The daycare is closed today and I’m working from home with my two littlest kiddos. I pick up my oldest two from school later this afternoon.
Working from home is nothing new for me. I’m thankful to have a flexible enough position that allows me to WFH as needed. I’ve learned a lot over the last 7 years as a “flexible WFH mom” and I’m sharing some tips. Here are my 4 tips for working from home with small children to ensure peace and productivity.
TIP #1 – SET EXPECATIONS AND BOUNDARIES
Here are my WFH Mommy Rules:
- When mommy is on a call do not disturb unless there is blood, flood, fire or an emergency
- When mommy says “wait, let me finish…”, wait patiently by reading a book or playing with a toy
- Do not touch mommy’s computer
- Do not write in mommy’s work notebooks
- Don’t play on mommy’s work phone… there are NO games (lol)
- Actually take a nap (for my toddlers)
In addition to constantly reviewing the rules, I also give them an overview of how the day will look. This helps keep the questions about “what’s next” to a minimum. For example, we discuss if we will grab Chick-fil-A for lunch (our go to), when we will pick up siblings, if we will take a break and go to the park, appointment times, etc.
TIP #2 – 1:1 TIME
I believe it is important to carve out time for “mommy watch me” moments. When I take my lunch break, I make it a point to be present. We chat, play or just lounge on the couch together. If I have a lengthy break between meetings or an extremely slow day, I use that as an opportunity to multi- task by allowing them to work alongside of me. While I tie loose ends or work on low priority task, I sit with them to do activity books, flash cards or other educational activities.
TIP #3 – GET THEIR ENERGY OUT
Kids are full of energy! It is important to provide a space and outlet for their energy and curiosity. On slow days we go to the local park to play. On park days, we all run a lap around the trail and play for a few minutes. On busier days, I work on the deck while they play in the yard.
TIP #4 – LET THEM BE LITTLE
I wish I had a magic formula for keeping kids occupied while moms work from home. Honestly, each day is completely different depending on workloads and other activities such as doctor’s appointment or illness.
Sometimes my kids interrupt me while I’m on a call (especially my 2 year old) but I’ve learned how to quickly redirect and reinforce the rules (see point #1). Sometimes, they get excited (ie. loud) but I’ve learned how to encourage them to play more quietly and suggest alternative games. Sometimes, they ask for a thousand snacks, but I’ve learned how to set boundaries and meal/stack schedules.
At the end of the day, I encourage moms to show grace and to let them be little.
I hope these tips are helpful to my fellow WFH Moms and Flexible WFH Moms! Leave a comment below and share your funniest work from home mom story. I will share mines below.
My funniest moment working from home was when my oldest daughter was about 4 she came running up to me while I was presenting to a group of senior leaders yelling “I want my skipplez (skittles) mommy can I have more skipplez”. I THOUGHT I put the phone on mute before saying “hush…hush” but I didn’t. They chuckled and we kept the meeting going.
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Great, very useful tips. I smiled when I read the words “mommy watch me” moments because my daughter is 17 and I still get those requests!😃