The Secret to Working from Home with Young Children
Is it even possible to work from home with a baby? This was my biggest fear when I officially resigned from my corporate job. I was about to become a new mom, and I had no idea what to expect from this new venture. Working hard was something I was very comfortable with, but I had always done it alone. Trying to learn how to work from home while caring for an infant was an entirely different ballgame. But since then, I’ve been able to figure out the secret of working from home with young children.
Having Twins vs. Having a Baby and a Toddler
To make matters even more interesting, I didn’t just have my new baby to care for. From the time he was 3 weeks old, I watched my dear friend’s little girl, who was 4 weeks older than my little one. So I practically had twins for 10 hours each day.
It wasn’t as difficult as that may sound though. Since they were so close together in age, they were hitting milestones around the same time, and they were able to get on a schedule, so a lot was predictable. They napped at the same times (after some practice), and they were playing with the same types of toys, and eating the same things.
When I fed one, I fed the other. When one needed changed, the other got changed as well. And nap times were fairly regular, so there were set blocks of quiet time throughout the days. It actually ran pretty smooth.
Things got tricky when our second son arrived. Now I had a 14 month old, a 15 month old, and a newborn. Don’t even ask me how I did it for the next 6 months, because it was just a blur! But around 21 months, my dear friend got a call from the daycare they were waiting for, and I was left with just my 2 boys.
Let me tell you: it’s a completely different story when you have 2 small children the same age (i.e. twins) as opposed to a toddler and a baby. The 2 older ones had been playmates, and could entertain each other quite a bit throughout the day. Not true with my 20 month old and his 6 month old brother. My youngest couldn’t even get around much at that point, while my older boy was running all over the place.
They were on different schedules because my older boy was taking 2 naps during the day, while my little guy still took 3…and of course they were at opposite times!
Can you tell how thrilled they were about the baby? I think they were both a bit afraid of him for several weeks!
Feeding was different because one was on solids and the other was constantly needing milk. My younger one needed diaper changes much more often. My toddler could play with some toys that weren’t safe for the baby. Not to mention, I had to make sure the baby was out of the toddlers’ reach until he was mobile. There was a LOT more going on with a baby and a toddler, compared to 2 babies or 2 toddlers.
So how did I do it?! Check out my post on productivity tips for Work-from-Home moms, and that will explain most of it!
Also, THIS post will give you some insight on the products I use to make it possible to work from home with young children.
So What’s My Secret?
Well, the main secret to working from home with young children is simply doing things on a schedule. You would be AMAZED at how different your day is if you actually operate on a schedule. I know you’ve probably heard it a million times before, but it is really a game changer.
Keep the kids on a schedule, and follow a schedule yourself. Sit down and write out your schedule for the entire week, filling in the most important things first. Set meals, naps, baths, and other activities at specific times, and stick to it.
It will take some practice, but you will be amazed at how productive you can be when everything is on schedule.
My other secret is an arsenal of amazing products that have helped many of my daily tasks go smoother, to increase my productivity. You can see them in THIS post.
Check out Make Over Your Mornings also, to get some tips on starting your days off on the right note, in order to set the tone for the rest of your day.
My Typical Weekly Work Schedule
I work about 40 hours each week, between my blog and my contracting job. Here is my breakdown of hours:
Monday – Friday (each day): 2 hours before the kids wake, 2 hours during naps, 2 hours after bedtime, 1 hour during play/eat time (= 35 hours)
Saturday: 2 hours before the kids wake, 2 hours during naps, 1-2 hours during Daddy time (= 5-6 hours)
Total: 40 hours
My weekend hours can vary, depending on how closely the schedule is followed during the week. Sometimes things come up, of course, and we simply adjust as needed. We try to stick as closely as possible to the daily schedule, so everyone is happy and I get my work hours in.
Sounds fairly reasonable, right? It is totally doable IF you really stick to a schedule. If you manage your time well, it is possible to work full time, even with a baby and a toddler at home. When do you get the most work accomplished? And what are your secrets to working from home with young children? Let me know in the comments!
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