Tips for Working from Home with Kids When You’re Not Your Own Boss
It’s been a little over 7 months now that I have been working from home with my son. Some of that time I had help from my hubby when he was working part time from home, but mostly it’s just been me and my little guy! I turned to the online motherhood community for help BIG time when I was faced with this new obstacle and each week it gets better. I won’t say each day it gets better bc it really feels like a “yes I did it” when the week is over. I really take it day by day, but when the work week is over it feels SO rewarding.
When I was told our office was closing and so was my sons daycare, I was really nervous. I had three months of maternity leave when my son was born, but during that time I didn’t work once. I took some true “time off” and it was really nice. But during that time I remember thinking “How do some moms do this plus work from home!? I could never”. Well, I guess I never thought of a pandemic situation cause here we are. In the beginning I had a lot of early mornings and late nights, too many tears, and a lot of decisions I thought I’d have to make. But I went online and started reading so many blogs from other moms about how they make it work and it really helped! But one thing I noticed was that a lot of the moms that worked from home were sharing some tips that were more specific to moms who are their own boss. I’m not in that position, so I wanted to share what I found to be helpful plus some things that I started to do personally that help me and could help others! I work a full time, Monday-Friday, 9-5 job with a boss, manager, supervisor, etc. I am definitely not my own boss! So, here are some things I did in order to make it work for my son, me, and my work team. I was super worried about making it “fair” all around for my team and truly wanted to give as much as they were, 9-5 everyday.
I want to start by saying I know these tips don’t apply to everyone. We all have different jobs, different hours, different environments. I hope just one mama out there can apply these tips to their everyday life!
- Work hour by hour. I have a “9-5” job, but I actually start my work at 7am every single morning and end it between 6pm-7pm. Schedule out your hours each morning or week. Depending on your job, if you can schedule it ahead of time by the week, do that! If not, drink a cup of coffee and write down the hours you want to work that day. If you think youll only have 7-730am for some time at your computer – write that! And write what tasks can be completed in that hour or half hour with of course thinking about what needs your kids might have during that time.
- Honesty. Be honest with yourself and your employer about the hours you can work. If you can’t work from 10-12 because your kid(s) are just up and have so many energy during that time, tell your boss! Being honest is such an important step. It’ll help when understand your day better without having to go into too much detail.
- Coffee time. I love coffee and I know a lot of you do too. I look forward to my one cup of coffee each day. I drink it at 7am every morning when I begin my work day. So, to make my cup of coffee even better I bought myself a cute mug and Starbucks creamer. Cause coffee time is my time and it just makes it that much better. It’s the little things when you work from home with little ones, so go get yourself a cute mug to make you smile everyday and buy some extra something for your coffee! (If that’s your thing!). PS-my little guy watches TV during my coffee time ❤️
- Time everything! Write down how long tasks take you. This changed the way I work and I feel so much more productive. Work tasks, mom tasks, house tasks, everything – time it! Figure out how long you want to or end up spending eating lunch with your little one. Or how long it took you to write up that email to a client. Whatever your tasks are during your day, time them! This will help you figure out how to schedule your day. Plus, it feels REALLY good to know down to the minute how many hours you worked during the day because you did it all while taking care of your little one! YOU GO GIRL. This will help you schedule out all your days – it even helps with the weekends! Here’s a link to a free time/scheduling app.
- Look forward to something each day. Monday Movie night? Taco Tuesday? Walking Wednesday? You get my point. Doesn’t have to be huge or expensive, but it’s nice to have each day mean something more than just work!
- Wake up earlier (if you can). Hubby and I wake up when baby wakes up around 630am. I don’t think we can wake up earlier bc baby would wake up. But I think this would help so much so I had to include it! I’m still trying to figure out how I can wake up even 30 minutes earlier to help out with my day.
I have more tips but I want to start with these because they’re important to me and have really helped me work from home with my one year old. I hope you can apply just one tip to your Monday-Friday or whatever your work week is! You got this mamas, you’re doing great!