Work from home with kids 1 confession
How to work from home with kids
How can you get your kids to leave you alone so you can write, think, and get work done? I hear it all the time from moms who want to work from home with kids: “My children demand my attention constantly. How do I get anything done?!”
Anyone who met me before 2014 can tell you that I said the same thing. Often. I’d like to share a story with you, so you can see how it can go from “Holy cow, I can’t get a thing done!” to “Hey, I finished it! Thanks for letting me work, guys!”
Let me take you back to the beginning of this journey. It was long before I became The Book Baker. It started way back when my older two kids were in public school and being their mother was highly stressful.
This is my confession: Before I figured out how to work from home with kids successfully, I struggled for years with feeling guilty and inadequate.
Homeschool and work at home?
I debated homeschooling since before I even had children. I had my teaching license, and we put our kids in public school. After a few years, we could no longer deny that given the local schools and our children’s special needs, homeschooling was our only option.
Then came three years of “I can’t get anything done unless I get up at 4 a.m. to edit my clients’ books.”
Even at that, it was a daily battle, and they still wanted more of my attention than I thought was natural.
Kids needing too much attention
I thought by the time the older ones were in upper elementary, they’d be much more independent. You know, like I was as a kindergartener. 😉 My whole life, I would read quietly in a corner for as long as I could. I didn’t make noise or require parental attention.
My children weren’t me. A learning center owner pointed out to me that my kids never would be like me in that way: they had too many years of knowing that I love them. Even if I did suddenly start using tactics that were used on me (which I could never do), it would not work because my kids knew full well that I loved them. They’d keep coming back for more attention.
Oh, I loved them from day one and wanted to take care of them. It’s not that. I just deeply needed to work from home with kids around.
No one I knew had any suggestions that worked for my kids, although some people did try to help, and I’m thankful for that. The “work from home with kids” dream looked out of reach for years. Th kids were just too underfoot, and too noisy, but I kept trying.
I finally figured it out, and I’m going to share it with you. When you’ve struggled with something for years, and you finally find the solution, you just want to celebrate!
I experimented and found what works for my family, and it was time blocking, working opposite shifts, and tracking productivity and time use.
You have to figure out what works for yours, and ignore what other people say.
This falls into the category of “Don’t let people make you feel guilty or say you’re a bad mom.” I say that to you as much as to myself. We all wonder if we’re a good mom, and worry that we might not be. You know the ways you’ve fallen short, and you feel guilty. You have permission to stop that now.
Needing to make money
If you have to earn money, then you have to earn money. For some, it’s because their spouse’s income isn’t high enough to support a family, and even with government aid and world-class frugalista skills, there’s not enough to make ends meet. Others would go insane if they didn’t have an outlet, and they might as well make their hobbies pay for themselves (and then some). Not everyone is the same. That’s okay. You certainly don’t have to justify your needs.
If something works, and it’s better than the alternatives, use it.
Increased productivity working at home
Working opposite shifts might not be feasible for you. If you can, it might be the best thing that ever happened. If your spouse’s job isn’t conducive to that, maybe you can stay up all night and work, then sleep part of the day. If you can’t do anything about the shifts, what else could you do?
If you have family nearby and they’d be suitable for watching your children, ask them. Maybe they need something you can give them in return.
Team up with another mom or a stay at home dad in the neighborhood. If you’re definitely a morning person, and the other person thinks better in the afternoon, split the care by time of the day.
Maybe it would work better for you to take all the kids on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and have the other person take them all on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Experimenting so you can work from home with kids
Try things. Find what works for you, implement it, own it, and ignore the people who try to interfere. There will always be people who want to sabotage your success because it doesn’t fit with their ideas of what’s acceptable.
As some spiritual leaders have told me, those people have no place to say anything. Listening to them is just going to cause problems for you.
May you experience freedom as you work from home with kids nearby. Wishing you all the best!