The Best Tips For Working From Home With Baby
If you’re here, you might be asking yourself “how do you stay sane when working from home with children?”
“How do moms work from home anyway??”
I’ve been working from home for about a year and a half. It’s been… challenging. But also rewarding. And I finally feel like we’ve hit our groove!
Working from home with toddlers (or babies) is never going to be perfect. Some days will work out so well you think you should sell your secret!
Other days? You’ll do the exact same things you did on the perfect day and it just won’t work out.
That being said there are still some things you can do to make working at home with kids go somewhat smoothly, like going by a realistic schedule for WAHM’s!
Click the image to download your free printable WAHM schedule:
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Have A REALISTIC Daily Schedule
It took me so long to learn this. Too long. Don’t make this mistake- if you are wanting to work from home, have a daily WAHM schedule. It should be very simple.
It helps to have time scheduled out specifically for your children so that when you tell them it’s for you to get some work done, they are much more able to accept that.
I also found that without one, I was wasting an insane amount of time thinking about what needed to get done but not doing it. Now, when we look at the time we know what we should be doing- whether that is eating, free play, clean up or quiet time.
Kids NEED structure. It’s so good for them! And if I tell them something is on the schedule, they are happy to do it! (usually…)
We change our schedule to what’s needed. Sometimes naps come earlier, sometimes we’re all grumpy as shit and the schedule gets tossed to the wind while we all sit on the couch and they watch cartoons while I type on my laptop.
RELATED: The Best SAHM Schedule (with a free printable!)
Have Special Toys For When You’re Working
Keep a special basket of toys that only comes out when you’re doing work so that they’re ‘new’ and exciting!
You can tailor this to any age- with my 1.5 year old I would use simple toys that she can play with by herself or make a sensory bin. (Sensory bins can be SO simple- dump a bunch of pom poms or dried beans into a big container. Have your toddler scoop the pom poms with a big serving spoon into kids cups for a fun and simple motor activity!)
My 6 year old has special activity books (like these scratch and sketch art books).
RELATED: 21 Super Easy Toddler Activities (to keep mama sane)
Make sure your children understand that you will be spending time with them but you will also be working. It’s important that they know and (try) to respect this. This is hard with very small kids but it’s still important to communicate what you can about it.
Someone I know mentioned that they wear a hat or a crown to signify that mom is working and to leave her alone if possible.
Hire A Babysitter Or Invest In A Small Amount Of Daycare
It took me so long to be okay with sending my kids to daycare 2 times a week for a few hours. I just didn’t think it was okay or that I’d failed being a SAHM for some reason.
Which is totally ridiculous.
Having a break from your kids and them having a break from you is good for everyone. It gives you more patience when you’ve had an uninterrupted break and time to miss them!
If you don’t want to actually bring them somewhere, hire someone to come play with them in your home while you work for an hour or two!
RELATED: Ways To Beat Mom Burn Out
Get Outside, Move Around and Eat Some Healthy Food
Make sure you’re all taking breaks, moving around and getting some fresh air. This can do wonders for everyone and really can help you work better as well.
Healthy, protein rich snacks can help everyone stay happy and satisfied.
RELATED: 12 Legit Jobs For SAHM’s
Screens Are Not The Devil Incarnate
My kids watch screens. Sometimes they are watching educational shows and sometimes it’s Paw Patrol or My Little Pony. They play educational games on the iPad. They draw or color on the iPad.
There are days where we hardly have a screen on and there are days where I wish I could tell you the screens were on for under 3 hours but they weren’t.
Sometimes I think about my grandma when I’m feeling guilty. She had 4 young kids, a dairy farm and relied on food from the garden.
I KNOW for a FACT that if she could have had her kids SAFELY watching a screen sometimes while she cooked, cleaned, milked cows and tended the garden- she WOULD HAVE.
Sometimes, you need to ask yourself if you’d rather spend the next hour battling 3 kids to be quiet, not fight and not hurt themselves or let them watch something.
RELATED: Sensory Activities For Toddlers
Take Advantage Of Nap Times
Things are changing in our house. Instead of 2 kids sleeping at nap time, now I have one. I still utilize the time where she sleeps to have my other children doing something quietly so I can get some work done.
If your children still nap, use that time wisely!
If you are still in the new baby phase, you might want to invest in a wrap.
I always used a fabric wrap like this one for when they are still tiny. This was always one of my favorite parts of having a newborn- being able to wrap them in a fabric wrap safe and snug and cuddling you but you still get your hands free to do other things if you need.
As they grow, I switch to a sturdier wrap that will last till toddlerhood. This wrap was by far our favorite sturdy wrap- it’s a super reasonable price, lasted through 2 kids and is still going strong!
Baby wearing is so good for your baby and allows you to have your hands free. I also found it helped them to sleep longer than just putting them down because they’re warm, cozy and listening to your heartbeat!
Enlist The Help Of Your Partner
If you’re working from home and your partner isn’t, you need to figure out times that you are ‘working’ while they have the kids.
My husband and I have started designating the hour after he gets home work time and usually on the weekends we figure out time blocks for that too!
Work In The Evening
I know some people may not want to do this for certain reasons but seriously- sometimes this is the ONLY time I get to work on things.
Being a SAHM means that your kids come first. Sometimes there are illnesses, accidents, tired kids or a shitload of housework. And sometimes that means that you don’t get a lot of work done during the day.
Bedtime is a GREAT time to get some stuff done! I started embracing that a long time ago and love it because if I ever feel frustrated that I’m not getting enough done I can console myself with the fact that at least I’ll have an hour or two in the evening.
RELATED: How To Make $5000+ Per Month With No Special Skills
Let Go Of Your Expectations
I know a lot of you reading this may be here because you’re wondering specifically how to work from home with kids while under quarantine or during a pandemic.
The very first thing you should do is look at your expectations like they’re balloons tied to strings that you have to carry around all day while you’re trying to do things.
Are you really going to hold on to them and do things one handed because you just can’t let them go?
Go outside and release your expectations into the sky and let them fly away.
Nothing is going according to plan right now. We’re all just trying to keep our heads above water.
Your kids do not need 6 hours of school a day. They do not need a rigid schedule that is not allowed to be broken. And you don’t need that either!
You need grace, love and whatever sense of humor you can muster.
More Stay At Home Mom Tips:
- How To Be A Calmer Parent
- 7 Reasons To Be A SAHM (plus 7 reasons not to)
- How To Stop Yelling At Your Kids (curb your mom rage)
- 12 Jobs For Stay At Home Moms (that actually make money!)