Working at home with kids, whether they’re very young, or teenagers can be a taxing and let’s face it stressful situation.
That being said, working from home as a parent if done right can help to make your family more financially stable and even reduce stress in the long run.
The tips and strategies below will apply if you’re employed by an organisation and have the ability to work from home, or if you’re starting to earn independantly from home using our detailed guides.
#1 Schedule Your Time Effectively
As any parent knows, scheduling is crucial in day to day life. Working from home is no different, so your first task should be to draw up a daily schedule and stick to it.
How your schedule looks will differ depending on what assistance you have in terms of your partner or extended family.
Plan Using A Children First Approach
This goes without saying, and any parent worth their salt will of course always put their kids first. But it’s worth mentioning because your working from home schedule must work around your existing responsibilities as a parent.
Determine where there is room to slot working from home into your schedule, some examples below:
- During your child’s nap times.
- When extended family/your partner are able to assist and look after your children.
- Times when your child is typically calm.
- In the case of older children, when they want alone/have independent time.
- At night, once your kids are in bed.
Once you’ve determined where you have gaps in your day, organize strict blocks of working from home time into the schedule.
The schedule doesn’t need to be complex and there are ways to ensure that the schedule you create works for you and your family.
#2 Bring in Family to Help
We’ve alluded to this above but it’s important to bring it into focus. Being able to bring in family, whether your partner or extended family to help can make working from home with kids a much more manageable setup.
Knowing that your children are safe, being supervised, and getting the attention they need really helps you to focus on working from home and earning money for your family.
If your situation doesn’t allow for this, don’t despair! There are ways around this in the following tips.
#3 Allow Your Kids to Be More Independant
Regardless of how old your kids are, giving them some independence will help you and just as importantly, help them.
Give them an age-appropriate amount of independence to make working from home with kids a much easier experience.
One clever mom sets up snacks and drinks for the day in places that her kids can safely reach. So no more “I’m thirsty”, “I’m hungry” when you’re trying to concentrate while working from home.
And don’t think of this as selfish or neglecting your parental responsibilities, because giving your children autonomy is a healthy and beneficial way to allow them to develop.
#4 Choose The Right Kind of Work
Traditional jobs, where you’re working for an organization are typically strict time-wise. You can’t control the hours you work, or when deadlines are due. However, if you’re looking to work from home in a more flexible way, then you should look into the hundreds of opportunities to work online, from home.
No deadlines, no manager and no strict timetables mean that you can work much more practically at home while still being a parent to your kids.
Examples that allow you this flexibility:
- Online surveys: They allow you to dip in and out whenever you want and you’ll know upfront what the time investment is. Only have 10 minutes to spare? Then just take a 10-minute survey.
- Microtask sites: Like Amazon Mechanical Turk. These microtasks can be as short as a couple of seconds to a minute. You can dive in for as long as you are able to, and simply stop if the need arises.
- Print-on-demand sites: Throw a design together and upload it to Amazon Merch, Redbubble or all whole other host of sites. The additional benefit here is that once your designs are up, they can earn you money while you sit back and do nothing at all.
The list goes on, and all have their advantages. Check out our complete listing below to see what fits your lifestyle, and what doesn’t!
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#5 Be Kind to Yourself!
Every parent experiences parental guilt at some point or another and a common trigger is taking time to do something other than looking after your kids.
But, know that the feelings of guilt in themself show that you are a good parent and in this instance, with working from home, you’re doing something beneficial for your family and to provide them with a financially stable life.
This is probably the hardest part of working from home with kids, but you need to take a step back and take perspective.
Above all, if things are getting on top of you take time off or take a break, whether that’s personal time or time spent with the family.
#6 Creative & Varied Activities For Your Kids
If you’re in a situation where you can’t get assistance from your partner or extended family, then make sure that you prepare the day with creative and varied activities for your kids.
- Crafting, ranging from the simplicity of some coloured pencils and paper to full-blown cutting, sticking and glitter!
- Rotate the toys they have available to grab and play with and consider setting them up with a jigsaw or other puzzle-based games.
- An overload of screen-time is never a good thing, but in moderation (depending on your own views) isn’t a bad thing. You can even add an educational element with the likes of games from BBC Bitesize or Scholastic Learn From Home.
And this links back to what we were saying earlier about independence. Independent play is just as important as group, or parental led play with children.
That’s not to say they need to be completely left to their own devices – when you’re having a break from working from home, get down on the floor with them and join in on the fun!
#6 Have A Dedicated Working Space
Separating work from homelife can boost your productivity. That’s not to say you need to lock yourself away in a different room (although sometimes that can help!), but just to have an area that is yours for the day.
A dedicated location to set up your laptop, or whatever tools you need to work with is enough even if it’s just a place to call your own on the dining table.
Working from home with kids certainly comes with its challenges, but preparing as above and honestly a bit of practice/time to adjust, it’s perfectly workable for most.
Just remember not to overdo it, and find a balance that works best for you as an individual, and as a family.
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