Mama, are you interested in the work from home life?
More moms have recently taken on the role of WAHM (work at home moms).
Whether you have chosen to work from home or have to out of necessity, being productive can be a challenge.
Especially when you are still on mom duty.
But I’m here to tell you today that it IS possible to work from home with kids AND be productive.
You just have to plan and be strategic and trust me, I’m horrible with doing it so if I can do it then I know you can!
As a mother of twins, I have been working from home for many years.
In this post I am going to share some tips and tricks to keep your little ones busy so you can get down to business.
But before I get into the nitty-gritty of this post, I want to share my journey into working from home.
My Work From Home Story
I started my work from home journey in 2014 when my twins were toddlers.
At that time they were consistently napping twice per day and this gave me small amounts of time to start a work from home job.
But, I had no idea what I wanted to do. My husband suggested VA work or writing work.
I looked into what a VA was (I actually had no idea what that was!) and quickly learned that wasn’t for me! But, the writing was.
I was very curious of other mom bloggers doing writing work for blogs and brands.
They called themselves staff writers or freelance writers. I was hooked.
I love writing and always have so I thought I could make this work. So I would work when my twins were napping and when they went to bed for the night. This gave me roughly 3-4 hours to work per day.
I also worked on the weekends so that I could set the foundation of my freelance business.
If you want to hear my story and other amazing mompreneurs, check out this podcast from Charlotte of How Moms Make Money Online.
In a few short months I was able to land some great freelance writing jobs and make my first $1k! I was set and knew I wanted to continue to do this.
Over the years I’ve learned how to manage my time with my little kids and I want to help you now!
How to Start and Work From Home with Kids
Let me start off by saying, there is a learning curve.
Some days are going to be more difficult than others.
Your children are going to challenge you. For my twins they were at times clingy and I knew that I needed to be more present.
Unless you have absolute angels that could spend hours playing by themselves.
Nap time doesn’t always happen, there will be messes to clean up, and kids get sick. But, as moms, we roll with it and try to make the best of every situation.
So here are six steps to try and get the most work out of your day as possible.
Plan Your Day
Whether you are working for yourself or someone else, having a plan can make all the difference.
Planning is personal and each individual prefers to make plans in their own way.
While some live by their Google or iCalendar, others prefer paper and pen for planning.
I am a fan of using the bullet journal method. With running several blogs, I seriously needed a way to increase my productivity.
I found that using a bullet journal helped me to streamline my available work time. Bullet journaling became my go to for things like:
- Creating a content plan for the blogs
- Organizing my personal and business finances
- Planning out small to-dos for my day
- Meal planning
- And everything between
I love having everything in one place. Also, I never have to worry about one of the kids ripping my post-it notes from my idea wall.
Having a solid plan helps to prevent you from sitting down to work and having no idea where to start.
Schedule Your Tasks
I know exactly what you are thinking…”schedule?! How the heck am I supposed to schedule anything about toddlers, kids activities, and so on?”
I’m going to tell you this right now, if it is something you have to do or something you want to do, then you can find the time.
When you carve out your time (more on this in a second) you can schedule all your essential tasks.
To do this first block out your days of the week with your general tasks. Here is my easy weekly schedule for blogging moms.
Then during those blocks you can use your Bullet Journal to map out the tasks. So for Monday’s for blog post – I will write out these tasks:
- Find keywords
- Outline three blog post ideas
- Start introduction for one blog post
Carve Out Time
To implement your schedule and plan, you need to carve out time to work.
Here are some ideas for carving out some time when you are working from home with kids:
- Wake up early
- Work during nap time or after they go to bed
- Work while they are in school
- Work while they are eating breakfast/lunch/snacks
- Let them have some educational screen time
- Trade off with another work at home parent
- Take time when your partner is home
- Work in the car/coffee shop while your kid is at their extracurricular activities
- Get out of the house and work somewhere else on the weekends
- Recruit grandparents to help here and there
When you are able to carve out your time, it makes it much easier to schedule and stick to your plans.
This will help you to be as productive as possible with the time that you can spare.
