

    • Hahahaha – yes it’s totally true. You ask them to come and help you hang out the washing and they’re not interested at all but the minute you pick your phone – they NEED you! xx

  3. Oh god yes! I struggle with all of this and to be honest, I have to do most of my work in the evenings when they are in bed or on weekends when my husband can run interference (boo to working on weekends!). I have also been known to throw a Dora the Explorer DVD on and let them drown the living room in popcorn so I can get through conference calls without 60 minutes of highly embarrassing tantrums and interruptions. Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

  4. Ah yes the battle I forge every day, but I have kids in daycare and school but just this week I think I’m going to put my oldest in after school care on a Tuesday when the boys are at long daycare to give me almost THREE HOURS more time to do work. Fab list and kinda cute that your hubby got dressed up and went out door. Bless – thanks for linking – come back next week! xxx

    • You won’t look back Em – best thing I did and I can’t believe it took me two terms of ‘thinking’ about it before I signed them up!!

  5. Oh my system still needs refining!!! I have 1 day a week when the 3 yr old is in daycare but I still have the 1 yr old at home. It’s pretty tricky balancing it all, often it means late nights!!

    • Yep, lots of late night unfortunately. Good news is that it does start to get easier as they get older. Make the most of the one year olds day time naps while you can :))

    • He thought so too. It was rather annoying when I had to deliver him cups of tea and lunch though!!

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