Working from home with three little ones can be a little crazy sometimes, I used to feel like maybe it wasn’t even possible. Lennon is now 10 months old and for the past few months my schedule has been adjusting to what he is doing at the time. When he was sitting and not crawling things were a bit easier. Now he is crawling, and I mean this kid is a speed crawler, one eye off him for a second and he’s already in another room! So you can imagine it’s been lots and lots of chasing around the house. My work however, does not stop, so I have been trying to adapt to this changing schedule. For the most part though, a few things have remained the same.
These are the things that have helped me stay on top of my work while also taking care of the house and the kids during the day.
By far the most important piece of advice that I can give is to make a list of duties you need to accomplish each day to stay up to date. Having a base outline of tasks that I need to accomplish each day helps me manage the time that I need to spend at my desk working and allows me the rest of the time to spend with my kids.
The goal is to complete your lists of work tasks that you have for the day and then leave the rest until the following day. This helps you to feel accomplished each day and also gives you the time during the day to be a mom and a wife. Finding balance is the goal here.
The first thing that I do each day is wake up at least an hour before the kids wake up to check and reply to emails. This usually means I am up between 6AM-7AM everyday. This doesn’t always happen when the kids are asleep, sometimes they wake up the second they hear me up. But I still try to get emails checked first thing in the morning.
The rest of the morning I am doing my mom duties – getting breakfast, doing a little cleaning up, throwing in a load of laundry. I do laundry every single day so that it doesn’t pile up.
One thing that I had to change recently was make designated snack times. Before we had designated snack times the girls would snack allll day long. The purpose of this was two-fold. Having designated snack times helped me get things done because I wasn’t getting snacks every 10 min of the day. Getting a handle on snacks has also helped me set them far away enough from their lunchtime so that they actually eat their lunch.
After lunch time the girls resume playing, there’s a lot of free-play that goes on in our home – aside from the occasional weekly activities, the baby usually starts getting tired around this time and I am able to put him down for a nap around 1-2PM. His naptime gives me some time to catch up on the emails that I didn’t get to in the morning OR I use this time to finish up a post or edit graphics for the post.
Be Flexible and Adapt
Being flexible and adapting to an ever-changing schedule is a must when you work from home. My schedule can change depending on what my kids are doing. This fall we are starting our second round of ballet and swim classes so I will need to adjust my schedule on those days.
The kids wants and needs change frequently so sometimes my afternoon work session is adjusted to what they want to do that particular day. We go outside a few afternoons each week so I forfeit my afternoon work time for this.
For times like these when I can’t get to my desk, my phone is where I’m working. I have been known to write my posts from my phone while I sit on my couch with three kids jumping on me.
If you are using a WordPress website you can easily login to your website and work on posts! That’s actually how I finished writing this post!
One thing that has really helped was me was giving the girls a quiet activity they can do by themselves while I work in the afternoon. Once the baby goes down for his afternoon nap the girls usually work on something at their kid’s table which I have setup right next to my desk.
Quiet time usually consists of an activity they can do quietly while sitting like painting, stamping, stickers or play doh, but most of the time it’s open-ended play. I will usually just set out a bunch of supplies like paper, scissors, colors, stickers and let them do whatever they want with it. Some days there may be an activity on the iPad. We change things up frequently! The quiet time in the work area lets me be near them but also gives me some time to work while the baby sleeps.
Once the baby wakes up work time is OVER for the rest of the day until later in the evening when the kids go to sleep.
Find Your Creative Time
Save your post writing for the time you feel the most creative. Some people are morning people, personally I feel most creative in the evenings. Once the kids are in bed it’s time for me to write. I love writing in the evenings because the house is quiet and I can write down my thoughts and ideas for posts. It lets me reflect back on my day and brainstorm.
I start writing my posts by jotting down words as they flow, unfiltered and unedited. Once I feel like I have written or typed everything that I want to include in the post I will go back and re-read it back and start editing it and putting together the graphics for the post.
I don’t always make it back to my desk to work in the evenings. Whether it’s sick of fussy babies keeping me or kids that just keep waking up when I leave, there are times where I will finish up my posts from my bed next to a sleeping baby. (That’s how I started this post!)
I hope this post has helped you! When I started working from home a few years ago I wasn’t the best at time management, and with three little ones things are still constantly changing so there are sometimes when it’s a struggle, but whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or feel like I’ve taken on too much or feel as if I’m not spending the time I need to with the kids and being present, I will adjust my schedule.
That’s the great thing about working from home – you are your own boss!
Interested in working from home? Read more on my making from home series.