Working from home or remotely saves valuable time. It can take some practice if you have children at home. Here are my work strategies when you’ve got a child or kids at home.
Carving times during the day when you can work around family needs like breakfast and family time is a good idea. You may decide to do some work before the house wakes up for the day, or for example, during kids’ nap times, when they’re at school or activities, or during homework time. There are also these activities to keep your kids engaged or learning during your day:
- Arts & Crafts: Two of my children love to craft. Craft sets aren’t for all kids, so you may find markers, watercolors and crayons make illustration much more enjoyable for them. Looking for ideas? I can always find some inspiration on Pinterest.
- Games: If you have two or more children you can set them up with a game they like. Another option is to have them design their own games that you can learn and play with them after you finish your work. Often, my youngest child will set up an elaborate tea party for me, but she knows I can’t indulge until my work is done. It’s something they can look forward to!
- Movies: Has there been a movie your children have been asking to see that’s finally on demand? Save that in your memory and order that movie when you’re in a bind with work, and that’s an easy hour and a half of time for them.
- Homework Time: For older children, they can do their homework while you get your work done and that way you both can complete your work simultaneously. You can also make some time before dinner to help with any homework needs.
- TV/Electronics: As parents, we are aware of screen time and the limits our children need. With that in mind, there are some educational websites that you and your kids may find interesting: National Geographic for Kids, for younger kids, PBS Kids, and for my older two we like PebbleGo, which may be available through your child’s school or a learning center.
Many of you may already have sitters when they’re needed. If you have trouble finding coverage during the day, a site like Sittercity to post your needs can be helpful. You can list your times, and applicants that have availability respond. I have hired college students who have a class-free day or downtime some afternoons. Other sites include Care.com and urbansitter.com. Many of these websites provide background checks on the applicants, which is a great feature.
Whether you find help from nearby family or friends, these resources can be valuable when needed for that afternoon conference call.