Working from home with kids is not for the faint of heart. And as a busy mom who wants to give their kids everything in the world, it’s a real struggle between accomplishing your work and giving them the attention they desire.
But for moms who work from home, it’s imperative to strike a balance between showing them your unconditional love and finishing your adult responsibilities.
So for you busy moms everywhere, here are seven tips to keep on track and wrap up your tasks so you can spend more quality time with your baby or kids,
1. Give Them Attention First
When your kids wake up, spend some quality time with them to let them know they’re loved. This extra focus and attention through reading a story to them or taking part in playtime can truly occupy them for the rest of the day.
Be sure to take a lunch break with them as well, even watching their favorite cartoons and children’s programming. Even regular breaks throughout the day to fetch a snack or water can give them a bit of attention that can go a long way.
2. Set Boundaries
For busy moms who work from home with their kids, boundaries are a good thing to put in place. In fact, they’re an absolute must! If your kids are old enough, you can set some clear expectations with them and yourself. Make it obvious to them when you have to take a call, asking for them to behave and remain quiet.
3. Use a Baby Carrier
If you have a little one whom you have to keep a constant eye on, isn’t it better to know exactly where they are at all times? The easiest way to do this is to simply strap them in with a baby carrier. Once they’re tucked into their carrier, you can work away on your laptop, positioned at a kitchen island or standing desk. If you’re worried about experiencing back pain, consider wearing a back support bra to help improve your posture.
Using a standing desk or a counter can also reduce your risk for heart disease as well as back and neck pain.
4. Shift Your Office Hours
Instead of feeling confined to a certain schedule, adjust to your kids’ schedule and shift your office hours. It may not be the normal nine to five routine, but as long as you clock your hours and the work gets accomplished, do what works! For instance, if your baby or kids wake up around 7 a.m., you can get in a few hours in the morning by waking up at 5 a.m.
If you’re not much of a morning person, however, those hours can sound painful. Instead, use the evening to your advantage by shifting your office hours back. Kids also have set bedtimes, leaving moms with some extra quiet time where they can focus after hours. Of course, when you shift your office hours, make note of your kids’ nap time, too.
5. Make the Most of Nap Time
Like we mentioned, when you’re busy working from home with the kids, be sure to take advantage of their nap time. For smaller babies who sleep off and on throughout the day, get in blocks of time as they nap. For example, you might be able to find a few hours in the morning and then a few hours later in the evening.
Even younger kids and toddlers need nap time, which can be split evenly between a morning nap around 9:30 a.m. and a nap directly after lunch.
6. Take Advantage of Screen Time
If your kids enjoy watching television or playing games on the iPad, don’t feel guilty about taking advantage of the situation. Use screen time to your advantage to keep your kids occupied when you’re on an important video call or when you need absolute focus. More than keeping them entertained, give them a playlist of stimulating videos or games that offer more substance. There are lots of educational videos and kids shows available, as well, from classic Sesame Street to newer programs like Doc McStuffins.
7. Use Your Handheld Devices
Handheld devices do more than distract our babies and kids while we work in a few hours. They can also come in handy during other situations. For instance, as your nursing bra is undone and you’re cradling the baby, you can easily pull out your phone, even when the laptop is in the next room. You can even attend virtual meetings through your phone and tablet sitting at the park, while the cooped up kids burn off some energy. Downloading note-taking and spreadsheet apps can save you when you’re away from the desk tending to a hungry baby or energetic kids.