For example, if your daughter has dance class for an hour one night per week, then schedule some work time in there. This might be writing out a quick blog post, responding to client emails, or scheduling pins.
I know many mom bloggers who work in batches.
This is a method of task-specific and focused work. When you jump around from task to task, your productivity decreases. So by working on one thing at a time for a certain amount of time, you can get more done.
Every mom’s circumstances are different, so you have to find what works best for you.
Pro tip: Automate anything you can! While it might take a bit to set things up, it will save you a ton of time in the long run.
Once you have your schedule and plan down, be sure to prioritize your tasks. Getting those holiday pins out should be more important than updating your favicon.
Don’t waste your time on tasks that aren’t moving your business and work forward.
This goes both ways with your family life and your work life.
While I’m sure some of you can relate to the desire to hide away in your office all day and work, that is going to take a toll on your family life. And the opposite holds true for not setting boundaries with your family.
When you schedule work time, they need to be respectful and supportive of that.
Discuss with your partner and your family what your work boundaries look like.
As a work from home mother, it can be difficult to find that balancing act between working and doing #allthemomthings.
Having that extra support from your family can make all the difference.
Set Out Kid Activities
When it comes to keeping young kids busy, there’s tons of stuff that you can do independently.
And I love this method because it’s fun and your kids can spend hours on these easy activities.
Indoor activities are great for young kids to keep them busy and give you time to work.
They are also great because you can set them down right next to you or at the kitchen table and keep an eye on them.
Especially those naughty toddlers that like to get into everything.
From sensory bins to playing with ice cubes in a bowl, don’t be afraid to get creative and let them get a little messy.
Opt fun science experiments and crafts for older kids. These Pinterest crafts for kids are great for kids to try on their own.
Summer can be a real struggle to keep kids busy and entertained.
They can only ride their bikes around in the driveway for so long before that “I’m board” sets in.
These at home activities for kids both get them outdoors and gives them fun things to do in the house.
Set up an indoor garden and teach them how to regrow veggies from scraps. Or have them see who can build the tallest marshmallow tower.
Still looking for more ideas?
Check out these 91 indoor game ideas for kids of all ages.
While I love to be able to sit down and play games with my kiddos, learning to play by themselves is also important. Not only for their independence and learning, but also for my productivity!
Go Small Until You Go Big
It can be difficult when you feel like you are constantly working and aren’t seeing the results you want.
While the thought of outsourcing might sound appealing, don’t spend unnecessary money.
Keep things small, keep working every day to make progress towards your goals. No matter your work at home career, you don’t need to be a workaholic to achieve success in your line of work.
Easy Ways to Get Started as a Work From Home Mom
If you are new to working at home, there are plenty of available resources to help you get started as a work from home mom.
While you might not realize it, there are so many different jobs for stay at home moms.
If you are looking to build a thriving business or make extra income, you can find something.
From starting your own blog to selling handmade items on Etsy.
Whatever you choose, do something that you are going to love and be passionate about.
While stay at home jobs are great, what about income?
Did you know that as a freelance writing you can make $30 an hour or about $5,000 per month?
Of course this can fluctuate depending on how many clients you have, your rate, and how much you work. I can say from personal experience that these incomes are achievable.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of sketchy “online jobs” out there.
So PLEASE be careful when you are applying for positions online.
There are also a lot of legit work at home jobs that moms all over the world are doing every day. From creating simple printables to tutoring, don’t be afraid to try something new.
If you are someone who loves to make crafts, then consider making crafts to sell.
There are many different platforms in which you can sell homemade crafts. Including, but not limited to; Etsy, Facebook, Shopify, and even local markets. From handmade soaps to upcycled wood palettes, there are so many fun and easy craft ideas to make and sell.
If, like me, you are a writer, then you should freelance writing a try!
When starting out, beware of content mills and extremely low paying gigs, you are worth more than that!
It is my hope that these tips and tricks will give you the confidence to work from home (and be productive) with kids.
Tell me in the comments how you are able to work from home with little kids to entertain! Any little tip is worth sharing mama!
And, don’t forget to pin me! Thanks so much!