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Being a work-at-home mom has a lot of benefits, but it can also be difficult to get work done when you have little ones running around. For any parent working from home, managing childcare and work life can feel like a never-ending juggling act. Add in the constant interruptions that come with tiny humans, and it’s no wonder so many parents feel like they’re constantly running behind. Here are a few tips to keep the kids from interrupting you while you’re trying to work.
Set up a designated work area in your home.
If possible, set up your workstation in a room that can be closed off from the rest of the house. This will help minimize distractions and allow you to focus on your work.
If you work from home and have young children, you know the struggle of trying to get things done with constant interruptions. It can feel like you’re constantly saying, “Not now, I’m working!” or “I’ll be done in a minute.” But the truth is, if you don’t have a dedicated workspace for your at-home business, your children are going to continue to interrupt you.
Here’s why: when you’re trying to work at the kitchen table, they see you as being available and approachable.
But if you have a designated space for work that’s just for you, they’ll start to understand that when you’re in that space, you’re not available for interruptions. You can still be an engaged and loving parent when you have a workspace – in fact, you might even find that you’re more patient and focused when you have some boundaries in place. Having a physical boundary helps children understand the time/energy/focus boundary that needs to be set for work.
Let your kids know when you are working.
Explain to them that when Mommy is working, she is not to be interrupted unless it is an emergency. This will help them understand that there are times when they need to leave Mommy alone.
It’s important to set a schedule and let your kids know when you’re working. This way, they will know when you are available for them to come to you with their questions, requests, or tell you something. It also lets them know when the questions, requests, stories, and updates on the latest episode of their favorite show need to wait, and when they need to entertain themselves.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be locked in your office with the door shut all day long. But it does mean that you need to make it clear to your kids when you are working and unavailable.
Give them something to do.
One way to prevent the kids from interrupting your work is to give them specific activities to do while you are working. This could include things like playing with their toys in their room, reading a book, or watching a movie. By giving the kids something to do, they will be less likely to come and bother you while you are trying to work.
Bonus points if the toys or activities are things that can ONLY do when you are working. It increases the likelihood that the kiddos will not only be occupied but look forward to mom going to work in her space.
Establish regular breaks.
You finally sit down to start tackling that pile of paperwork only to be interrupted five seconds later by a hungry toddler or a squabbling preschooler. It can be tempting to just power through and hope for a miracle, but the truth is that taking scheduled breaks throughout the day is one of the best ways to keep your kids from disrupting your work.
Let your kids know that every hour or so, you will take a break to spend some time with them. This way, they won’t feel like they’re being ignored all day long and they’ll be more likely to cooperate during your work time. It’s easier to wait for something when you know when that something will happen.
Schedule your work around their nap time/bedtime.
Whether it’s trying to squeeze in a few hours during nap time or working after the kids have gone to bed, finding time to get work done can be a struggle. However, there are some benefits to working during these times. For one, it can help to prevent interrupted work days. If you’re able to get a few hours of uninterrupted work time while the kids are sleeping or occupied, you can focus more easily and get more done. Additionally, working during these times can help you to avoid feeling guilty about not spending enough time with your kids. If you’re able to carve out a few hours each day to focus on work, you’ll feel less guilty about missing out on time with your children. Ultimately, working during nap time or after the kids have gone to bed can help you to balance your work and family responsibilities.
You got this!
As a work-at-home mom, it can be difficult to find the right balance between working and taking care of your kids. But with a little bit of organization and planning, you can create a setup that allows you to get things done while still spending time with your children. By setting up a designated work area, letting them know when you are working, and giving them something to do, you can make sure that both you and your kids are happy and productive. And don’t forget to take breaks! Scheduling your work around their nap time or bedtime will help make things run smoothly for everyone.
Working from home can be really hard! But it always has a ton of benefits! Establishing routines, behaviors, and expectations will make for a smoother experience and open the doors to really enjoy the awesome benefits that also come with working from home.