Hey! I’m Marissa, a freelance web designer and digital marketer. I love working with clients to take the overwhelm out of getting their business online. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my blog!
6 Lifesaving Ideas For Work At Home Parents
WAHM. Wait; what does that even mean?
If you know, you know.
Work at home mom. Yikes! Really though, work at home parents. Is that a thing yet? It should be.
I’ll start this by being totally honest and tell you that I don’t often work from home whilst with my boys on my own. My husband is also self-employed and so mostly we split our childcare between us. Our 4 year old is in nursery most weekdays for the whole morning, and our nearly 2 year old is at home with us. We also have very supportive family who live nearby that help us when we’re overloaded with work or both have meetings/sessions in on the same days. So I count myself very lucky that this is the case!
I know some incredible parents who work at home full time and also run their businesses while looking after their children. Heroes! I find doing this even some of the time so hard. Our situation takes a lot more organising, planning and juggling than if one of us were in a full time job but even though it can feel overwhelming at times, we love it and have been so lucky to be able to spend so much time with our boys while they’re little.
Also, before I went freelance, I worked (mostly) remotely 9-5 and going freelance has allowed both my husband to take on more of the work he loves and grow his business, while I get to do work I am so much happier doing and see my kids way more. So, it’s a win-win for us.
However. Building a business while looking after young kids is tough. Like, really tough. There are some really amazing communities that have helped me feel way less alone (like the Mumpreneur Revolution and DIFTK communities on Facebook). If you’re in this situation, find your people and hold on for dear life!
In the spirit of community, I have a few little work/kid wrangling hacks I want to share because OMG anything that makes this easier is worth shouting about.
So how do you keep your kids entertained long enough to get anything done???
Some kids are really chill. And agreeable. And play on their own.
These are not my kids.
I love my boys. They’re awesome. And like I said, I’m lucky I don’t often need to do work while I have them with me. But it does happen! Depending on the week and my workload, sometimes the inevitable happens and I need an hour or two during the day to keep on top of things. So here are a few of my favourite ways I like to use to keep them happy!
1. Kids podcasts
This has been such a revelation, particularly for my 4 year old. He loves one podcast in particular, Little Stories For Tiny People. Check it out! It’s so well done. There are some others out there that we’ve tried but this one is the bee’s knees (according to him). I put it on, he lies on the couch in my office or sits quietly and listens. Almost the same effect as tv, without sitting them in front of the tv if that’s something you want to avoid.
I feel like this is the most obvious one, but still needs to be said. Some days, at naptime, you just need to sit in silence with a cup of tea. Other days, you need to make the most of it, sit down and get as much done as possible.
3. Kinetic sand
I’m not going to lie to you. This stuff makes such a huge mess (if you have any advice on how to prevent the giant destructive mess, please for the love of god email me). It does also keep them busy for at least 30mins-1hour so it’s worth its weight in gold. Bonus points if you let them get their hot wheels covered in it.
4. Their own workspace
I found this started to work really well at around 18 months-2 years old. They have a little desk right next to mine with sticker books, big art pads, crayons, their toy computers and phones. Just like a real life co-working space but without the price tag (and quiet time).
5. Standup desk
This has been a more recent revelation for me. I grabbed an affordable standup desk on amazon that can adjust to loads of different heights. It feels so good to stand up and not be sitting all day! And if you have a breastfeeding toddler who likes to climb onto your lap and demand to be fed if you’re sitting down all day, this one is a huge win. Seriously, buy one right this second and thank me later. They can’t get you if you’re not sitting.
6. When all else fails…..turn on the tv
Okay. I don’t sit my kids in front of the tv for 8 hours a day and forget about them. But on days when I really really have some things that need to be done and I’ve been woken up 4 times the night before, I know I can let them watch a few episodes of paw patrol to get 40 minutes with a cup of coffee and a blast through my admin work so I don’t get behind on everything. Even doing an hour of admin through the day means once they’re asleep in the evening, I can sit down for a good few hours and work on my current projects and not need to get through all of my admin tasks first, and I find it way easier to concentrate and be productive.
What else would you add?
There you have it, my tried and tested ways to keep my kids happy when I’m working from home and they’re there too. What would you add? If you have something else you’d like to throw in the mix and inspire other hardworking and heroic parents everywhere, drop me a comment below because I’m always looking for new ways to mix it up!