Working from home may sound like a dream come true. After all, who wants to sit in traffic twice a day, wear uncomfortable clothing, and sit in an uninspiring cubical all day?
Photo Credit: We Heart It
Working from home does come with a great deal of perks, such as working from the comfort of your own couch, staying in your loungewear all day, and, if you’re a parent, the ability to be home with the kids AND provide for the family.
However, while working from home certainly does have its advantages, it is not as easy as one might think – especially when there are kids involved. It is easy to get distracted, get caught up in the affairs of your children, and fall in the trap of putting tasks off to do things with your little ones.
If you are a stay-at-home parent who is going to make the switch to a work-at-home parent, here are some tips to make the transition as successful as possible for both you and your kids.
Dedicate a Space:
In order to make working from home work for you, choose a dedicated space in which to work. Whether it’s a home office or a table in the corner of your living room, the area you choose should be for work only. Let your kids know that this area is off limits, and when your work day is done, you can walk away from that space and enjoy your personal life.
Photo Credits: We Heart It
Create a Schedule:
It may be tempting to work whenever time allows, but this approach can be quite devastating to your production. Instead, get on a regular schedule. Set the alarm to the same time you would if you were driving into an office and close down shop when the workday would normally end. Or, if your kids are school-aged, let your workday run the same time they are in school.
Plan for the Kids:
If your kids are little and not yet in school, you are going to want and need to make time for them. There is only so long they can entertain themselves. Devote an hour or so to doing an activity with them mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Doing so will allow you to enjoy spending quality time with your kids, which is one of the reasons why you are working from home, isn’t it?
Make the Most of Naptime:
Capitalize on naptime. A nap means you have a span of uninterrupted quiet time to get things done. Try to fit in as much as you can during that precious time.
Routine Is Key:
You need a routine, and so do your kids. Create a routine that works for all of you and stick to it. Of course, there are times you may need to bend a bit, but keeping things to a regular routine will make your day go a lot smoother.
Living, working, sleeping, and entertaining within the same four walls can make them feel as if they are closing in on you. Avoid cabin fever by planning to get out for some fresh air at least once a day. Take a walk, schedule a play date, go to the store, or go play outside. Getting out will allow you – and your kids – to keep your minds clear.
What are your tricks when it comes to working from home with kids? Share them below.
Bridget Galbreath is a full-time freelance writer who works from home with her son. Not only does she share tips for fellow work-at-home parents, but she also writes about a variety of other topics and people, including Charles Phillips of Oracle.